Around 9:30pm last Monday night my wife and I were having a discussion. It went something like this:
Nikki: What’s on your work schedule tonight?
Me: Well, I need to post something on The Sales Lion tomorrow but I honestly am not sure what I’m going to write about.
Nikki: Oh, I’m sure you’ll think of something, you always do.
Me: Yeah, I hope so…..(after a thoughtful pause) Maybe I’ll write about ‘success habits for 2012’.
Nikki: There, just like I said, you always do.
This Ain’t So Bad
Shortly after our conversation, I was sitting in my downstairs office, smacking the keys of my laptop, and pensively thinking about the habits that had made such a difference in my life in 2011. And as quickly as my fingers could type, before I knew it there was laid out in front of me a list of 20. With almost no previous thought of what I was going to be writing that night, the words were now taking care of themselves.
About 45 minutes in, the first draft was done. Never once had I stared at the clock. To me, it felt more like 10 minutes.
But there they were, 1700 words, and after reading the draft, a surprising thought came to mind.
“Wow, this ain’t too bad.”
Frankly speaking, I knew it was good. No, not a good as in “Look at my writing, it rocks” but rather a “These words have just been waiting to find their page” type of good.
Those of you that have been writing and blogging for some time know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes your stuff is just OK and you know it. On other occasions it’s ‘pretty good’. But then there are the moments when everything seems to come together and you look back and say, “Wow, I just wrote that??”
This, my friends, is inspired writing.
The next day, once the post was published, I found my intuition had not led me astray. Quickly, personal emails started coming in. Twitter started to bustle. And Facebook really began to work its magic.
In fact, in less than a 24-hour period, the post received over 1000 visits from Facebook alone.
For some of the bigger bloggers out there, this number may seem like chicken-feed, but for me it was a big deal. After all, I usually get just under 1000 visits from Facebook over the course of an entire month.
Within 72 hours, the post had become my #1 trafficked article ever on The Sales Lion, and had also been tweeted and ‘liked’ more than any other previous post. Furthermore, it was a lightning-rod for private emails of people telling me how it how touched them in some way, with the word ‘inspired’ coming up again and again.
Just Start Writing
I don’t say these things with any intent to brag here my friends, I only mention them to make this critical point:
If I hadn’t started writing, the inspiration never would have occurred, and none of the ‘good stuff’ would have ever happened.
Seriously, think about that for a second.
How many times have you said to yourself: “Oh, I really don’t have anything good to talk about today and so therefore I’m not going to blog.”
We’ve all been there—every single one of us.
Last Monday night, as I was discussing this subject with my wife Nikki, it would have been very, very easy to simply ‘pass’ on the article and look for lightning in a bottle some other day. The inspiration, at least at first, didn’t appear to be present.
But again, that’s not how inspiration normally works. In fact, the idea (shared by many) that we should only write and blog ‘when we feel inspired’ or ‘have something amazing to say’ is a complete falsehood, and it’s certainly not the M.O. of the majority of the greatest writers and bloggers in the world today.
So here’s my 2012 writing advice to you:
1. Set a writing/blogging schedule.
2. When the time comes, open up your laptop.
3. Once open, start hitting keys.
As for the ‘inspiration’, well I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if it decides to join the party.
You’ve heard my take, and now I’d love to hear yours. Do you only write ‘when inspired’ or do you find keeping a schedule and sticking to it is the best strategy? Also, what are the things that inspire you the most with respect to writing and blogging?
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