When I’m writing a blog post, I like to take my time, sit down at my desk, scribble a few ideas in my notepad, choose one and draft it out. Maybe I’ll have been for a walk in the sunlit countryside to get some inspiration. Once I’ve drafted the post, I like to type it out straightaway. On my desk, I like to have a fresh pot of tea to my right, and maybe a snack of some description to my left. I like all my other work and notebooks to be put neatly away, and for my desk to be clear. Lighting-wise, natural sunlight is my absolute preference, and I love to be able to look down to my right and find Kimber snoozing away in her basket. These are my ideal blog-writing conditions. And if I waited for them to happen, I’d never write a single bloody blog post!
So often I hear people say that they’d love to blog, but they can never find ‘the right’ time, place, or amount of inspiration. What they actually mean is that there’s something stopping them from blogging, and ‘the right’ thing is a convenient excuse that sounds perfectly plausible and unarguable. But waiting for the right conditions is a choice. Something that I realised this morning.
I’d taken our car for its MOT, and while I was given the option to wait in the Kwik Fit reception area, I decided that rather than put up with the smell of stale cigarettes emanating from the one other customer, I would brave the elements for ten minutes and go to my favourite beach-front cafe. It was not a nice morning, weather-wise: rain, sleet, and strong winds that made my brolly more of a hazard than a help. But ten minutes later I was at The Beach House in Portobello, looking at this:
Even though you could barely see the sea today, never mind Fife, it’s a striking view. And for the forty-five minutes I was sitting there, I saw no fewer than eight dogs out with their owners. Now, it’s fair to say that not many of the owners looked particularly keen to be there, but their canine companions were perfectly happy. Because dogs don’t really care about perfect conditions. And they’re certainly not going to wait for them before they’ll go for a walk.
I saw one dog digging a hole, then running along the beach, then digging another hole, and so on until I couldn’t see him anymore. I bet he does that whether it’s rain or shine. Two dogs were chasing balls; another was sniffing around the sand; another was just running aimlessly, joyfully, around. Then there were the two who were play fighting, who I thought were together, but actually it was one random dog telling another random puppy that he was the boss. The puppy looked both disappointed that the other dog didn’t want to play, and yet happy to be able to run back to his humans.
The point is this, dogs don’t wait to find the perfect conditions before they have a great time; they know that they can have a great time wherever they are and whatever is going on with the weather. And the same is true for you and blogging. As I type this my desk is a mess, my tea is cold, and Kimber has abandoned me. I drafted this post while I was in the cafe this morning, which is where the inspiration came from. In between I’ve been to the butchers, fishmongers, and Aldi; picked up our car; taken Kimber for a big walk; and made me and my working-at-home-today husband some lunch. These are not my perfect conditions. This is not how I like to blog. But it is how I am blogging today.
Your blog posts don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t need perfect conditions to blog. Give it a go. Experiment. And let me know how you get on in the comments below or over on Facebook.
And if you still need some encouragement to get blogging on a regular basis, check out the different ways I can help you. I have a new service called Write And Review, where you could take one of the six spots available, and get my help in drafting and editing your blog posts.