The truth is, when it comes to creating a habit, our brains try and get in the way. Ironically, you will be thwarted by your mind.
All these questions are simple, but ultimately meaningless.
1) When should I post?
Yes, there are scores of data about incremental differences between posting at 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. They are well researched and optimized for the ultimate google ranking and created mostly for the purpose of gathering shares.
Reminder — people who are coming up with these statistics are likely selling you
a) writing software
b) wordpress plugins
c) a social media scheduling tool
d) a writing course
e) email tools
Create first. Analyze second — do not confuse the order.
2) What social media should I be on?
Here is a true statement:
Social media is a distraction from writing.
Here is another true statement:
If two writers have the same talent level, the one with a better marketing mind and a better social media strategy will win every time. (See — John Green)
So which platform should you be on?
All of them.
None of them.
I don’t know. How about whatever works for you?
Create first. Market second — do not confuse the order.
3) What writing software should I be running?
I started this post in the Notes app on my iPhone, expanded it a little more in Evernote, and finished in the Medium editor.
Other blog ideas have been constructed on:
- Pen and paper
- The Facebook status update
- HTML editors (when I didn’t have time to switch windows
- The Instagram caption
- The WordPress editor
- Microsoft Word
- The voice memo app
Writers write. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you have.
Create first. Optimize second — do not confuse the order.
4) How do I improve my SEO?
This question is usually asked in search of a plugin, a tactic, a strategy, or a shortcut.
But you want to know the best way?
Write as many posts as possible on the same topic.
That makes SEO optimization not only inevitable, but probably irrelevant.
Create first. Manage robots second— do not confuse the order
5) Why do these people hate me?
Either one of these three reasons:
1. They hate themselves and take it out on everyone else
2. They disagree with what you are saying
3. They aren’t a real person. (Aka — spam bots)
Ignore options one and three. Nothing you say can ever change how those people act.
But option 2 folks we can deal with. Conventional wisdom says “don’t feed the trolls,” but I’m not 100% on that.
If you can hold your ground in a respectful way, do so. Whenever someone else comes across that thread later, it helps to have your side of the story out for everyone to see.
Create first, argue second — do not confuse the order.
6) How many notifications do I have?
A funny thing happened recently when I committed to writing daily posts in order to help promote my new book:
I had less time to care about who liked my work and who didn’t.
Consequently, I went from 30K views a month to 60K, gained 3,000 more followers, got invited on 2 podcasts I never would have thought to contact, and pre-sold 95 copies of the book.
Create first. Engage community second — do not confuse the order.
7) Why can’t I get more writing done?
Because you are too busy asking questions that don’t even matter a little bit.
Create first. Do everything else second — do not confuse the order.