If you’ve ever suffered from writer’s block, procrastinated when you supposed to be writing, or criticized your writing too harshly, this post is for you!
Blogger and app developer John Saddington of @DeskPM recently joined us for Bufferchat to discuss writing tools, habits books and more.
Catch the full Bufferchat recap on Storify here!
What writing tools are essential to your routine?
- The first, I use a # of web tools. MediaTemple for hosting a lot of my personal blogs. And I use WordPress mostly.
- Next, I use @akismet, @Jetpack, WP SEO, and @vaultpress for backup in regards to WordPress.
- I use Google Analytics and Google Apps, Feedly for RSS (so I can read other blogs), and MailChimp for newsletters.
- I use the default WordPress theme primarily for my own personal blog
- I naturally use Desk App for all my writing needs. I use this for drafting, saving, and publishing.
- I used Acorn for image editing and Pixelmatr sometimes
- I used screen float and Screenflow for screencasts
- I use my iPhone 6+ for capturing ideas and images for blog posts. and my MacBook Air 11” for writing
- I use Klipsch In-Ear headphones for music (so important!!!)
- And finally, I use Pilot G-2 pens for writing…and am obsessed with notebooks for capturing ideas and thoughts and sketches
- You can find a ton of other apps and tools that I use here
Other great tools mentioned:
How do you build a consistent writing habit?
- Building a consistent writing habit is nothing magical nor extraordinary. It just requires you to write, consistently.
- I’m sorry that sounds so obvious, but, many people are looking for the “shortcut” to writing and there isn’t one!
- And, I hope this isn’t discouraging, but writing never really gets any easier…
- If anything, it becomes more difficult over time. You become more reflective, introspective, and vulnerable.
- There is nothing better than to just start writing so that you can get better @ writing.
- Writing doesn’t have to be lonely… that’s why blogging communities online are so awesome!
- Just like anything else in life, it takes practice, a little bit of resolve, and a lot of help and accountability.
- I HIGHLY recommend reading this post that I pub’d a few days ago about how I’d start (restart) a blog
- YOU have a story to tell… and it’s important that you share it with the world.
- “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” – Maya Angelou
Other great advice:
- “Creating a calendar of the posts I want to write & when I want to publish them keeps me on track.” @clutchstudios
What helps you break through writer’s block?
- Writer’s block, for me, is both mental AND physical.
- Which means that overcoming the block requires me to not just mentally shift focus but also move my body.
- Walking, dancing, jumping… talking to someone else…
- But, it is always hard… and it requires INTENTIONALITY. To sit and “wait” for the block to be removed is death.
- Change you, or your space, and writer’s block can become a friend, not necessarily an enemy of the state.
- It becomes a motivating factor, a point of reference. Many great ideas have just required me to “go” and “do”.
- I have also found this to be true when I’m building software (which is obviously a form of writing).
- It probably applies to a ton of other fields and work too!
Other great advice:
- “Yoga, meditation, even a hot shower where you clear your mind.” @_mariajuan
- “To avoid writer’s block, live your topic. No amt of research can make up for being a natural member of their community.” @PatrickHayslett
- “Having a place set aside, using special writing tools, wearing something unique (work boots) to write…all help.” @workflowco
What communities are good to encourage your writing?
- “Build your own community of writers that inspire you. If you can’t find a community that fits your needs, create one!” @ThinkSEM
- “I found loads of support @NaNoWriMo and on r/writing. Finding a writer’s group in your city is also a huge help.” @mcartertweets
- “My FB friends are supportive, as are the private FB groups of women I’ve joined to learn and grow. Support is critical!” @lovesaveslives
- “We enjoy following @copyblogger community. Any place you can bounce ideas off others & get viewpoints other than your own” @minddnd
- “I really like the writing community over at @JeffGoins!” @aktetreault
- “Online communities are great, but it’s helpful to be able to chat it person with other writers. Find a local group.” @GarSeeA
What is the one thing you know now that you wish you would have known when you started blogging?
- I wish I had learned to care less about perfection and more about execution. It’s about process, not perfection.
- I wish I had learned to care less about technology and more about just simply writing.
- Spend more time building a writing lifestyle than a lifestyle with writing stuffed inside.
- I wasted a lot of time “optimizing” when I should have just been writing.
- I wish I had gotten more help and built a writing community sooner rather than later.
- I wish I had attended some more writing workshops over the years to invest in my craft.
- I wish I had removed comments from my blog sooner.
Other great advice:
- “Mistakes and mishaps make us better humans, and better writers- if we choose to learn from them.” @imracheljolley
- “To take more risks and to not be afraid to get personal. Getting personal helps build stronger connections” @odalis_sm
- “Pace yourself” @tonyhue
If you could pick only one writing book to read and reference, what would it be?
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr
- Accidental Genius by Mark Levy
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
- Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences by Janis Bell
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Thank you so much for everyone who joined in on this great chat!
Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/noon Eastern and join our Google+ community for the latest news.
What’s your best tip for writing more and better? Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!