Prolific [adjective]: (of an artist, author, or composer) producing many works.
Or put another way…
Getting stuff done & publishing a metric ton of blog content ?
We all know how scary it is to publish our work to the world wide web–as well as how tough it is to be effective, efficient, productive, etc.
Todd Henry, author of Herding Tigers: Be the Leader That Creative People Need, and Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day–and host of the Accidental Creative podcast, joined me today to chat about WHY it’s important we maintain discipline–even in our creative work.
Listen to my episode with Todd Henry from Accidental Creative:or listen on \\ iTunes \\ Stitcher \\ Google Play \\ Overcast \\ Spotify
Let’s walk through my top takeaways from this chat:
1 – Focus on output, not results.
Tell me if you’ve ever spent too much time on this screen:
Hey. Join the club. We bloggers are obsessed with traffic, email subscriptions, etc.
It can be so incredibly easy to focus on results, whether that’s success or failure, but it’s much more productive to focus on output.
- What are my high-leverage ACTIONS that might lead to more (and better) output?
- Where could I be spending my time better?
- How can I create systems to make it easier to publish more?
These are the questions to concern yourself with, NOT “how is my traffic doing?” or “how many people are buying my course?”
Focus on your systems.
Your processes. The amount of good content you can produce.
Let the results come or go as the gods’ please.Paraphrased from the war of art
2 – Write every single day
Note: I didn’t say “publish” every day.
Make it a habit to sit and write something every day of the week.
- Todd’s habit: 500 words a day
- Pete’s habit: 150 words a day
It doesn’t matter WHAT your word count goal is, nor does it matter the QUALTITY of the words written! What matters is that you sat down and produced content.
You can improve quality later in the editing phase.
So answer this:
How you can develop a daily writing habit? When and where could you pull it off? Make sure it’s sustainable ?
Side Note: This also builds your “content muscles.”
You know, the ability to write better and more quickly?
To produce blog content, emails, and sales pages in record time?
Those skills are best improved by writing. Flex those content muscles daily.
3 – Don’t be a slave to your system.
For me, it’s productivity apps and tools.
I’m obsessed with finding the newest blogging tools to make my life easier, but this comes at a cost:
Sometimes I spend WAY more time than is necessary finding the tools, learning how to use the software, setting up the software, etc–when I could actually be doing work.
I’ve tried over 20 writing apps–but last year I FORCED myself to stick with one (which was Bear).
It’s simplicity and lack of “too-fancy” features forces me to, ya know, WRITE.
Question for you: Where do you work best?
- Coffee shop?
- Home office?
- A certain comfy couch? With your preferred Alanis Morissette album & fresh coffee & kids at daycare, etc, etc, etc?
I hereby challenge you to let go of a “perfect blogging environment,” and train yourself to be able to produce anytime, anywhere.
Don’t be a slave to systems, circumstances, tools, or location. Your work output doesn’t depend on those as much as you think.
Be right back to finish this blog post–I gotta restart this Alanis Morissette album.
4 – Conquer “resistance.”
The idea of “resistance” comes from one of my favorite books, The War of Art, by Stephen Pressfield.
I re-listen to this audiobook a few times a year. It’s that good.
So what’s resistance?
Anything that keeps us from doing our work.
- Fear of failure is resistance if it prevents you from hitting publish
- Procrastinating is definitely resistance
- Taking more blogging courses is resistance
A note on that last one: Yes, learning is important! Please buy Blogger U courses!
However, there always comes a point when we feel we need to learn more before we take action. Sometimes that’s warranted–sometimes it’s not.
But you can feel that, can’t you?
I can. It usually takes a minute of “WHY am I obsessing over learning everything there is to know about this?”
Resistance in a brutal form.
Resistance is anything that attempts to pull you away from doing important work (which only you know what that actually means, btw).
Here’s how to conquer resistance:
Sit down and start working.
Utilize everything else we’ve covered in this post and focus on your output.
Everytime we push our fear and/or comfort aside and sit down to be productive, we have conquered resistance.
But only temporarily…
Resistance is never really beaten. It’ll be back, stronger than ever ?
Further reading: Blogging Productivity 101 – Where should my time be spent?