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Barriers To Blogging - #2 - Wanting To Publish The Perfect Post

Barriers to Blogging - #1 - Distraction By Facebook, Twitter, News, Internet

What are the barriers to blogging? How could I write more than what I am already writing? What is preventing all the stories in my mind from being published? How can I make my workflow more efficient or better in some ways?

Those have been some of the questions on my mind lately, particularly as I decided to try the NaBloPoMo experiment of publishing daily articles on this blog for the month of November... but also, quite honestly, for the writing I do for my work.

I know many folks have told me that they are impressed by the fact that I write so much on a regular basis. But the truth is...

... I want to write even more.

You see, my head is exploding with stories waiting to be told. It is the curse of a writer... there are so many articles I want to write, so many tutorials I want to create, so many opinion pieces I want to publish, so many books/ebooks I want to author.

And so as I've thought about what are the issues blocking me, I decided to write a bit here about those issues.

BeingagoodwriterWithout a doubt, my single biggest barrier to creating online articles is...

... getting distracted by the Internet!

Well, to be more precise, by services on the Internet.

"Oh, let me just take a scan down my Facebook NewsFeed"... or let me just dip into my Twitter feed... or Google+... or "let me see what's new on TechMeme that I might want to write about"... or Hacker News... or MediaGazer... or (lately with the election) I wonder what's happening with politics over on Memeorandum or Huffington Post ... or the latest tech news at GigaOm or TechCrunch or Mashable or... or... or...

Pretty soon whatever time I had to write an article is gone as I become sucked into the vortex of whatever site or social network I visited.

Some time back on Facebook, my friend Donna Papacosta posted an image of a button that said:


I printed that button out and taped it - right at eye level - to the bar in the middle of the windows in front of the desk in my home office. There it sits each day to remind me.

This is a challenge. It is far too easy to get distracted by services and sites out on the Internet.

What I've wound up doing on days when I need to crank out some text is to shut down everything I can. Shut down Facebook windows. Shut down Tweetdeck. Shut down all the browser windows I don't need. Put my cell phone on mute. Do all of that to just...

... focus.

But, of course, for many of my articles, I need to pull up information on the Internet for the articles... which means that the temptation can be there to plunge back into the distractions. (Particularly now that Google+ notifications show up whenever you do a search. :-) )

And so I fight it.

I've also taken to going into my office and working on articles before taking a look at any of those sites. Aiming to publish at least one or more articles and then giving myself a moment to check those sites (and email).

And each day I have that button staring back at me reminding me...

Do you find this to be your biggest barrier to writing? What do you do?

P.S. I haven't yet found a definitive source of that quote. The farthest back I can trace it is to an October 2006 blog post that mentions the email signature of someone named Cyrus Farivar, who currently uses the quote as a subtitle on his blog. Perhaps he is the original author - I don't know. If anyone can find a source of the quote earlier than that, I'd be curious to know about it.

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