These Titles Are Supposed To Be Short

The original title of this post was “Wherein Rain Schedules Out The Next Few Weeks of Blogging per Adam DuVander And Then Freaks The Fuck Out (Just a Bit)” but SEO #amirite

I’m sitting in my local bakery thinking about three things – routines, writing, and identity and wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what this post is about.

Stick with me.

To become a better writer, one must write regularly. To write regularly, one must schedule it out as well as figure out WHEN you’re going to write and WHAT you’re going to write. To figure out WHEN you’re going to write, you need to incorporate it into your routines / make it part of your daily habits. To figure out WHAT you’re going to write, you need to know WHERE your posts are going and WHO your audience is.

And then my brain starts melting off a bit.

The other day I was listening to a podcast – I totally forget which one and such, so that’s helpful – and one of the guests mentioned that she uses her blog to keep track of her own ramblings / technical experiences / et cetera and if that helps someone, that’s great, but if not, no worries.

This resonates.

Over here in groningenrain.nl land I’m still figuring this shit out so there’s going to be a lot of messes and such.

Probably always will be because I do love me some experimentation and making messes.

And, yes, I realize that this introduction has turned into its own blog post, so I’m going to go ahead and plan to write about routines, writing, and identity on the next post.

My point is that I’ve figured out a few things.

SCHEDULE

Part of incorporating things into a routine and all those other points I made in the introduction that could rightfully be its own blog post is ORGANIZATION. You can use any tool you want, but having your next few weeks worth of whatever mapped out is not only satisfying, but lowers the barrier to getting started.

What’s the hardest part to writing?
Well, I ruined the punchline there, didn’t I – it’s getting started.

Personally I’m using Trello and have mapped out the next four weeks worth of posts with cards using the calendar view. If you’re keen, I’ve made the board public so you can properly stalk me^W^W^Wbe inspired to start blogging, too.

You want to give yourself every advantage to adopting a new skill and one of the ways to do that is procrastination. Wait, no, is organization. Because when you look at a beautifully mapped out month and see all the lovely posts, it’s easier to get in there and flesh them out in batches rather than banging your head against the wall each and every day.

Or something.

I’m sure there’s a profound lesson in there – lemme know when you’ve figured it out, mkay?

SUB-HEADERS

After scheduling out the next few weeks or so – at this point it’s an experiment so I don’t know if I’ll ACTUALLY be writing FIVE TIMES a week or if that’s just silliness – add sub-headers.

Me, I’m super keen about three sections of anything – the good, the bad, the ugly; the easy, the hard, the impossible; the red, the blue, the purple; this option, that option, the third option – my brain really likes thinking about tasks and subjects in terms of two options and then adding a third completely wild option cause #ADVENTURE

By adding those sub-headers, though, you also further lower the bar to writing cause the article is mostly fleshed out when you have a subject (titles are overrated #CanIGetAnAMEN) and broken it down into three sections.

This is also how I extemporaneously speak so well and DAMN IF THAT ISN’T ITS OWN AWESOME BLOG POST. And suddenly there are two more cards fleshed out COMPLETE WITH SUB-HEADERS.

Stop using All Caps, Leander.

FOCUS

I don’t remember what this third header was going to be about cause I am writing this post on the fly – this is what happens when you don’t plan it out initially and just write from the cuff.

Damnit.

I’m sure focus is a good idea. Cause otherwise you ramble. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a thing, just an observation without judgement. But I’m definitely in the experiment where I’d like to try out a bit more focus and a bit less rambling.

It might not work out.

But I’m excited to see where it leads.

OH OH OH! Trello boards #FTW

That would’ve been a perfectly fine ending, sure, but then I went to check off that I had written the post and found my notes under the sub-header.

Thank you, #PastMe

SCHEDULE
Using trello to flesh out a schedule

SUB-HEADERS
include sub headers to help start fleshing it all out

FOCUS
figure out your buckets, then cross reference buckets

You can focus the posts by figuring out who you are / who your audience is / what issues you’re solving (which I’ll be doing in the very next blog post here on Wednesday) which gives you your BUCKETS of FOCUS. Then you cross reference all your buckets to get more things to write about – for example:

My buckets here are technology, wellness, and parenting. I think. Let’s say they are for the purposes of this example. SHOOSH

Therefore, I can write about anything to do with those three, but also cross reference them – anything to do with any two buckets or, ideally, anything to do with all three, but it’s okay if a post only touches on one or two.

And when you get really specific with your buckets or the buckets in your buckets, then you can multiply them all together that much more to come up with even more things to write about.

For example, within the technology bucket, I’m keen to talk about STEM, python, openstack, rdo, cloud computing, django, javascript, devrel, conferences, speaking, soft skills, documentation, or escape rooms.

Within the wellness bucket, I could write about mental illness, self care, physical fitness, recovery, ptsd, depression, weight training, obstacle races, or escape rooms.

And within the parenting bucket, I might mention my children, my partner, my friends, my family, holidays, strangers, living abroad, health care or escape rooms.

And while all of these can be multiplied together to come up with more topics, they can also be applied to other topics and then divided out, like if you break your incredibly old fitbit watch band and post online that it’s broken and someone mentions that they could send you a shiny new VERSA, but you’ll need to build an app and write a post and such, then you can take that focus and cross reference all your buckets to come up with shiny new posts, such as:

  1. Diving into FitBit Development : start, clock face, app
  2. The FitBit Developer Community : documentation, communication, getting started
  3. Using FitBit to Combat Depression : my story, self care, get to steppin’
  4. Escape Rooms as Exercise : tracking on fitbit, top rooms for fitness, I might be addicted to escape rooms

So while that last section ended up with a lot of focus, it may be more confusing than helpful – let me know what you think in the comments.

UGH.

Also, can I just say? Sometimes the conclusion is ALSO THE HARDEST PART OF WRITING.