How to Never Miss a Blog Post Again

I publish my posts on Tuesdays. But last Tuesday, I did not publish my post. All this despite the fact that I absolutely adore writing.

So why did this happen?

I could not write because of 2 reasons:

I was craving perfection in writing.

I wanted my blog post to be perfect. I wanted to write something that can be appreciated by my readers and friends. I wanted to write a gem that shines. All this actually prevented me from writing in the first place, let alone editing and fine-polishing it later.

I did not want to stop doing the activity I was already doing.

I was reading a thriller. In the midst of all the suspense, I just didn’t feel like switching my laptop on, writing a post, searching for an appropriate image, putting links and then publishing it. After all, having a blog is more about than just writing. So, it became all the more easier to skip a post in favor of finishing the important chapter of the book.

After feeling guilty for some days, I learnt my lessons (after I finished my thriller :P) The lessons I learnt are the ones that are applicable to you too. I sincerely hope this helps as consistency is very important for us authors.

#1: Write a shitty first draft

Everyone who has wanted to write has often come across this term by Anne Lamott. Although this is a common saying but nothing truer could be said. It is very important to write a shitty first draft. I am not asking you to purposely write a bad draft, just reminding you that keep on writing even if you feel you are writing shit.

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Embrace the non-perfect writing. There will be time later to edit it and make it presentable but at this moment all you have to do is to get the thoughts on paper.

Golden rule: The only rule on becoming a writer is to write and keep writing shitty first drafts. The golden rule here is to write when you feel like writing and write more when you don’t feel like writing.

#2: Edit

I have seen many authors publish  a badly edited post. If it is important to write a pathetic first draft, it is mandatory to edit and fine-polish it till you strike gold- a piece of writing that makes sense.

Each post you write is your introduction to the world. Make it a good one.

A writer friend once confessed to me that he had made 14 revisions to the post that is now among his “best posts ever.” I usually go with 4-5 revisions while fine polishing my writing. I have found that usually 60-70% of the content is re-written while editing and re-editing.

Golden rule: While editing do away with all those words, sentences and paragraphs that do not add to the text at all. Ask yourself this simple question,”If I remove this word(or sentence or paragraph), would there be some deterioration in writing?” If the answer is no, chop it right away.

#3: Be consistent

It is important to edit but don’t be stuck in the process craving perfection( like I did last Tuesday) Go through a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 15 edits and then take a decision on it, whether you are going to publish it or trash it. Do not save it for later.

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” ~ Anthony Robbins

CONSISTENCY is the most important thing that a writer has to learn. If you have a choice between writing not-that-great-a-post on schedule and writing a great post but missing the schedule, I would recommend choosing the former.

Golden rule: Decide on a schedule before hand and stick to that schedule no matter what. The schedule must be specific enough like “publishing  a post each Wednesday” not something vague like “writing whenever I get time.”

#4: Prepare a backlog of posts

You begin with your journey. You are very excited and swear that you would never miss a post. After all, you are not like the others, you are actually serious about this stuff. But then, life happens. You not only find out that have missed writing for 2 weeks straight but also that you are uncomfortable in writing itself now. It is then that this helps. When life takes its twists and turns, be prepared with a backlog of at least 25% of your total posts in an year. If you write once a week, ideally you must have 13 posts already written ready to be used in case you are not able to write as usual. Another way this helps is by providing you clarity relating to your message. If you write 13 posts about a single topic, you will obviously find out whether it is the right pick for you or not.

Golden rule: Before you decide to start your blog, write 25% of your posts already. It will not only give you something to fall back upon if life happens but also provide you with much needed clarity about your topic and writing in itself.

#5: Write well in advance

This is the most important practice. I write  the first draft of my posts at least 3 days before it has to be published. This helps with two things.

  • I get enough time to edit and re-edit.
  • I am well prepared with my writing even if some problem occurs at the last moment.

Ideally, there must be a month’s gap between writing and editing the first draft. But I make do with at least a day’s gap. A day’s gap is required so that you give some time for your writing to settle in, to ensure that you do not fall in love with your first draft. Plus taking a look at it after some time will bring fresh perspective to it. The simple errors that you weren’t able to point out earlier will be clearer.

Golden rule: If you publish Tuesday, make it a point to finish first draft on Friday. After all, you only want your best to go out.

#6: Make it short but make it

This is the crunch of everything. First of all, don’t get caught in the process of publishing. Make it a point to devote time to hone your skills. Do not write unnecessary words to make it a long article. Write only what is necessary. Hack away at the unessential. And do not avoid writing, make it even if it is just 4 lines.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Golden rule: Do not avoid consistency at any cost. It is so important that I wrote about it twice. Make it short but make it.

Now a quote to get you by:

“You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won’t really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we’ll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.” ~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

What are your tips and techniques to never miss a blog post again?

101 Most Inspiring Quotes of All Time

Quotes often pack up so much of mind boggling information in one sentence that reading them gives most of us some “aha” moments, an opportunity to smile hard, dream big and live life once again.

This is what I needed today. Something to cheer me up. Some wise words ringing so loud in my head that I forget everything else.

So I came up with a list of my own, something I could refer to afterwards also. For easy referral, they are classified into different categories.

Quotes on life
Quotes on purpose
Quotes on passion
Quotes on courage
Quotes on happiness
Quotes on failure
Quotes on change

QUOTES ON LIFE

  1. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. – Tony Robbins
  2. The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it. – Chinese Proverb
  3. You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles. – C. JoyBell C.
  4. Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired. – Robert Strauss
  5. Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. – Mark Twain
  6. One of the most important keys to Success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it. – Unknown
  7. Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.- Unknown
  8. My life is my message.- Gandhi
  9. We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better. – C. JoyBell C.
  10. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar
  11. It is our choices, which show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. – J. K Rowling
  12. You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. – Albert Einstein
  13. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. – Swami Vivekananda
  14. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. – Mark Twain
  15. Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
  16. Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real. – Sara Paddison
  17. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. – Theodore Roosevelt

  18. I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself. – Albert Einstein
  19. Lose yourself in your hard work and determination to realize your true potential. – Life lessons from a rose
  20. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

QUOTES ON PURPOSE

  1. You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. – Christopher Columbus
  2. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi
  3. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain
  4. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, “aw shit, he’s up! – Steve Maraboli
  5. Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it. – J.D. Stroube
  6. I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all. – Leo Rosten
  7. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs
  8. Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t. – Richard Bach
  9. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life… Therein he cannot be re­placed, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it. – Viktor Frankl
  10. “A man said to the universe: ‘Sir, I exist!’
    ‘However,’ replied the universe.
    ‘The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation.” – Stephen Crane
  11. Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
    But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know. – Lauren Oliver

QUOTES ON PASSION

  1. I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. – Albert Einstein
  2. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. – Zig Ziglar
  3. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.- Steve Jobs
  4. There is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give everything. – Vince Lombardi
  5. The saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there’s nothing to make it last. – Nicholas Sparks
  6. There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. – Roger Staubach
  7. You become what you believe. – Oprah Winfrey
  8. If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. – Vincent Van Gogh
  9. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. – Ayn Rand
  10. Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Steve Jobs

  11. I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean
  12. At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.- Christopher Reeve
  13. Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.- Steve Jobs.
  14. Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.- Howard Thurman
  15. All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
  16. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.- Henry David Thoreau
  17. No matter where you are in life right now, no matter who you are, no matter how old you are – it is never too late to be who you are meant to be. – Esther & Jerry Hicks
  18. I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.- Tony Robbins
  19. I believe you are your work. Don’t trade the stuff of your life, time, for nothing more than dollars. That’s a rotten bargain. – Rita Mae Brown
  20. Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul. – Niccolo Machiavelli
  21. History shows us that the people who end up changing the world – the great political, social, scientific, technological, artistic, even sports revolutionaries – are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses. – John Eliot

QUOTES ON COURAGE AND DETERMINATION

  1. Fall seven times and stand up eight. -Japanese Proverb
  2. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills
  3. A year from now you may wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb
  4. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
  5. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. – Beverly Sills
  6. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
  7. I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse. – Florence Nightingale
  8. Eighty percent of success is showing up. – Woody Allen
  9. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.- Thomas A. Edison
  10. Do one thing every day that scares you.- Eleanor Roosevelt
  11. It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.- Leonardo da Vinci
  12. Let it be a lesson in determination and how not “giving in” and “giving up” in life will eventually take you to great heights. – Life lessons from a rose
  13. Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. – Winston Churchill
  14. It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot
  15. You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. – William Faulkner

QUOTES ON HAPPINESS

  1. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. – John Lennon
  2. What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. – Bob Dylan
  3. It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about. – Dale Carnegie
  4. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. – Thich Nhat Hanh
  5. There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality. – Seneca
  6. Happiness is acceptance. – Unknown
  7. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. – Dr. Seuss
  8. Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. – Robert A. Heinlein
  9. Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.- Ernest Hemingway
  10. There’s nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.- Stephen Chbosky

QUOTES ON FAILURE

  1. Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.- Winston Churchill
  2. Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. – Lance Armstrong
  3. Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure. – Napolean Hill
  4. If you fell down yesterday, stand up today. – H.G. Wells
  5. Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. – Paulo Coelho
  6. When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal. Napoleon Hill
  7. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.- Henry Ford
  8. Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.- Eleanor Roosevelt
  9. Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.- F. Scott Fitzgerald
  10. Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. – Coco Chanel
  11. You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. – Maya Angelou

  12. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan
  13. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.- Paulo Coelho
  14. Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.- Jack Canfield
  15. Win as you are used to it, lose as you like it.

QUOTES ON NEW BEGINNINGS/CHANGES

  1. Be the change that you wish to see in the world.- Mahatma Gandhi
  2. All great changes are preceded by chaos. – Deepak Chopra
  3. They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. – Andy Warhol
  4. Learn the lesson to always be in touch with the flower inside you. Let it guide you through all your difficulties and take you on the path to make a difference. – Life lessons from a rose
  5. Change is not pleasant, but change is constant. Only when we change and grow, we’ll see a world we never know. – From Wisdom of The Orange Woodpecker
  6. For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
    And next year’s words await another voice.
    And to make an end is to make a beginning. – T.S. Eliot
  7. You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. – Sri Ram
  8. Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama
  9. Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change. – Jim Rohn

 

What are some of your favorite quotes?

Rest: A Forgotten Life Necessity

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

It is time to stop. Take a deep breath. Now, take another one.
Life has two central themes: activity and rest. And both of them are equally significant. Rest is as important to us as is action and all the activity around us.

Definition of Rest: “Cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep, or recover strength.”

For me activity is all that is. I used to cringe at the thought of what all I would miss if I take a day off. But what I often overlooked is the fact that in order to give my best each day, I needed some time off once in a while, so that I could give my mind and body some space to renew and recuperate.

A well rested person can come back with renewed energy and a fresh perspective. This results in increased productivity, better relationships, lesser stress, healthier body and a more energetic you. Sometimes, we need to slow down and just enjoy life. I realized that we need to start accepting our own company, start spending some time with our own selves.

Although I still struggle with rest once in a while, here are some tips that I have found useful to integrate the practice of rest in everyday life.

1. Take time to rest

Schedule rest in your life. Schedule it for a few minutes each day or even a few minutes per week if daily practice is impossible. In those few minutes, do anything that calms you and renews you. I now schedule 15 minutes (usually more) each day to rest. Some ways I incorporate rest in my daily life are:

• Meditate for 5 minutes
• Take deep breaths
• Talk to a friend
• Listen to music
• Read
• Take a walk alone
• Take a nap
• Dance

Take a day off each week, take a weekend off every 2 months and take a vacation at least once a year.

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid

walk-3641

2. Stay away from the screens in your rest period

In order to let your body and mind relax and recuperate, try to limit your contact with the screens that control your life aka TV, mobile, PC, laptop etc. It may prove to be difficult. Don’t give in though. While you rest, start becoming aware of your urge to constantly stay in touch with the people around you, your dependence on the things that do not really matter in life.

“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.” – Benjamin Franklin

3. Let go of unfinished tasks

It is impossible for me to let go of things unfinished. I feel a compulsion to first read my mails, make my bed, organize my room, check Facebook, study for test, finish an important paper etc before I take out time to rest. The problem with this is that once I am done with all this stuff (that is if I ever am); there is no time to rest. And life is uninterrupted flow of many such days. So, it is advisable to let yourself rest for a few minutes before starting these activities. Take time out to rest even if you are in middle of the most urgent work that day.

“What is without periods of rest will not endure.” – Ovid

4. Stop feeling guilty about taking a day off

STOP feeling guilty each time you schedule a day off in your life. STOP thinking if that day could be better utilized doing something else. STOP arguing with yourself. Rest.

After you rest, you will return rejuvenated. You will have more desire, capacity and effectiveness to do all tasks. And the returns will be better too.

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.” – Leonardo da Vinci

It is absolutely important to give yourself some rest and spend some time with yourself in the process. A person who knows himself can conquer the world.

“Silence

It has a sound, a fullness.
It’s heavy with sigh of tree,
and space between breaths.
It’s ripe with pause between birdsong
and crash of surf.
It’s golden they say.
But no one tells us it’s addictive.”
― Angela Long