Today, I'm starting a new 30 day challenge: one post a day on my website. This is day 1/30.
When you first start writing online, it can feel like everyone is watching. Yet when you check your stats, it turns out that no one is watching. Thus, getting started feels like you're writing to both everyone and no one, whichever one makes you feel worse.
The combined stage fright and lack of attention might be enough to paralyze you.
If you're freezing up, here's one strategy that can help - talk to yourself.
When I'm stuck, I often find myself reaching for the voice transcription app, Otter. Talking to yourself is the easiest way to get unstuck. It's a combination of therapy, planning and discussion.
Sometimes I'm feeling bad and need to work through some stuff on my mind. Other times, I'm excited and simply need to organize my thoughts. A lot of the time, it's a combination of both.
As you can see from the screenshot above, I've recently gotten in some therapy and long term planning sessions with Otter.
What's great about Otter is you can glance over the transcription and quickly jump to relevant sections. In fact, you can even search your recording (assuming the transcription quality worked for you). It's not perfect, but it saves you from having to listen to the entire recording just to find where you might have talked about Wu Tang Clan:
The content from talking to yourself might just be the perfect starting material for your next post. Give it a shot.
Another way I've been talking to myself is via daily morning emails composed from my phone.
I start off with a "brain dump" for anything on my mind, and then write a list of tasks I know I need to get to. As a productivity system, it's less than ideal, but as a way past writer's block, it's very useful. For example, this was my email today:
There's something about writing on my phone that removes paralysis. Kind of like how the "Sent from my iPhone" signature gave people the license to have typos in their emails, writing this email from my phone relaxes me and allows me to write.
On occasion, my brain dump actually gives me topics to write about. If you look closely, today's brain dump mentions "I need more essays on my website" - and that ended up being the germ which became this post.
Writing online is tricky, and there's a lot more that goes into it than simply writing and pressing publish. But it's even harder when your brain is conspiring against you to make it seem scarier than it actually is.
To get past that fear, I find that talking to myself (either via Otter or Email) is extremely effective. It gives me more ideas, puts me at ease, and overall - allows me to continue pushing forward.
If you're looking to write online, but aren't sure where to start, try talking to yourself first. You might just stumble upon an idea you're excited to share with the rest of us.