What Bloggers Can Learn from Marathon Runners

BlogHer Original Post

We're now entering the first full week of NaBloPoMo -- seven days stretch out before you, and you steel yourself for the strain of daily blogging. And then you make the mistake of glancing at the calendar and seeing the other three weeks still ahead after this one. That's when it begins: the flutter of panic, the drooping of the eyes, the sudden desire the press your face into the pillow and go to sleep. That overwhelming sense that you should step away from the computer.

The problem is that most people don't approach NaBloPoMo as they would a marathon. People don't just pop up one day and run 26.2 miles. They train. They pace themselves. They get into running groups and lean on each other emotionally for support. So what makes NaBloPoMo'ers believe that they can just pop into 30 blog posts with nary a warm-up?

If you're finding it difficult to blog daily, take a deep breath and follow these ideas taken from marathon training:

  • Create a writing schedule for yourself and stick to it. Allot yourself a time length and schedule it for a certain point in your day. For instance, write down that on Tuesday, you're going to write from 7:30 am until 8 am and whatever you write in that time, you'll post. Never be scared to stick to your schedule, pause mid-story with a "to be continued" and step away from the computer.
  • Give yourself a few down days where you schedule in a wordless picture post. Even writers need time away from words.
  • Don't think about all those blogging days in the future -- focus on the here and now. You'll get it all done if you stick to your schedule, but it can be panic-inducing to realize that you have no clue what you'll write about beyond this Thursday's post.
  • Pick a few people from the blogroll and form a writing support group. Use ctrl-F to search the blogroll for key terms that interest you to find like-minded blogs. For instance, if you write a knitting blog, search for words such as "yarn" or "stitch" in the title. Comment on their top post and let them know you're also doing NaBloPoMo.

What other tips have you discovered to help you pace yourself for daily blogging?

Photo Credit: Martineric.

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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