I am a scheduler. I thrive on timelines and to-do lists. I excel when plans are made and drawn out, when agendas are full of color-coded daily tasks and projects are researched and picked over with a fine-tooth comb. Especially when it comes to work.Especially when it comes to assignments, tasks, and projects with deadlines. Nothing makes me more anxious than not being able to plan out my work days. Not knowing when I’ll have time to complete those deadline-oriented tasks kind of makes me a nervous wreck. I mean, I even like to have a backup plan for my backup plan. When life gives me lemons, I want to know I have a kickass lemonade recipe—on standby. So you’ll understand how strange it is that I, the compulsive scheduler, the to-do list queen, hate blog editorial calendars. I know, I’m a conundrum. But hear me out. Blog editorial calendars are great for those who want to plan out their blog post content. For those individuals who need to know what they will be writing and when they will be writing it; planning weeks, months in advance. So, ugh, why wouldn’t I like this? Sounds like a habitual planner’s dream, right? Well, for most bloggers, this type of calendar works wonders; keeping their blog content and timely delivery on track. For me, however, it leaves me staring at a blank screen and blinking cursor for hours on end. Writer’s block in full force. And when I do finally start wielding some sort of semi-comprehensible verbiage, it’s never that great. Writing has always been a form of creative expression for me. I love the act of scrawling letters across pages as the thoughts flow, as the ideas form magically into coherent sentences. Writing, for me, is a passion. One that is creatively driven, one that must be sparked by an idea, by inspiration, in order to be any good.I cannot sit down to write something that I have planned weeks, even months back. Well, I can, it would just be an extremely long and tedious ordeal. Trust me, been there, done that—never fun. When I sit down to write something it is because I have been inspirited with an idea. Inspired thoughts wheeling around my head, untiring and persistent until I have released them onto paper. This creative energy is what fuels my writing. Like an unseen force that motivates and guides my typing fingertips. So, you see, blog editorial calendars just aren’t my jam. They’re not for everyone, and that’s okay. I do, however, have a few planner-centric approved blogging tricks up my sleeve to help keep the anxiety at bay. HAVE AN ARSENAL Sit down with a good ol’ fashioned pen and piece of paper and just…brain dump. Let any and all ideas, brilliant or stupid, flow from you. Write it all down. Seriously. Having a list of blog post ideas written down can help spark inspiration when needed. I have an Evernote page dedicated to post ideas that I reference periodically to get the creative juices flowing, but also to keep track of what I’ve already written about. PLAN A TIMEWhile I’m not a fan of picking out what to write about weeks in advance, I do like the idea of having a set day for blogging. I personally blog a week out, so the blog post that I write this week will be posted the following week, etc. and so forth. Mondays are my “time to start a new post” days. I carve out a few hours in my day to devote to beginning the writing process. I tune into myself, what’s inspiring me lately, what’s on my mind. I narrow down the ideas, pick one and run with it. Some weeks are more inspired than others. Some weeks I can tap out an entire post within a two-hour timeframe. Most weeks, however, I get maybe a rough outline or a few solid paragraphs completed and leave the rest for the next day. Tuesdays I devote a few more hours to finishing the post, taking or editing pictures if applicable, and proof reading. This is my go to blogging plan and schedule, one that I really try super hard to stick to. But, sometimes things come up and life gets in the way, as it tends to do, and I don't actually start writing until Thursday or Friday. Whoops. Hey, I said I’m a scheduler, I never said I stick to my schedule 100% of the time. So yes, I may be a planner through and through. I may need to schedule every little detail of my work life in order to keep my sanity in check and be productive, but some things just cannot be planned. Inspiration strikes at will. When we embrace it’s unpredictability and allow it into our tightly scheduled lives, we allow magic to happen.
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