I’m actually going to commit to doing a better job of writing in 2016.

Back in 2014 I went from never blogging, to shipping a post a week for a pretty sustained period to try and build up more traffic on the Hanno blog.

It’s hard to track results from content marketing sometimes, but this whole mission paid off immediately. I started interacting with tons of interesting people online and writing even led to one of the best projects we worked on that year (for ZIRX). That was pretty decent considering it came from a 45 minute blogging session and sending out a tweet.

So I thought: Great! 2015 is the perfect chance to step it all up and get wins x 2!

That didn’t work out so well

I achieved the complete opposite of building up an even more solid writing routine and ended up writing even less than I did in 2014. I’ve been thinking about why that was…

  • I got too comfortable and let myself break the writing routine. As soon as I did that, everything became that much harder. I lost the flow, big time.
  • When that happened, I started second-guessing myself. I’d write and edit and redraft and then give up halfway. More posts got abandoned and I lost more and more momentum. I’m even fighting this right now on this post, which is pretty meta.
  • You know when you hear you’re on a phone call and you hear the feedback echo from your own voice and end up being totally thrown by it? I fell into that whole trap of hearing my own voice reading my post and decided that I sounded like a prat. Cue, more posts being scrapped.

So I’m going to set myself a couple of rules for 2016 and do a better job of it this time around

  1. Post something onto Medium every week for the rest of 2016. Even if that something isn’t the most gripping piece of long-form prose ever. Build up a solid routine again.
  2. Stop thinking about what other people will think of me while they’re reading an article. If I don’t get past this, there’s no chance I’ll actually get back into writing again. I never really considered this previously but I can now totally see why some authors choose to use pseudonyms.
  3. Write about honest things instead of trying to find things which might sound cool or go viral.

I always have vastly more respect for people like Stef Lewandowski and Julie Zhuo who make the effort to write proper posts and I know they both get a lot of value from doing it. Sure, there are a million people blogging and more content out there than you could possibly read. But surely it has got to be better to post proper content than to just fire out tweets and share what other people are saying?

I’m going to hit this big green Publish button and put this out there so I can’t back down now…