Fighting (Writing?) Through Fatigue

I have to apologize for the recent lack of updates. I have been struggling with energy levels after long days of work and poor sleeping habits.

On a personal note, sleeping has never been my strong suit. After putting in long days of work, making time for family and friends, exercising, and spending any extra time in the evenings on freelance work or writing for various projects, my mind is racing and it’s midnight before I know it. Forget about a quick transition into sleep!

I have tried various teas, relaxation methods, yoga, and even valerian root for sleep (a popular go-to). These things help, but crawling into bed with a mind that is still firing on all cylinders doesn’t usually result in quickly falling asleep.

Typically, writing is what’s on my mind (in one form or another). Go figure. At any given time, I have multiple projects in the works or articles needing to be written.

After a lot of trial and error, I realized that what I enjoy most is also my solution to sleeping better:

Writing things down!

It’s nothing new; you have likely seen it suggested many times over the years to write down everything on your mind prior to sleeping to free your mind for a more restful night’s sleep. Like me, there is a good chance you brushed off the suggestion and instead went the route of teas and supplements, as I mentioned earlier.

Well, surprise: writing things down has helped more than anything else.

  • I write down ideas for articles
  • I write down things that I need to do the following day (which helps me stop worrying about them)
  • I write down any worries (the act of which often causes the worries to subside)

It really helps me to calm my mind and sleep without anxiety.

The next morning, I look at my previous night’s list and prioritize my day accordingly.

Give it a try! Let me know if it works for you, too. 🙂

Are You Guilty of Perfect Inaction?

Whether currently or previously, there is a strong likelihood you have struggled with perfect inaction. Especially as a blogger.

What is perfect inaction?
It’s being a perfectionist to the point of perpetual inaction.

  • “I will _____ just as soon as ____”
  • “If I had _____, _____”
  • “Once _____ is squared away, _____”
  • “I could totally do that, but _____”

Do any of these sound familiar?

They can relate to writing. They can relate to design. They can relate to time. Anything!

For example, you may often see other people creating projects/products related to something about which you are passionate, yet instead of admiration you feel a tinge of jealousy because you know that you are capable of doing just as well (if not better), yet you don’t.

Or maybe what started as a one-month “planning” stage has turned into two months, three months, six months, a year, or more. Or perhaps scrapped entirely. 🙁

It could even be something as simple as not being able to write your first blog post.

It’s not just procrastination. It’s perfect inaction.

You are literally “not doing” because of a fear of failure, a fear of not being perfect, a fear of not receiving approval, or a fear of not being good enough.

Instead of perfect inaction, strive for imperfect action. Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time!

In the words of Nike and Shia LaBeouf, just do it!

Your First Blog Post: 5 Ways to Stop Worrying & Start Posting

Your blog is live. The world is your oyster. The sky is the limit.

Yet a blank canvas stares you in the face.

“What do I write about first? Will it be good enough? Crap.”

Taking the plunge and making that first post can be brutal. The desire to create “the perfect initial post” can cause people to lock up in fear.

The best piece of advice I can give to any first-time blogger is that the perfect post does not exist. Even people who have been blogging for years can come up with lackluster posts from time to time. Don’t let that first post slip through your fingers due to an irrational fear. Just go for it!

Here are some tips I have found to be useful in past blogging efforts for conquering the fear of making that first post:

Do Your Homework

Believe it or not, regardless of the type of blog you are aiming to establish, there is a 99% chance that similar blogs already exist. Start by checking them out and familiarizing yourself with the kind of content they are posting. Pay attention to the voice they are using and the frequency at which they are posting. You will get an idea about what is working and what is not.

By looking around, you will also find inspiration for some great posts you can add to your own site. Take key points from the content you like and expand upon it with your own flavor and tone of voice.

Write Multiple Variations

Once you have decided on a topic, consider writing multiple variations simultaneously. At some point during the process, one variation will feel right and you will be able to scrap the others. By taking this route instead of constantly revising the same post, you will avoid tunnel vision and wind up with a stronger piece in the end.

Don’t Overthink It

The biggest mistake bloggers can make is to overthink their posts. For the same reasons I recommend simultaneously writing multiple variations of your post in its early stages, stubbornly overthinking a single approach to your topic can put you in an endless cycle of edits that results in your final piece being completely different from its original scope.

Don’t Second Guess Yourself

After finally finishing your post and giving it a thorough proofreading, don’t start going back and editing core pieces of the post. Don’t rewrite paragraphs; don’t make major changes to your main ideas and key points. You could spend an eternity in the editing process if you let yourself. Be confident in what you have written and run with it!

Keep Moving

One great way to keep yourself from dwelling on that initial post is to come up with your next post ahead of time. Doing this, you will find that as you are writing that initial post, your mind will already be racing with what comes next. This will take away some of the nerves you are feeling about your first post because you will be thinking about the entirety of the blog and its future rather than this one individual post.

The more you can start thinking about your blog as a collection of posts, the less you will have to worry about your initial post.

Set a timeline for finishing the initial post and move on to the next one!

Your initial post is not going to make your break your blog’s success. Don’t worry. As long as your first post is in line with the goals you wish to accomplish as a blog, you have nothing to be concerned about. Have faith in your abilities, write it, and move on!

Time to make it happen! 🙂

How to Write a Fascinating Personal Bio in 7 Easy Steps

Does your personal bio lack flare? 🙁

Today I want to talk about a handful of ways to amplify the impact of the personal bio on the “about me” section of your blog.

This is extremely important yet often overlooked and undervalued, as it can help you connect with your audience and build a loyal following.

The key to writing a good bio is to always keep your audience in mind and how it is you wish to connect with them.

Here are seven helpful tips to remember when getting ready to write your personal bio and put your best foot forward:

1. Connect with your audience. Your audience has a personality. The voice used throughout your blog should connect with this audience. Get to know your audience and you will understand what voice resonates with them the most.

2. Give people a reason to read what you write. Start your bio by telling people why it is they should want to be on your blog in the first place. Specify the type of people you are looking to attract and what you are looking to accomplish. People who connect with your “mission” will become loyal readers.

3. Build credibility. If you have anything that sets you and your blog apart, mention it! Awards, accomplishments and education are all good things to mention in a bio if they will help to endear you to your audience.

4. Feature a good picture. Since your bio is all about you, a picture speaks volumes. Let your visitors see the person behind the blog. People feel more connected to a blog/website when they know there is a real person at the controls. If you would rather not use your photo, at least feature an illustration that represents you and your personality.

5. State your intent. It’s important to specify how you intend to help your readers. Make it clear that you not only want to help, but mention how you are going to help. Be specific. This shows your intention to provide value.

6. Write clearly. Connecting with people is a lot easier when you are genuine. Rather than use complex, unnatural vocabulary, aim for everyday language. Treat it like a conversation between you and your readers.

7. Specify a call to action (CTA). If people are already taking the time to read your bio, it’s the perfect time to nudge them toward whatever it is you would like for them to do next. For example, connect on social media or sign up for your newsletter.

Ready to get started? Use the tips above and you will be well on your way.

Let me know some of your favorite tips, too!

Hello & Welcome

Welcome to Brianna’s Blog Boutique! (Or just Blog Boutique for short.) Thanks for stopping by!

My name is Brianna and I have been fascinated with design, writing, photography, and blogging for as long as I can remember. This is my little corner of the web to talk about the things I love.

The site will be organized into four primary categories:

  • Writing Techniques
  • Motivational Tidbits
  • Design Inspiration
  • Blogging Tips

Please check back regularly. 🙂