You must have had days where you've felt as if you just can't be bothered to write a blog post. Yesterday (Monday) was one of those days for me, it went a little bit like this...
Yesterday was another typical Monday morning in the VanMarciano household.
The hustle and bustle of the getting kids fed, dressed and ready for school.
The weather outside pretty awful, just our typical wet and windy British November Monday morning.
After dropping the kids off to pre-school for the day, I grabbed myself a large mug of coffee, as per normal, fired up my Macbook and launched my favorite writing app, Byword, to start writing this week's post.
I'd already written down some topic ideas and organized the chapters the night before, so I knew roughly what I wanted to write about.
One little problem, though.
I just didn't feel in the mood for writing anything.
I wasn't inspired, I wasn't motivated, I wasn't in the right frame of mind, I wasn't focused, I just didn't want to write.
I gently closed my laptop shut, looked around my office for a bit and thought for a moment.
After a rather busy and noisy morning getting the kids ready for school, I was just enjoying the peace and quiet.
In fact, the only things I could hear was the sound of the clock ticking on the wall, and the wind howling down the chimney in the other room.
So here's what I did that day, instead of writing my usual blog post.
First, I put on some music, I love listening to ambient sounds like space music or relaxation music to aid sleeping. Yep, even if it's first thing in the morning.
I started my morning by blitzing my office from top to toe, emptying every drawer, file, box and anything else I could find.
I must have spent at least 3 or 4 hours sorting through masses of paperwork, old stationery, files, receipts, invoices, and other general office trash.
I also found a bunch of other weird things that have somehow accumulated in my office over the months, including some of my kid's toys and Lego bricks.
I then went on to sort out my filing system, it was something I'd been meaning to do for a long while now, to be honest.
I then proceeded to clear my work desk, creating some extra space to work in and around.
I found a couple of boxes of old printer cables, phone chargers, old cameras, hardware and old Windows software that I would never use again.
I found a box of redundant business cards, old business and computer books, hardware manuals, they all had to go as well.
I must have filled 3 black bags with trash, I kid you not.
I didn't even realize I had that much junk in my office.
I found stuff that had been hidden away for at least two years.
I found stuff that I'd lost and spent hours searching for in the past, and stuff that I thought I'd actually gotten rid of a long time ago but obviously hadn't. I can be a bit of a hoarder.
Where am I going exactly with all of this you're probably wondering?
Bare with me.
OK so that was my office space done and dusted, but I didn't stop there.
I then fired up my main desktop computer, knowing just how much trash there was on my internal hard drive to clear up.
I proceeded to spend the next 2 hours sorting through what I was going to keep, and archive, and what I was going to trash forever.
I did the same for my laptop as well.
So by the time I had to go and fetch my kiddies from pre-school at 3:30pm, and after 7 cups of coffee.
And, after having listened to almost 6 hours of continuous droning ambient space music.
Not only was my office cleared, not only was my desk cleared and spacious once again, not only was my computers cleared from thousands of dead documents, images, cookies, temporary download files, and other crap...
But my mind was also clear.
I somehow felt lighter in myself.
What a significant difference clearing the clutter from your environment, your workspace makes on your creative state of mind.
By the evening of that very day peeps, and after spending some truly quality time with the family after dinner, I was inspired to write something.
I felt motivated, fresh although a little bit tired, but I wanted to write, and so I did.
But instead of writing the usual stuff that I write about here on this blog, I wrote this little post.
I decided to share my little story of how my day unfolded.
You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say!
That quote above was by the American novelist and short story writer Francis Scott Fitzgerald. I love that quote.
Blog writing doesn't have to be a challenging experience.
You don't need to sweat your pants off while staring at the screen for long periods of time, or until you force yourself to write something because you have to.
You're not creating content for a magazine company where you have to meet a critical 12pm deadline or your boss is going to have your liver for dinner.
I appreciate that it's important to develop a habit of publishing great content regularly, it shows your commitment towards blogging and serving your community.
But seriously, if you don't feel like writing. If you don't feel like blogging at all even, then simply don't do it.
Go and do something else entirely, and it can be anything you want.
For me, it's either doing something practical and productive, or heading down the beach for some surf to clear my mind, or simply spending some quality time with my family.
If you feel as if your creative mind is cluttered with thoughts and obstacles, you'd be surprised at how doing something so simple like "having a good clear out" really helps to clear your mind.
Otherwise, you just have to find the things that will inspire you and make you want to get creative with blog writing.
What I've learned over the years with experimenting with different habits and methods of blogging, in particular, blog writing, is that at the end of the day, blogging is supposed to be enjoyable.
Yes, even if you're blogging for your business.
If you look at the state of blogging today from a broad angle, it would seem as if everyone has taken the darn thing way too seriously.
"We must do this that way, we can't do this or that, we've got to create x amount of content this week, connect with x amount of people in this niche and that niche...",
It's really become a bit of a joke I think.
We're all going to have long periods where we won't be able to stop thinking about the next post we're going to write about.
But there will also be times when you'll feel as if you couldn't care less about writing or blogging or doing anything online.
I've been blogging for over 5 years and I still have those days, yesterday was one of them.
We're human beings at the end of the day, we're not content churning machines that can be switched on and put to work at any time of the day.
Those writers and editors working 12-hour shifts at publishing companies don't really have a choice, they have to be creative whether they like it or not.
But sometimes being creative every single day doesn't necessarily mean you're going to remain focused on being productive, to produce the best content possible every single time.
Don't feel like writing a blog post this week? Meh, then don't bother. Go and do something else that inspires you.
I know this post is slightly different from the normal stuff I put out, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
If you enjoyed reading this week's post, do share it with your friends on social media, I appreciate you as always.
Have a great rest of the week and happy blogging.
Fabrizio Van Marciano.