Have you ever started a blog and not followed through with your goal of publishing posts on a consistent schedule? Or have you begun a blogged book project and never completed the manuscript? If so, you might have a habit of starting but not finishing blogging projects.
And if that is you, then you likely have a well-worn mental audiobook running 24-7 retelling the story of how you don’t finish blogging projects you start. And that negative mental chatter, which goes on consciously and subconsciously, won’t help you blog a book or publish posts consistently.
So, how can you increase the likelihood of completing a blogged book or keeping to the blog schedule you created? How can you create a habit of finishing blogging projects? Ask yourself powerful questions…and pay attention to your answers. They will reveal why you don’t finish what you start and provide some insights that lead to new actions–like completing your blogged book or keeping to that blogging schedule.
I often ask the members of the Inspired Creator Community and the Nonfiction Writers’ University questions when I coach them. Their answers allow them to come to new conclusions and insights that help them get the results they desire.
I developed the following 10 questions (along with the additional follow-up questions) specifically so you can “coach” yourself. Let your answers guide you to new ways of being and thinking that help you finish your blogging projects.
1. What would happen if you completed your old blogging projects or a new one you want to start?
Imagine that it’s December 1, and you’ve completed a blogging project. You kept to your blogging schedule and published posts consistently, or you published all the posts you planned for your blogged book. What then? Notice how you would feel, what you would do, and how you or your life might change. Pay attention to whether you like or dislike the impact created by finishing your blogging project.
Also, notice how you (or someone else) would benefit from your project getting done and out into the world. For instance, a benefit might be that you make a difference in blog readers’ lives or start a movement with your book.
2. What would happen if you didn’t complete a blogging project you previously started or a new one you start soon?
Imagine it’s December 1, but your project is unfinished this time. What happens then? Notice how you would feel, what you would do, and how you or your life might change—for the better or worse. Pay attention to whether you like or dislike the impact created by not finishing your blogging project.
Consider the benefits of not finishing what you started—for yourself or others. For example, maybe a benefit is that you don’t have to face rejection or criticism.
3. What do you gain by continuing to be a blogger who doesn’t finish what they start?
This old story that you don’t finish what you start has served you somehow, or you wouldn’t still be telling it to yourself…and believing it. So what do you gain from that identity—being someone who doesn’t complete projects?
Perhaps you get to avoid the hard work necessary to become a successful blogger, or you don’t have to face rejection from literary agents or publishers.
4. Are you truly committed to the blogging project?
You can see what you are committed to simply by looking at your life. For example, if you watch reruns of MAS*H every night for two hours, you are committed to that activity. If you exercise every morning for 30 minutes, you are committed to that. And if you always have credit card debt, you are committed to overspending.
What about your blogging? Do you work on your blogging project every day—or not? If so, you are committed. If not, you lack commitment.
Why might you not be committed? Maybe you started a blog-a-book project and realized it doesn’t interest you or no longer feel passionate about the topic. As a result, you stop feeling committed to its completion and don’t prioritize completing it.
Possibly you have been told you should write or blog a book, so you started doing so. Then you realize you really hate writing books; you only like blogging. Blogging a book wasn’t your dream but someone else’s wish for you. So, you lack commitment and don’t write or published posts related to your book.
5. Do you believe the project is valuable because you, as the blogger, have or can add value?
Some of the most common reasons bloggers don’t write and publish posts consistently or complete their blogged book projects stem from their beliefs about their own value and the value of their work. If you believe you are not good enough, don’t have anything to say, or can’t produce an impactful book or post, you won’t finish your blogging project. Instead, you’ll think, “Why bother?”
A transformational coach once told me to “value my value.” Take that advice yourself, and you’ll likely finish your book project.
Why? You’ll know that you have something valuable to say and offer in the pages of your book. And you are denying your readers that value, which could change their lives.
6. What are you afraid will happen if you finish the blogging project?
Most bloggers will say they are afraid when asked why they don’t complete blogged book projects or publish posts consistently. Like them, you might assume you are scared of something. If you weren’t, you would be completing your blogging projects and putting them out into the world, right?
So, what are you afraid of? What’s your fear of choice? The book not selling. Having to show up, be seen, and play big. Being rejected. The hard work. What you might have to give up.
What if you removed that fear by realizing it is worry (not fear) about something that may never come to pass. In fact, you aren’t in any real danger, and whatever you “fear” hasn’t happened yet…and probably won’t.
So get excited about the future you visualized already—the one with all the great benefits resulting from finishing your blogging project!
7. Are you the type of person—or blogger—you want to be?
When you began writing, you probably had a pretty good idea of what you thought being a blogger would be like. You imagined being a blogger…taking on that identity.
Take a moment to remember who you thought you would be (maybe an author), how you thought you would feel (like accomplished), what you would do (such as blog and publish books consistently), and what you would have (possibly a series of published nonfiction books).
You aren’t living into that identity when you don’t complete the blogging projects you start, are you? You aren’t being that person who can do that—the blogger you know you can and want to be.
8. Who would you need to be to finish the blogging projects you start?
Given that you have not consistently finished the blogging projects you started, it’s safe to assume you aren’t being the type of person who does complete projects. You don’t have the identity of a person who finishes what they started. So, what kind of person or blogger do you need to be to complete your projects?
What type of person gets the results you desire? If you were that type of person, what identity characteristics would you possess, like being committed, self-integral, productive, focused, or tenacious?
9. What would you do every day if you had the characteristics you identified by answering question #8?
Imagine that you are a blogger who finishes what they start; how would you live your life? What habits might you have? What activities would you engage in? What tasks would you complete? What skills would you learn?
For example, you might have the habit of finishing what you start, right? Or you might write every day, publish a post weekly, learn to write a book proposal, use social media to promote your site, or research your topic one day per week.
10. Is your blog project worth fighting for?
Bloggers who complete their book projects feel a strong sense of purpose and mission and are willing to sacrifice for the project. They know the blog or blogged book is essential and prioritize writing posts and publishing them.
When life happens, they don’t let it get in the way of blogging. Instead, they fight for the time to write and publish posts. They tenaciously find ways to complete the blogged book manuscript and get it into readers’ hands—even if that means negotiating with a partner or asking for help from friends.
And, if your website is not discovered by agents, it might mean sending queries or proposals to hundreds of agents in an effort to get the blogged book published. When you know your blogged book or blog is worth fighting for, you will do anything within your means to complete and publish the project.
Take Action on Your Insights
You’ve answered a lot of questions. Hopefully, they inspired introspection and powerful insights. Now it’s time to take action on the insights.
After all, if you just file those “aha” moments away, nothing will change. And if nothing changes, nothing changes.
That means you’ll continue starting but not completing blogging projects. I don’t think you’d be reading this post—or have answered the questions I posed—if you wanted that.
So take your insights and apply them to being a blogger who completes the projects you start. Then, do what that type of blogger would do, and before you know it, you’ll have a finished your blogging project.
Do you struggle to finish the blogging projects you start? After answering the questions above, do you know how to change that habit? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post on social media or with any bloggers who don’t finish what they start.
Also, if you want me to coach you around these questions to help you see your blind spots and change your blogging habits, reach out for a quick chat or join the Nonfiction Writers’ University for group Author Coaching.
Would you like to write and publish nonfiction work, like articles, blog posts, books, or reports…and become a successful author? Check out the Nonfiction Writers’ University. Get the basic education you need and the coaching to help you succeed as a nonfiction writer. Take advantage of monthly live educational and group coaching events. Enjoy a 30-day trial membership for only $1.
If you’d like help getting out of your way so you can blog, join the Inspired Creator Community, where you can access personal and spiritual growth coaching live each month. Learn more here.
Photo courtesy of Anna Tolipova