A Self Imposed Barrier

Empower Employees With A Wiki - People across the table from each other with a tablet and cell phone on table, taking notes on paper

A lot can go into writing a blog post, but not all that goes in is necessary. Some of it could be detrimental to getting the post out there. Putting less into a post can lower the barriers to getting your thoughts documented and out to the world.

Sometimes it can be as simple as sitting down and writing down your thoughts. No length requirements, no need for an image or illustration.

There are only two requirements for your post:

  1. Write down your thoughts and ideas.
  2. Read and revise at least once.

You should have simple goals that are achievable to allow you to stick with them, any other addition is a barrier to your writing.

There are many things that can present a barrier to posting. I experience them first hand, I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to barriers.

I have several barriers of my own, and my conscious effort to reduce them is by writing this post.

Self imposed barriers make my postings more difficult, and rather than posting, I choose not post at all.

Identify Barriers

Identifying your personal barriers is the first step to removing them.

Here are a few barriers I’ve recognized:

  • Every post needs to have a picture to add value. It’s true that a well chosen picture or illustration can add value, but it’s not always necessary. Sometimes it’s best to focus on the writing only. Some of the best blogs out there are simple and straightforward text only.
  • I need to keep a regular post schedule. Many sources recommend it, but don’t let it become a barrier. It should remain only a suggestion. I made it a goal to post weekly (or bi-weekly), on Monday’s. This created a backlog of ideas. If I missed my Monday post, I felt like I couldn’t post again until the next Monday. Currently I’ve been posting on any day of the week and on occasion weekends too.
  • Posts need to be a certain length. Length doesn’t dictate the value of the post, and I’ve realized this over time. My posts vary in length from 300 words to over 2,000 words. The important part is that I’m writing something of value to me (and some others), no matter the length.

These are a few barriers that I’ve struggled with and identified. I still have to be conscious about them to make sure they don’t dictate my posting habits.

It’s necessary to recognize that writing a post is more important than listening to your self imposed barriers.

Call to Action

Think about what some of your barriers in writing are. If you don’t have a blog, think about some of the barriers you impose on yourself in your life.

What are some of your self imposed barriers to writing? How do you plan on achieving or have you achieved freedom from these barriers?

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6 Comments

  1. Ryan Tracey on June 10, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Word count is the worst. Just say what you want to say.

    • Nick Leffler on June 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Absolutely agree. Sometimes the shorter the article the better if well articulated.

      One of the reasons I love your posts Ryan, they’re always the perfect length and with great content too. I never look at them and think to myself “do I really have time to read this?”

  2. tanyalau on December 28, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Hi Nick – glad I came across this post of yours (I’m enjoying exploring the posts on your blog at the moment actually…!) I’ve always admired the regularity of your posts, and wondered how you managed it. I guess the answer, as I suspected, is that you just *do it* – and have committed to and developed a habit of doing it. I like the advice of just writing down thoughts. I have been thinking about this a fair bit and one of my barriers is over-thinking it…which leads to over editing and taking too long to write the post…and often, not finishing or posting at all. I also haven’t developed a habit of regular writing or carved out a particular time to write, all of which I know would help….developing a regular writing habit and posting regularly is definitely on my resolution list (or perhaps I should say…#resolutionnow) list for 2015!!

    • Nick Leffler on December 28, 2014 at 10:28 am

      I do just *do it* ūüôā at least the past two months I have. I was a bit of a slacker earlier this year and ended up with much fewer posts than I had set out to make during the year. I’ve made up with it by chiseling away at my ideas much quicker the past two months with almost one every week. While I’m not usually that prolific with my posts, I do try every two weeks for a post.

      As you mentioned, over-thinking and over-editing is a huge barrier, one that I also experienced. I believed I needed to cover the topic thoroughly but I’ve realised that’s just not the case. If I miss something that’s great, leaves more room for discussion and perhaps follow-up posts later down the road. So, my posts have gotten a bit more brief but more often and I think this keeps the motivation higher, lowers the barrier for each post and gives me more room for creative freedom.

      I will be writing more about my #ResolutionNow this coming week. I’ve never been a big believer in resolutions for the year to come, so I connect with Resolution Now because it makes me think about things now and what I’m going to now rather than in the future.

      Not setting a year goal that’s too large, just going to take it one day at a time and do my best.

      Thanks Tanya for the comment and I’m glad you’re enjoying exploring some of my past posts, sometimes I forget the stuff I’ve written and have to do that myself lol.

      • tanyalau on December 29, 2014 at 3:47 am

        Thanks Nick for your reply. I think the overthinking thing is pretty common, and I’ve seen advice saying that the best way of overcoming that is to write more, which makes sense – and is consistent with what you’re doing. This attitude was also encapsulated by Simon Terry in this post: http://simonterry.tumblr.com/post/104173633094/share-the-delta Simon is someone else who has mastered the art of short regular “WOL” style postings. I really like the idea behind #resolutionNow breaking things down and focusing on what you need to do now. Thanks for the inspiration Nick!

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