There must have been fifteen different alternate beginnings for this post before I finally went “Simbelah it!” and typed this one anyway. It’s been an irregular past couple of years on this blog and too naturally a lot of the regular readers have fled (ja lo sibe?). As you might imagine, I spent a lot of time this evening thinking of possible posts I could drop here that will bring my readers back.
So I checked my drafts.
I looked through some of the stuff I have written over the years.
And so I decided to just go on and write something fresh and new. Something relevant that a lot of my friends could relate to.
And that was when I thought of how many other writers or bloggers may be going through this same thing, after being away from their blogs for a long time. Then, I decided to be their hero.
This post is really just me scribbling a bunch of stuff together and hoping for a nugget or two here and there. Much like a FOX X-men movie script. But for the purpose of erudition, let’s call it The Four things to do when you are coming back from a blogging hiatus or The Four things to do when Y.A.C.B.F.A.B.H for short.
Ignore the rules
You will note, I gave no warning before beginning. Good! I have been writing a bit about rules lately, see this here and see ehn…rules stifle. When you have been out of the game for a while, the last thing you really want to be bothered about is having the appropriate word length to suit millennials or Gen-Xers, SEO, keywords etc. Abeg! Just grab a pen and write what about the first thing that strikes you, and keep going even if the beans on the fire is burn…shit!
Ginger yaself! Motivate yourself
The reason you probably stopped blogging for a while was likely due to a lack of motivation and/or inspiration, you just got married and the honeymoon took too long, you have a kid now, you work bankers hours, you were writing exams or just plain old laziness (which is mostly where I fall in). I have heard it all. And the answer’s the same: you really need to get back that motivation and ginger before you can begin again. Jump into those situations that usually motivate you: swim, run around the house, argue relentlessly with an Ikwerre landlord, dance, read a good book or see a good movie (preferably one written about writing or writers), cook, go to church, etc. You can also join in with a group of fellow writers. There are a lot of these groups near you, I know some in Lagos, and I am organizing one over at Pitakwatimes.com in Port Harcourt. A group of other people with similar passions can serve to put you in the frame of mind you need to start.
This here is the part a lot of “creatives” hate. This is the part I hate (yes, I am an affirmed creative – whatever it means). I mean, this “adulting” thing is hard enough, with having to juggle two jobs, partnerships at like three fledgling startups, having a girlfriend, and then there is church and my volunteer work at the bakery. It’s not like its back when I was a student or a Youth Corps member right? Plan to blog at least once or twice a week, for starters, then up that ante until you are back to your full rhythm.
Plan goals and check out the stats
A lot of us “pleasure (I blog for pleasure really, don’t plan to make any money from it) bloggers” don’t check the stats page on our dashboard. Until the end of the year and that uber-depressing and annoyingly optimistic letter sent from WordPress, we don’t even bother with our page views, comments etc. Well, you should start now. Check your daily /weekly stats and by measuring them against your goals, you have an idea what metrics to improve on and what to stop doing entirely.
Surely, it’s not going to work like a dream, and you are likely to fall once or twice (or not at all, Unicorn), but that’s why nothing ever leaves the internet. You are always free to come back to this post and read again what you should do. Me? I will be starting from number 1 tomorrow. What about you? Ever been on a blogging hiatus? What did you do to come back? Share your experiences. (I need all the help I can get).
- I nearly did not post this so I won’t be accused of not drinking my own medicine
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GOD bless Nigeria.