I am moving

Am excited to announce that after years of dawdling, I have finally launched my site. It is at rowenamorais.com.

What’s new

This new site has just been launched in August 2016. The focus is clear  : I am helping my readers to write, to get published and to strengthen their personal brand.

It’s been difficult to figure out what I’d like to do. I look back at my history and I see myself writing about all kinds of things, it’s a bit of a mish-mash. But I also know it’s a journey and you have to begin to get somewhere. It’s just daunting to be so exposed, to have your digital footprint so clearly visible.

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them – Aristotle

Yet, for the very reasons I have been less than satisfied with my efforts so far, it has helped to distill what I am good at, what I care about and what I’d like to focus on.

Why you should care

If you’re an existing follower of mine (via email), I have migrated you onto my newsletter. If you’re a WordPress  blog follower, I am not sure how to migrate you over so please take this as an invitation to check out my new site. Hopefully, if you like what you see, and if it makes sense for your journey, then you will sign up for my newsletter. No pressure intended, no commitment required and you can always opt-out anytime you like.

If you’re interested in writing and building your brand name through the written word, you’re probably looking at creating or bettering your website or blog. You probably already do some form of content marketing, whether through ad-hoc pieces like eBooks or regular pieces like long-form content.

This is what I can help with.

What’s next?

I intend to blog at my new site, from now on. I will still keep this site up but don’t intend to post anything new here. So, I hope you will check rowenamorais.com out. I’d love to hear from you, whether it’s suggestions for improvements, other things I could work on or just to say hello.

Hopefully, we meet again.

Are you staring at a blank page again?

When faced with a blank page, it’s so easy to walk away, find something to distract yourself with or find something urgent you need to tick off your list.

I deal with this daily and typically, I am reminded of this poster I see at my gym of some sweaty ex national athlete  (because a normal person wouldn’t be as convincing?) working out with furrowed brow and looking very serious with the caption – “It doesn’t get easier, you just get better at it.”

So true.

Go through the pain of this process, there’s no avoiding it.

I am dealing with content development at least 6 days of the week, in some form or other, whether for work or my own blog. Planning distribution, editing articles, SEO, figuring out how to socialise articles seems easier compared to coming up with new, original content.

What’s the best way to fix this?

Go through the pain of this process, there’s no avoiding it.
You come out stronger, trust me. I have been there.

It’s what you need to develop your voice.

But write. Write daily.

I know it sounds cliche. I never really understood what it meant until I went through this process. Of course, you know your voice. But speaking is very different from writing. There’s the element of permanence and certainty in what is written that can be made lighter in a conversation. You will write and be disgusted and what comes out – how boring and unoriginal it may sound after you’ve spent hours on it. But do it anyway. Journal if you need to, save it as a draft even.But write. Write daily.

Like getting the smoky eye look down pat or cooking up an awesome paella, you need to get it wrong many times before you finally get it right. You need time and space to figure out what you will say, how you will do it and the core messages you will keep coming back to without even realising.

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.
#makeithappen

How do you face the blank page? Pls give me some tips! Share your thoughts in the comments, as I too want to learn from you.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog on the entrepreneurial journey. I also write for Women of HR and post on LinkedIn. Let’s connect, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

Still in the ‘struggle’ phase of building this writing habit

It’s ironic, for me at least, that after posting about the difficulties of the writing habit, that I should just bump into not one but two interesting posts on habits and writing. Ben Yu posted yesterday on Habits, explaining how he had an unbroken record of posting twice a week until travel put a serious dent in this effort. Really worth reading if you are struggling with building any habit and I’d like to quote from Ben :

“For anything that we wish to do, we must make the effort until it becomes effortless, and it is precisely through that effort that effortlessness will rise.”

Music to my ears and I am waiting for this effortlessness to rise within me.

And then I read another post of similar vein by Nathan Kontny entitled During. Nathan talks about how he wasn’t growing any audience, how he gave up and then how he changed his mind  based on a commitment he decided to make. Great stuff.

Granted both these posts are about building habits around writing regularly, but this can apply to any habit you’re trying to create, can’t it?

I have to say, their comments really resonate with me and consequently, strengthened my resolve to post daily. Being a pretty private person, I have to confess that laying it out here like this, and walking everyone through this journey, really goes against the grain for me. But it is in this very act of putting it out there, that I hold myself accountable.

So I am working also on how I can support this habit. Intent is not enough and just sitting down to write every day can be a nightmare. Thoughts come to you throughout the day, and I bet that there is a fair bit that you feel that you can expand on. But if you dont have the ability to make a note about it at the time, to reference it somewhere until you get to your desk, then it gets lost. Trying to recollect four hours later rarely helps, I find. So, have pen/paper with you at all times – the electronics help but hey, so does the good old-fashioned notebook.

Someone recently said you should have an editorial calendar as well – a sort of sifting place where you can store all these random thoughts or ideas you want to get out there. Keep them in one place and then you can refer to it. You simply cannot expect it to flow when you are ready to write. Too much time is then spent on working the flow instead of on the writing itself – both of which take time and effort to complete.

So, there you go. Another tick in the box. For today at least.

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