Draft Drafts Not Failed Posts
If you’re like me, you don’t come up with one or two good topics to blog on each day. Despite the fact that readers like to have a regular source of information (anyone know someone who reads a daily newspaper?) writing, at least for me, doesn’t quite work like that. I’ll see an article or be asked a question and the blogging bug will bite me. I’ll sit down and crank out as many posts as I can until I run out of ideas. Unfortunately, the blogging bug doesn’t bite nearly as often as I need it to and I actually have to *gasp* work on a blog post. As I and countless others have said, blogging takes a lot of hard work and dedication and a lot of times that means sitting down and muscling out a post even when you’re not quite inspired. I’ve already written one post about how to beat “Blogger’s Block” but today I’d like to highlight a feature of WordPress and most other blogging platforms: Drafts.
Drafts are of course unfinished posts that have been saved for later. Previously drafts were posts I’d given up on or abandoned mid-way through the post. The only time I’d go back through the drafts was to clean out the clutter. However, before long I realized that I had been miss using one of the most powerful features in blogging. Rather than just a repository for failed posts that didn’t work out as I had hoped, I began using the draft bin as a storage space for post ideas. Once or twice a week I sit down to brainstorm topics and ideas and store them as drafts. I write up a quick sentence or two describing the idea and then move on to the next. The next time the blogging bug bites me, I’ve got a list of ideas to plow through until I’m all blogged out. If I find myself struggling to turn out a post, I scroll through the list of ideas until one jumps out at me. On the occasions I get halfway through the post and decide it’s just not working I’ll strip it down to the main idea or point and save it as yet another draft. I might not have gotten a post out of my efforts but at least I’m left with an idea to come back to later.
Now, when I log in and see a whole host of drafts, I don’t see a bunch of posts that didn’t turn out right. Instead I now see potential posts and sources of inspiration. If over the next week you find yourself looking for something to write about I’d challenge you to start change the way you view drafts. Take an hour or so and do nothing but brainstorm post ideas. Write down any ideas that you come up with and save them each as drafts. Then the next time you’re needing some inspiration, scroll through your drafts and see what’s there.
Please feel free to share your experiences or ideas on using drafts. It’s worked well for me (in fact this post was one such post) but I’d love to hear you’re comments on the topic.