I hear so many bloggers say they struggle with writing consistently.
It’s hard to sit down and write day after day. That’s why we need support, and tools, to keep us going. Here are 4 that I’ve found enormously helpful in my writing and blogging journey.
1. 750 Words
How it works: 750 words is a simple website where you create an account, log in, and write 750 words a day.
How it motivates you: You can earn badges, see your streaks, and cheer on other members of the community.
Another awesome component of 750 words is that you can see data on what you’ve written. (Really cool for a data nerd like me.)
What I love about 750 words:
- It’s a non-distracting writing space – just a white page for you to fill with your words.
- You can write and engage with the community all in one place.
- You can see who else is writing in real time.
What 750 words is missing:
- There’s no place to comment or have real conversations.
- You can’t format your writing so it’s not great for writing blog posts, unless you want to copy and paste to do your formatting afterward.
The cost: It’s free for the first 30 days, and then requires a $5 a month membership fee.
How it works: My 500 words is a 30 day challenge that includes a private Facebook group and a daily email with writing inspiration. You can also participate in the challenge on Twitter by using the hashtag #my500words.
How it motivates you:
- Daily prompts give you ideas so you never wonder what to write about.
- The Facebook group is extremely supportive.
- The daily emails remind you to sit down and start writing.
- You can also join the Coach.me app/community and track your progress there in the group dedicated specifically to My 500 Words.
What I love about My 500 Words:
- The Facebook group. I joined and wrote a message introducing myself to the group. Over 10 people welcomed me. In my experience, that’s a very warm reception. The group is also very active, with many people posting and commenting every day.
- The prompts. There are 251 of them (listed in a document on the Facebook group). Everyday, a new prompt is pinned to the top of the group.
What My 500 Words is missing:
- A place to actually do the writing. Of course, there are TONS of applications to use to actually write, so this isn’t a big deal.
- An integrated tracking system. Yes, you can use Coach.me (and I use it myself, for this and other habits). But you have to go to a bunch of places while using this – Facebook, a writing application, and Coach.me.
Learn more and sign up!
3. Blogging Challenges
How it works: Sign up for challenges to blog everyday.
How it motivates you: Different challenges have different incentives. Some of them incorporate daily comment chains on Facebook with a chance to get comments on your blog, while others offer prizes to people who complete the challenges.
What I love about blogging challenges:
- They not only motivate you to blog more, but they offer a way to get your blog read by more people as well.
- You can discover other people’s blogs and network in the blogging community.
What blogging challenges are missing:
- Every blogging challenge is a little different, and it can be hard to find out which challenges are happening when, because many of them only happen on certain months of the year.
Here are a few blogging challenges to consider signing up for:
These aren’t just WordPress-based challenges, but a list of challenges from all over the Internet. It’s the most complete listing I’ve found. You can organize the challenges by topic so that you don’t have to sift through to find what works for you.
WordPress has daily prompt suggestions. Write to the prompt and you’ll get more views and comments on your blog.
Only occurring in certain months (I did the January one, and another is coming up in April), this challenge supports your blog by giving you a place to share your writing and comment on others’ as well.
4. Natalie Goldberg’s rules for writing practice
How it works: It’s not an app. It’s not an online community. It’s just 7 simple rules to help you get out of your own way and write.
How the rules motivate you:
- They allow you to write what you really want to write without worrying about your value as a person.
- They give you a framework for writing.
What I love about the rules for writing practice:
- When I write using the rules, my authentic voice comes out more than it ever does without them.
- I end up writing about things I didn’t even realize I wanted to write about.
- They transform writing into a therapeutic process.
What the rules are missing:
- They’re just rules. They don’t give you a community or a framework for writing. That’s where the other tools come into play.
Learn more by downloading the rules here.
Each of these 4 tools can help you write consistently. But they each support you in a different way. My advice? Use all 4. Why not?