10 Rules to Help You Punch Those Damn Keys2 min read

The blank page tends to scare people into a state of inactivity. The possibilities are endless, the desire to create perfection so intense that it is easier to do anything else.

Perfectionism and procrastination have an awful lot in common, and the truth is that most bloggers waste an insane amount of time thinking about writing. Weeks go by like this, and then they start wishing they have written when they had the chance, but now… they’ll just write a short post apologizing to their readers for not posting anything.

And then the cycle resumes.

The essential part of writing is to punch those damn keys. Don’t think, just write. You’ll be able to rewrite, one, twice, as many times as it’s necessary.

Today you focus on writing like a lunatic.

Today, you’re going to punch those damn keys…

And the best way to do that is to follow a few simple rules. Ten, in fact …

  1. Write with the door closed. Utter solitude, complete silence.
  2. If you do not feel like writing, do not do anything else but sit at your desk with the intention to write.
  3. Punch those damn keys, even if no idea comes to mind. Oftentimes the act of typing random words wakes up your brain.
  4. Use your imagination. Force yourself to connect dots that shouldn’t even be in the same Universe.
  5. Read some of the rules employed by the greats, then consciously decide to break them.
  6. It’s OK if you want to give up. Don’t. If you feel like crying, cry. But then you must punch those damn keys.
  7. Start with someone else’s words. That’s why a lot of my blog posts start with quotes.
  8. Keep punching those keys until you are done.
  9. Once you finish writing your blog post, leave it alone for a few days — you risk ruining everything if you decide to edit right away.
  10. Congratulate yourself. Give yourself a reward. After all, you managed to defeat the creative man’s worst enemy (the blank page) by sheer power of will.

What are some of the rules you use when blogging?

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

33 thoughts on “10 Rules to Help You Punch Those Damn Keys2 min read

  1. Christian, Great stuff. I’m printing this one out and taping to the bathroom mirror. Your rule #9 “Once you finish writing your blog post, leave it alone for a few days — you risk ruining everything if you decide to edit right away” is worth its weight in gold. The problem with Views from the Edge is that the posts often zoom in on a news event. There’s a very short window of time. You’re causing me to re-think, but my newspaper editorial writer friend tells me to get it out…fast…or the opportunity for engaging the public will be lost. Your thoughts? You’re my blogging Yoda!

    1. Haha, thank you, Gordon. I haven’t been called a blogging Yoda, so thank you for that.

      Well, if it’s news or you’re covering a topic that is time sensitive (and could soon become irrelevant) then, yeah, discard rule number 9.

  2. 10 is a good number. The Bible dictates 10 as a number of completion. What fuels my blogging? Spur of the moment. The very second I’m inspired by something, however small, I document and I write until I can return to finish when time allows.
    Being a hard working dad and husband, time is rarely on my side. I start enough to get the general idea out, I come back to it when time allows more freedom to write, and I always ensure to keep myself in everything. If it’s not personal, it’s stolen and vain. Keep it real or don’t keep it at all.

  3. Thank you Cristian, the blank page frenzy? i put my first drafts on a sticky note half visible on the task pane. So i dont look at what am typing but at what my brain is giving me. This way i typing smiling and bursting out and twisting my face. I enjoy it but i wouldnt call it a trick. Whenver i used Word on Windows my stories would dispel and i had to think hard. That white would just obstruct me. Thank ya

  4. Thanks Cristian. Like my favorite quote :If there’s a will, there’s a way”. And yes my worst enemy is the blank page. A lot of ideas in my mind but I get stuck on where and how to start. So punching the damn keys..is a good way to start..for sure something will come up.

  5. Just reread this post. I’ve been working on not procrastinating. The biggest key for me is to not do something else INSTEAD of writing. Keeping my butt in the chair is the most difficult and most rewarding part.

  6. I feel like you were talking to me with this post!! I particularly love the part about sticking to the book you’re writing and forgetting about the books you are going to write. I have started 5 books because I get a little way down the road and change my mind about which book to write first. I’m committing to punching those damn keys until I finish the one I am working on now!
    Is there ever anything that keeps you from writing or gets in your way?

    1. I wrote my book and thought, now I’ll find an agent. After doing some research I discovered that I should have been establishing a platform a long time ago. I’m not sure which is more difficult, writing the book or writing the blog and all that comes with it! Good luck on your book! My tip for staying focused: don’t start a show on Netflix that’s seven seasons long! (I’m on season two.)

      1. 😂 That’s great advice! The Netflix trap is real!!
        Your point about establishing a platform is a really good one. I was advised that it’s better to have your following well established before heading out with stuff to sell, whether that’s books, courses or whatever. That said, establishing a following isn’t proving that straightforward either!
        Have you got the Writers and Artists Yearbook? Apparently that’s a great place to start narrowing your search and finding the best agents for you. There’s an interesting podcast called “self-publishing school” that might help you decide on next steps. I’ve only listened to a couple of episodes but found the information valuable. Good luck on finding an agent and getting your book published!

      2. Thank you very much for your help! I will be sure to look into the book and the podcast. As I venture out into this strange world of blogging, I’m encouraged by helpful people like you! (And by our host Cristian Mihai.) Thank you again and I wish you the best!

  7. With my blog, I try to follow some simple rules for what I do. Here are a few:
    1) Follow a regular schedule of posting (my readers look forward to this)
    2) Develop an inventory of future posts (I am doing more since I will be traveling in a few weeks).
    3) Never be afraid to tackle a new topic (my niche is primarily poetry).

  8. As a newbie to the blogging world (I’m still working on my profile pic), your advice has been very helpful. Yours was one of the first blogs I followed. Thank you for your valuable insights and guidance.

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