Punch the damn keys.
I’m sure you’ve read this line in most of my articles. It’s become a mantra of mine, while also becoming The Art of Blogging’s unofficial tagline.
But what does it mean, to punch the keys?
Here’s a harsh truth:
There’s an art to blogging. This means that those who truly make it as bloggers bend or even sometimes break the rules.
Great bloggers think outside the box. The greatest bloggers think like there’s no box.
That being said, there’s a certain rhythm, a certain music that great writing makes in the hearts and minds of anyone who reads it.
This is what punching the keys means.
Lukewarm Is No Good
I’ve made friends, worked with, and mentored a lot of bloggers over the years. And, the bitter truth, most of them are not successful because their content is lukewarm.
They are insecure about the quality of their words, they are selfish, impatient, and often compare themselves with other bloggers who have been around for a decade or so.
The outliers, so to speak. The ones who put in their 10,000 hours of work and 10,000 hours of procrastination.
A wishy-washy blogger is going to struggle to punch the damn keys. They lack the passion, the conviction, the fortitude to punch those keys.
Punching those keys means to promise yourself that you’re done being inconsistent, insecure, unreliable.
The best articles I ever wrote were the ones when I didn’t even had to think about what I was doing. I wrote my feelings, my ideas, and I shared them. That was it.
I didn’t have to think about whether someone would read them, or what they’d have to say about it.
I just wrote.
What Sets Your Soul on Fire?
Answer this honestly.
What keeps you up at night?
What are the topics and ideas you’re most passionate about? The ones you can’t stop thinking about?
What are the words you fell in love with?
This is how you punch those keys.
You punch those keys the moment you realize that you’d better write your truth, and nothing but your truth, and that there’s nothing anyone else can give you. There’s nothing they can take from you.
Punching those keys means to set yourself free, to break away from the rules that don’t make much sense.
Punching those keys means to write your story the way you want to, to stop wanting to please people, to stop worrying if you’ll get your daily dose of validation with what you’re writing about right now.
In order to punch the keys, you forget about the likes, the readers, or the money.
You Are Making Music
Sometimes it’s best to forget that you are writing.
Instead, focus on making music.
How do your words sound when you read them aloud? Can you feel the emotional undertone of your article? Does its rhythm enhance the reading experience?
You think about an idea, you have a rough vision of where you want to go, and then you sit at your desk and punch those damn keys in order to make music.
You do this in order to shut off the inner editor. Or the inner reader. Or the part of you that wants to please everyone.
That’s how you punch those damn keys.
Listen to the sound of your fingers tapping on the keyboard.
How does it sound?
Is it a gentle tap, barely audible?
If yes, maybe you should be writing about something else. Or slap yourself a couple of times to snap out of self-doubt and worry.
I am punching these words into existence right now because I know how you feel. I know how it feels like to constantly worry whether people will like your stuff, whether they’ll say nice things about it. I know how it feels.
I also know what’s on the other side of fear, of procrastination, of self-doubt: experiences you’ll never forget like seeing your name on the cover of a book, checking your stats to see thousands of people read your words, and feeling the euphoria of knowing there’s nothing left in the tank.
If you want to make it in this ultra-competitive world of blogging, you’ve got to punch those keys. You’ve got to write with passion and conviction about the things that truly matter to you.