Tag Archives: WFH

Writing with Music: Crazy or Genius?


It never fails to blow my mind the way people react when I tell them I write with music on. There’s always some form of utter confusion, as if I’d told them I birthed a puppy or something.

This got me thinking: is writing with music really that weird?

Back when I was on Twitter, I used to see fellow writers debating about this, as well. And while we all know there’s no one size fits all, I found it weird by just how many people said they wrote in silence, or worse: with lyric-less music. It was practically half of the writers I followed!

The other half of writers swore by writing with music on, but only if the music didn’t have any lyrics. Surprisingly, they had the same reason as my friends seemed to: music with lyrics would be “too distracting” to write with.

Uh… what?!

I don’t understand how so many people don’t understand that it’s actually quite easy – and even helpful – to write with lyrical music on. I have music on for any kind of writing I’m doing, whether it’s my short stories, books, or website articles. Hell, I even have music playing right now writing this article! (23.06.26, AC/DC’s Shoot to Thrill)

I actually find that not having music on and trying to write in silence is distracting. It’s like my brain can’t think when it’s silent. I need the blanket of music to be able to barf my creative ideas all over the room. Writing in silence just does not work for me.

That’s not to say any music will do, though. I find it especially helpful to have music going that matches the emotional vibe I’m going for in a story. I pull the emotion out of the songs I listen to and inject them into what I’m writing. Every single one of my books has their own playlist. I also have a general playlist for when I’m writing short stories, and if need be, I create special playlists for those, too. Or if I’m basing a short story on just one song, I’ll listen to just that one song until I’m finished the story.

Writing with lyrical music on is something I’ve been doing literally forever and honestly now, it’s just second nature. I don’t even have to think about it. When it’s time to write, I turn on my playlist before even opening Word.

Now, you may be thinking “okay, fine, you write with lyrical music on, but you probably have it so low you can barely hear it, which is why you don’t find it distracting” and if you are, you’re 100% wrong!

I have music not quite blaring, but it’s definitely loud enough to drown out any potential background noise. (And definitely loud enough to not hear if someone calls my name) The perfect level of music for me is being able to hear my fingers hitting the keyboard, and nothing else. Funnily enough, if my music is too loud and I can’t hear myself typing, I get the same type of brain-fart as if I were writing in completely silence. It’s a delicate balance between having it loud enough to suck out the emotions from the songs, and not being so loud that it drowns out my own thoughts.

Y’know when it gets too loud and people say they can’t hear themselves think? That’s exactly what happens if my music is too loud.

Writing, and honestly just life in general is so much better when you give it a soundtrack. Whether you’re doing the dishes, working out, or even just walking down the street. Having music on just brings an extra little boost to your day.

If you’re someone who writes in complete silence (or with lyric-less music) and you find yourself sort of stuttering in your writing, try finding a song or making a playlist of songs that matches the emotions you’re going for. You might just find yourself getting unstuck, and who knows? You might realize you’ve been writing wrong and change your ways. 😉

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Brainstorming Pros and Cons


To make any website successful, you need to fill it with content. In most cases, this content refers to articles. And if you want any chance of gaining an audience, you’ll need to upload on some sort of schedule. But, where do these article ideas come from?

Are they hand-chosen by some higher being and plopped into a person’s brain? Do you have a master list of every idea you want to turn into an article that you pick from? Use an idea generator?

While there’s no one way to come up with ideas, I’ve found what works best for me is picking from a master list of all my ideas. To create this master list, I designate one day a year to brainstorm and write down all the ideas I can for the upcoming year (or years) content.

While this might sound like a dream (being able to concentrate your creativity into one super-productive day), it’s not without its downsides.

So today, I wanted to share some of the cons (and pros!) of using this brainstorming method.


  • You just have to come up with content 1 day of the year. This eliminates the stress of having to figure out what to post on a week-to-week (or month to month) basis
  • You have more free time to pursue other interests/activities or to be present for the other important aspects of your life
  • Having a master list of all your ideas might help spark new content ideas
  • Having everything in one place will allow you to quickly see whether or not you’ve already done a specific idea



  • Forcing yourself to be creative on one designated day may have you drawing a blank
  • If something comes up on the day you designated (that you can’t get out of) you won’t end up getting many or possible any new ideas down, which you’ll then have to make up on a different day, or wing it, which as said above, can be more stressful
  • If you don’t have a back-up of your master list, and the file somehow gets corrupted or damaged, all of your ideas are gone with it
  • It can be hard to force yourself to think of different content ideas for multiple topics on the same day

Despite the almost equal amount of pros and cons of brainstorming article ideas, I still feel it’s the best method for me. I feel a weird sense of chaos inside my brain if things aren’t scheduled out. Even without having the articles written, just seeing the ideas lined up nicely on a calendar lends a sense of calm to my life.

And I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way, which is why I recommend you try it! Not only does coming up with ideas all at once save time, but if you do end up having a cool article idea later on, you can add it to the master list – instead of saving it in a separate note.

You’ll also never know if this method works for you until you actually test it. And what better time to test it out than the early days of the New Year?

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How to Run a Blog


I’ve touched on some of these points already in previous articles, but I wanted to write this post to show you how to put them all together. Running a blog isn’t hard per se, it just takes some time and effort. It really just takes 3 steps to become a blogger, and though they may sound simple, the execution can be quite daunting, especially if you’ve never been self-employed.

But, don’t worry! I’m here with the below three steps to help make your transition a little easier.


Step 1: Come Up with an Idea

You can’t post articles, your opinions and advice about nothing, so first you have to think of what you want your blog to be about. It can be anything you’re passionate about. Lego? Cool! You think dinos would’ve been cooler if they wore fedoras? Sure, why not!

Whatever topic you pick though, it should be one that you can make multiple posts about. You can’t be a blogger if you only have 1 post. If you want to be serious about blogging and make it any sort of ‘real job’, you’re going to need to pick topics you can consistently post about, and come at with new ideas.

You can even pick more than one idea, if you just can’t bring yourself to choose. Like myself, I have different sections on my website for the different things I’m interested in: veganism, writing, and a new lifestyle section. I’m in no ways an expert on any of these topics – I never went to school and got a degree for any of them – I’m just a person who thinks (hopes) my experiences and opinions on these topics can help others who are on a similar path.

The point of your blog is to share things you’re passionate about, and maybe even help other people on their journeys, so you can make your blog about whatever you want. Find your reasons and topics, and go from there. Though, if you’re just starting out, I’d recommend starting with 1 topic, just until you get the hang of all the rest of it. Don’t want to overwhelm yourself when you’re starting out. Remember: you can always expand your blog to incorporate more topics/things later on, but it’s a lot harder (and looks worse) to let a part of your blog die.


Step 2: Get Organized

Now that you’ve got your idea, it’s time to think about how to put it into action. I suggest coming up with as many article ideas as you can and writing them down/keeping the list somewhere safe, so that you aren’t scrambling on posting day.

And, speaking of posting day: decide on a posting schedule. Most of the advice I had come across when I started out said to start out with posting just once or twice a month, until you get the hang of things. I thought that was way too little – after all, how was I supposed to drive traffic to my blog if I wasn’t posting regularly? – so I decided on posting roughly 5 times per month.

A month of posting for me looks like 2 articles, 2 short stories and 1 product review. The articles I try to rotate between the different sections of the website, so that I’m posting to each section ‘fairly’, and not giving more attention to one topic.

I realize posting five times in one month sounds insane, but when you break it down – 2 stories and 3 articles – it really isn’t that bad. I usually don’t count the stories as ‘work’ when I think about the website, because I’m a writer, and I’d be writing stories anyway. And yes, while I like all the topics I post about, it takes more work for me to write the articles than the stories. Stories I’m constantly coming up with, but articles require research and more planning so that I’m not just babbling on and on for a few pages.

Making posts coherent can be quite the task, especially when I’d rather be writing fiction. This is why, as said in my Time Management post, scheduling articles and making yourself a to-do list can be a huge help.

Not only will it let you make sense of all the ideas you just came up with, but it will also help take the pressure off yourself when you can see all the ideas planned out. This way, you won’t have to worry about the blog looking dead, and you won’t feel like you have to do everything right now. Having a set schedule (that you stick to) will also benefit your readers. Think of it like being punctual – if you post on a schedule, people will know when to expect you, and can then go ‘greet’ you (ie check your blog) consistently.


Step 3: Marketing

You can’t have people flock to your blog if nobody knows it exists! I know it sucks, but you have to market yourself. Post on social media and tell people why they should check you out. What new (or creative) ideas are you bringing to the table? Why should they change their routine to go see you? In what ways will you be making their day better (and feel like they’re missing out) by visiting your blog?

The truth is, people are selfish creatures, and don’t like change. Which is why you need to make yourself seem important enough for them to check out. Dazzle them with your new ideas, your polarizing opinions, or whatever you’ve got going for you. Be yourself, and people will flock to you. Even assholes get followers, so don’t fret!

This is (in my opinion) the hardest part about being self-employed. On the one hand, you don’t want to sound gimmicky/click-bait-y, but on the other, you want people to come to you, because you know you’re awesome. Unfortunately, it takes time to build yourself a following, and though it can be discouraging when you don’t get many (or any) likes/views on a new post, you have to keep going.

If you quit, you’re guaranteeing nobody will ever see your hard work.

Part of marketing is also learning how to monetize your blog. There are tons and tons of options out there, everything from Google Adsense to being paid by companies for dedicated posts, but as someone just starting out, I don’t want you to worry about that part.

You can worry about making millions once you have your blog established and a dedicated audience. No company will pay you to promote their product to no one, which is another reason getting good at marketing is a big help.

Do what you can with what you can, and a little pro tip: Don’t be afraid to pay for some ads! I know, I know, you may think that’s a cop out, or that you don’t have funds to do ads right now, and that’s okay! Just make sure you don’t discount paying ads as an option forever.

There are literally billions of people on the planet, and your manual posting can only reach so many.

Bottom line (and yes, I know it’s cheesy): keep going. Don’t give up just because it’s hard, or because it’s harder than you thought it’d be. Nothing worth having comes easy. Hard work does pay off. It just might take a little longer than you expect.

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