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The new experiment and why I want to be more creative

I used to have a plan, and I did everything according to that plan. That’s what happened when I wrote the novel, the one about the serial killer. I didn’t publish any parts of the book, until I was finished. I wrote a different story, it’s called Fuzzy, you can read it here. The same thing happened. I wrote every single word, and I published it, only when I was sure that it was completely finished.

writing a novel

I had a lot of fun during both projects. And, I’m satisfied with the results. But, I want to test if I can have even more fun and get better results by doing things differently.

Turning writing into a habit

I know that if I want to become a better writer, I need to make writing part of my daily habit. It needs to become a routine. I have been working hard to find the time and to find the place for writing.

I have written about this before, but now it’s different. It’s not just something I try to do, I’m really doing it. I’m making a huge effort every day, to make writing the first thing I do in the morning.

I’m using the pomodoro technique, to work in 25 minute increments. I believe that this makes me more productive. I have also been telling myself that I’ll be doing the most important tasks, first thing in the morning. The tasks I really need to finish.

The problem, is to decide what tasks are the most important tasks. As a solopreneur, I believed that my most important tasks was the task making me money. At the same time, I was thinking long term, and I was focusing on the projects that would help my business sometime into the future.

Now, it’s different. I’m not sure if writing is the most important thing I do, but it’s something that makes me feel great, and it’s something that I believe I need to do. It’s a great way to start the day. I am happier, and I have a lot more energy.

Building a community vs Google

I’ve been writing every day for several weeks now, but I’m still asking myself whether I should be publishing posts every day, or if I should be publishing new posts just a few times every week. I still don’t know if I should stick to a routine, or if every week should be different. I write a lot, and it shouldn’t be a problem to have enough content for a new blog post every day. But, I am currently more busy than ever, and I don’t have enough time to answer all the comments I get. I still get daily comments on many of my old posts as well.

I really want to focus on building a community on my blog. I want to get more readers, and I want to engage them. I want passionate people, people that care about the things I care about.

I have big plans for my blog. But, just after I started my long term planning, I received an email from Google WebMasterTools, telling me that Google had applied a manual spam action to my site. Even though I haven’t focused much on traffic from Google, I wasn’t sure what would happen to my blog, after this. I felt vulnerable. I was about to get hurt.

I don’t write to earn money, and blogging is not a big part of my business, at least not yet. But, I need traffic and I need feedback.

Now, that I’ve received help, and everything’s back to normal, I’m still thinking about how it felt to get hit by Google, and how important it is for me to build close relationships with my readers.

The new experiment

You might already know this, but I’ll tell you again, just in case you’ve missed it. Lizarraga, my first novel, is only available in Norwegian. I enjoy writing in both Norwegian and English. I believe that I’m a much better writer when I write in my native language. I do my best to write proper grammar and good stories in English, but Norwegian is still the language I prefer when I’m writing.

I wanted to start writing a new book. I didn’t know the plot. I didn’t know the genre. At first, I didn’t know if I wanted to write fiction or non-fiction. The only thing I wanted to do, was to write.

I didn’t want to copy the method I used when I wrote the first two books. I wanted to try something different. I started thinking about whether I should just start writing something and publish it, no matter if it was something I was proud of, or something that had nothing to do as part of my new book. I was thinking about if I should be doing any editing, before releasing it to the public. I felt vulnerable. It wasn’t the same feeling I got when I received the email from Google, but I was worried what people would think of me.

When I write, it’s personal, even though it’s not something I’ve experienced. It’s my story, and I’m using my words to descibe it. If I’d publish it, as soon as I’ve finished writing a short part of it, without any editing, I would do something I’m not comfortable with. On the other hand, I would get a lot more done. I’d feel that I’ve accomplished something way sooner than when I was writing the other two books. When I feel that I accomplish something, I also feel more energy and I’m more eager to continue.

So, that’s what I’ve started doing. That’s my experiment. I’m writing a new book. It’s in Norwegain, and what I’m doing is that I’m writing a chapter and I’m publishing it as soon as I’ve finished writing it. I’m not doing any editing. I’m not sure if I’ve even read the chapter when I publish it. I just write what I’m thinking about, and I’m creating the story as I go.

This is my latest experiment (the text is in Norwegian)

Creativity

To me, experimenting is about doing things in a different way. I’m doing it in a different way, because it makes me more creative. That’s the reason why I wrote the post; how creativity is born, and that’s the reason why I continue to test and strive to find new methods that works for me.

The reason I want to be more creative is that it makes me happy. Creativity makes me enjoy life even more.



13 responses to “The new experiment and why I want to be more creative”

  1. Tim Bonner says:

    I was struggling to keep to a schedule with writing Jens.

    I write every day but with looking after the kids, I don’t always have an awful lot of time to focus on it for extended periods of time.

    I decided I’m not going to stick to a rigid schedule any more and that way I can keep the quality of my writing up, I hope!

    Interesting for your new experiment. I think I’d be too worried about editing because I always want to do that as I write rather than after I’ve finished.

    I’ll be interested to hear how this works for you and what the outcome was.

    • That’s exactly what happened to me Tim. I was writing every day, and I tried to keep my publishing to a schedule. And, I just couldn’t. I wanted so badly to publish on different days, and sometimes I just didn’t want to publish.

      The new project is interesting, mostly on a personal level. I really don’t want people to read anything that’s not 100% finished, and now, people are reading things I haven’t edited at all.

  2. Lisa says:

    Good for you Jens on the writing of a new book – I just started this a.m. on my eBook – updated version of Tweeting Like It’s Second Nature, I promised myself I would do before July. Let’s hope I can pull it off. I no longer sweat about when I post. I try to do 2-4 per week and it’s a catch 22 – either you publish more and get less comments or you publish less and get more comments. I like both effects, more traffic and less comments or more comments and interaction. I think the interaction is key though. I try to go for that at a midway point.
    Good luck with your experiement Jens and look forward to hearing how it all works out. Have a great weekend there!

    • That’s great Lisa. I need to read your book, sounds awesome.

      I really need to start engaging again. Sometimes I get so focused on my project, that I simply forget the important stuff.

      How many books have you written? Do you have any links for me?

  3. Josh says:

    I am excited for you. This feels like a good choice and if I spoke Norwegian I would read the book.

  4. Hi Jens,

    Lovely post as always 🙂

    Yes, if given a choice, ALL I would do was to write! But being a blogger who is blogging consistently for over 3 years now, writing at leisure has taken a backseat. I do write daily, but it’s more for my readers than myself.

    I’d love to write an eBook or pen my rough thoughts, or just write something creative, but for that I think I’d have to lessen my blogging so that the commenting part slows down (presently with the number of comments that come, their replies, return visits, social media presence etc. – ALL takes the time!) and I can concentrate on other things. It’s on my mind but I need to figure out what really is priority too.

    I wish you the best dear friend with all the lovely books and novels you come up with, and I’m sure they’d be great ones.

    Thanks for sharing your new experiment with us. Have a nice weekend 🙂

    • Hi Harleena.

      I am missing the networking part. I really want to comment on a lot of blogs and connect with a lot of people via social media and via other blogs, but lately, I haven’t done anything but work and write. The thing is, like you said, that everything takes time and we need to focus on what works for us. We need money to get by.

      The experiment and the novels I’m writing, it’s not part of how I am earning money. The projects is what I’m doing when I’m not working.

      Thanks for your comment and your kind words Harleena.

      Have a nice weekend.

  5. Ashley Faulkes says:

    Hi Jens
    Awesome that you know what you are passionate about and are doing something to fulfill that dream.
    It is hard to write every day and to keep to a schedule but I think you are on the right path for you. Congrats.
    It would be great to read your stuff in Norwegian, but alas I only do German and Spanish. Next is Dutch, but years before I read a book.
    I have read a lot of Scandinavian crime stuff though. Love the realism of the writing as opposed to just action and happy endings.

    All the best
    ashley

  6. Interesting experiment, Jens!

    It’s certainly unique…good luck 🙂

    Writing schedule…now that’s a thing I love to experiment with.

    With my first blog, I experimented a lot…I have tried publishing 2-3 posts a week to publishing nothing for 2-3 weeks 😀

    With my second blog, I was more consistent, writing 2 (or in some cases, 3) blog posts a week.

    It worked really well. With my third and current blog, I am keeping a once a week schedule.

    I do have some time to write another post, but I don’t have to get used to it…studies are getting harder, and if I start with 2-3 posts a week, I might be forced to maintain it later on (although I could just change it!).

    Anyways, I think it’s all up to you..whatever works for you 😀 I have seen a few bloggers who write only once a month…but, every post they write is a gold mine.

    I do like your idea about every week being different..perhaps you should try that.

    Anyways, I am glad that the Google Manual action problem is fixed 🙂

    Thank you for the update, Jens 🙂

  7. Hi Jens, I actually do the week-long version of Pomodoro. I write every other day and take Saturdays off, I don’t even turn on the computer on Saturdays (most Saturdays).

    In the beginning of blogging I wrote and published every weekday but I felt that I was rushing through articles, churning them out and that I could do a better job if I spent more time on the articles, researching one day and writing the next.

    I also felt that it was important to let articles “breathe”. Sometimes an article doesn’t find its audience until Day 2 after it has been published and if you’re putting one out every day the older ones may be buried by the newer ones.

    Very exciting about your new novel. I’m hoping some day your Norwegian novels will be translated into English!

    • That’s very interesting Carolyn. I’m still experimenting when it comes to writing and publishing. But, I see what you’re saying. It usually takes a few days before many of my readers stop by my blog and read my articles, so publishing every day, might not be something I should do.

      I’ve discovered that my articles will be of much higher quality if I let them “breathe”. The only problem with that, is that I really want to hit publish as soon as possible…

  8. Adrienne says:

    Congratulations Jens because I know how much you enjoy writing. You have several more books in you for sure so I know you’ll do really well with this one.

    I also know being a solopreneur myself that it’s hard to do it all. I’m starting to slack off some myself mainly due to the fact that I just don’t have enough time to do it all so some things will just have to fall by the wayside.

    Making money has to be top priority because we all need to survive. The rest is just as important though because it’s the connections we have that help us get to where we want to be. Just finding that time to do what’s the most important should definitely be #1 on the list.

    I know you’ll accomplish whatever you put your mind to Jens, that I don’t doubt at all. I wish you the very best.

    ~Adrienne

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