If you haven’t yet seen Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 ode to martial arts and critics darling Kill Bill: Vol. 1, do yourself a favor and stop reading this. Go watch Kill Bill. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…You’re back? Perfect. Now stop reading this again, and go take in Kill Bill: Vol. 2, one of the rare exceptions that the sequel actually surpasses the first in every way.
Going off the assumption that you just watched more than 4 hours of sword fighting, severed appendages, and an absolutely epic soundtrack, I can only imagine you couldn’t be more ready to tackle a new blog post. But pump the brakes, Grasshopper, and perk your ears up to one of the most important lessons that may have slipped past your radar faster than the 5 Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. And that lesson is this: no matter how hard it may be to establish it, the only way to make a real difference through your blog is with consistency.
In case you didn’t take my advice and didn’t actually watch the movies (tisk, tisk), one of the most memorable chapters of Kill Bill: Vol. 2 takes place during the main protagonist (Beatrix Kiddo – aka – The Bride)’s training from her Kung Fu Master, Pai Mei. Pai Mei commands her to break through a wooden board with her fist, using mere inches to engage the punch. No wind up, no momentum, nothing.
Kiddo is discouraged at first, left bleeding and in agony with each failed attempt to punch through the wood. But as the training progresses, her spirits and her approach both improve vastly. She goes from trembling at the site of the board to having full control over her approach to it. She attacks it viciously without fail, and her training comes to a close with her mastering the kung fu she came to learn with the board being the serving as foundation to the rest of her skills.
How Kill Bill’s Lessons Apply to Blogging
Now, as a blogger whose consistency with posting on a regular basis is my biggest issue, watching this scene speaks volumes (pardon the pun). I feel that the ideas for my pieces always start out with so much hope and vision. I have energy and excitement about what I want to discuss and how I want it to be perceived. But this initial enthusiasm is almost always met with endless questions, all preventing me from actually completing what I set out to write in the first place. While blogging certainly requires diligence like anything else, I’ve noticed that the simple act of writing something, ANYTHING, on a consistent basis is often times the best way to build an audience, establish a voice, and say the things that I want to say.
Much like Beatrix Kiddo crossed off the names of each of her five adversaries on her revenge to-do list, here are 5 quick tips to keep you focused on your writing and blogging on a regular basis. By killing these things consistently, you’ll be well on your way to building readership and creating a growing body of work:
- Kill the noise. Turn off the TV and get yourself to a quiet room (if possible) to focus on your topic and punch through that blog post like Pai Mei ordered Beatrix to do.
- Kill your inner critic. Just write. Don’t agonize over every syllable you type out. Just get it out onto the page and edit your blog later. We can all be our own worst critics. Squash that voice and drown it out with the comforting sounds of your fingers pounding the keys and carving out a fresh blog post.
- Kill your browser. Have you ever started writing and immediately found yourself distracted by trying to research a fact for your post? Fast forward 20 minutes later and you’ve squandered precious time that could have been spent writing on surfing YouTube for some of the most memorable lines from Quentin Tarantino’s films or getting wrapped up in analyzing each track RZA chose for a variety of films. Kill that browser activity and focus on writing your blog by using a downloadable app like Dark Room to help you focus and stop you from doing anything BUT writing. (It’s like having Pei Mei smack you across the knuckles for slacking off.)
- Kill your calendar. Time waits for no man (or woman). It’s important to make time and not allow other commitments to encroach upon time dedicated to your blogging efforts. If you don’t take it seriously, no one else will. Protect your time and kill all commitments that may creep up on you like that snake crept up on Elle Driver in Bill’s dear brother Bud’s trailer.
- Kill your goals. And by “kill them,” I mean set goals and conquer them. Set mental goals for yourself at first before setting tangible performance indicators for your blog. Your goal could be as simple as getting out one new post every two weeks. Or it could be something as ambitious as blogging every day. (Hey, you might want to build up to that. You can’t break a board in half with your fist without training to make a hairline crack in it at first.)
So, the next time that you’re second-guessing yourself about the perfect way to put together the Next Great Blog Post, think of Pai Mei. And rather than bogging yourself down with the nitty gritty, just hit the keys and see what happens. Because trust me, you don’t want the alternative.
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