This is going to be my only post for the week. I’m going to be enjoying the rest of my vacation, working hard on my first product, and responding to all of the comments on the blog that I haven’t gotten around to. My next post will be on Monday, February 7th. Until then, feel free to dive into the Blogging Bookshelf archives.

I’ve mentioned before that I keep a lot of lists. I keep lists of things I want to blog about, lists of blogs to comment on, and lists of what I do every day.

But there’s one list that I haven’t talked about very much that I think is possibly the most important list a blogger can keep.

What is it?

I’m going to call it a motivation journal, though you could also call it an inspiration journal or self esteem diary or Bob or something else. What you call it isn’t important, and the chances are pretty good that whatever you call it is going to sound super lame. But please bear with me here for a bit.

My motivation journal is a Word document that I keep on my desktop. Into it I paste excerpts from the comments, emails, and mentions I’ve gotten that I find particularly flattering, inspiring, rewarding, and uplifting. They’re from people telling me how much my blog has helped them or how much they enjoy reading my stuff. My last few most recent entries are the kind things said by Jk, Stella, Jason, Dino, and Marcus (and they’re all great, so you should definitely check out their blogs).

Why is keeping track of this kind of thing so important? Because blogging is a roller coaster. On some days (or weeks or months or whatever) you’ll get a lot more traffic, comments, retweets, and shares than others. If you’re having a bad week, for example, it can be easy to forget that last week was awesome. It’s too easy to become discouraged. Keeping a motivation journal helps you mentally smooth out the troughs on the roller coaster and focus more on the high points.

I’ve quit several blogs before because I’ve felt like no one cared what I had to say, and that I wasn’t making any difference. If I’d had one of these motivation journals, I might have been able to push through those rough patches and go on to enjoy success. But instead, I quit when the going got tough.

There are other times when I’m tired of blogging and wonder if this is really what I want to do with my life. When I feel this way, I go through and read my motivation journal. I’m reminded of the people that I’ve helped and the difference I’m making.

In other words, when I need that extra boost of energy to start writing a blog post at 3 in the morning, I go read my motivation journal. Its canned motivation that I can rip open and scarf down when I need that extra boost of energy.

I very highly recommend starting one of these motivation journals, though I do encourage you to come up with a name for it that is less stupid (and please share it with me when you’ve come up with it). It doesn’t really matter how you keep your motivation journal. It can be a Word document or Google Doc or even a notebook. What matters is that you do keep one.

  • Do you already have one of these?
  • Are you going to start one of these?
  • Got anything in particular you want me to write about in the upcoming weeks and months?