One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite biz books is:

“Writing is a habit, not an art.” ✏

Writing is a habit, not an art

Ann Handley says it in Everybody Writes, which is the closest thing to a content marketing manual as I’ve ever seen.

And it changed the way I looked at my content creation process forever.

Before reading that book (for the first time, cause there’ve been plenty o’ rereads), I tended to look at writing and creating content as sprints.

I tried to knock it all out as quickly as possible in big batches, like I’m sure you’ve tried before, too.

But this was early in my writing career, and I wasn’t great at it yet.

And when I was creating content in sprints here and there, my content never got any better.

Why? Because good writing requires a habit, like Queen Handley says. 👑

It’s not a mystical art that you’re either born with the magic to possess or you’re not.

It’s a skill that takes practice and routines to get good at.

And that doesn’t happen through random 8-hour writing sprints whenever you realize your content calendar is empty.

It happens through regular, consistent, practice.

You have to PRACTICE creating content to be good at it.

I can look back at my writing career now and realize how true that is. I got good when I did it regularly.

That’s one of the many reasons why I’ve never tried to batch create videos for my YouTube channels. I know I need practice on camera. Regular, consistent practice – not batches here and there.

But since I started my first channel about 2 years ago, I’ve REALLY struggled with figuring out a good workflow for video. 🎬


How I’m going to create regular, consistent video

My goal video recording workflow is one where I can easily sit down and just start recording.

Before, I would spend an hour doing my hair and makeup (I have complicated hair), then another hour rearranging my apartment to set up the lights and camera. Yeah, 2 hours of prep for a 15-minute video. 😬

Obviously, it was Not Ideal.

But over the past few months, I’ve made a few changes to my desk area and video set.

All these changes were designed around making it easier to create a video content habit that’s as strong as my writing one.

Here’s what I did:

  • Got a desk lamp that’s flexible and can move to light me from the side in my videos without having to set up a big light.
  • Bought a new tripod for my phone that’s taller and can stand on the floor, instead of one that needed to stand on a table (which required moving the table and consequently rearranging the whole living room).
  • Stuck washi tape to my floor, X MARKS THE SPOT-style, exactly where I need to place that tripod. No more fiddling with placement for 5 minutes every time I wanna record.
  • Dealt with my mindset issues around feeling like I need styled hair and a full face of makeup to do video, when that’s not what I look like IRL.

That last one, dealing with my mindset issues, has obviously been the most difficult. But I just recorded a video with no makeup and my hair in my usual topknot, so I AM making progress! 💁🏻‍♀️

And the rest? It was easy af.

Both the new desk lamp and tripod totaled less than $35, and the rest was a matter of intentionally rearranging my workspace and systems to focus more on video.

Since making these tweaks a month ago, I’ve recorded 5 videos, which is more than I’d done in the previous 6 months combined.

So yeah, it seems to be working. 🙃