It’s one of the main things that most private practice counsellors dread doing each week. You thought you were done writing when you finished your masters and moved on to being a professional counsellor. FINALLY getting to set aside academic life and start helping people! But, in private practice, you’re learning that to gain SEO and to show your counselling expertise… you’re gonna have to write again… you’re gonna… have to…. start… blogging…nooooo!!!
Okay let’s breathe, it’s not as bad as it seems. You can learn to blog quickly and painlessly. But, once you learn to blog, to rank high in Google you’re going on have to blog a lot. As important as it is to learn to blog, you also have to learn how to set the mood for writing so that you enjoy the experience and continue to do it (no pun intended ;)).
Four Steps To Getting In The Mood
1. Find the right time
I write two blogs a week: one for Practice of the Practice and one for my Halifax Counselling private practice.
I find that with the Practice of the Practice blog, I am reflecting more on best practices and my own experiences in private practice. It feels like I am journaling, and, for me, I usually journal at night. So, I write this blog Sunday nights as that’s the time when I naturally am thinking about the past week. What went well, what didn’t, and how I want to improve.
BUT, for my Halifax Counselling blog, I focus on showing my expertise as a counsellor. For me, this means opening up those narrative therapy books, reading some articles, and writing to a particular population about certain topics. So, I usually write this blog Monday mornings as it feels more like work and helps me to start shifting into ‘counsellor mode’ for the week.
2. Find the right place
Ever heard of that advice about getting better sleep? That if you only make your bed a place for sleep, your brain will shift to “sleep mode” quicker. Well, that same rule applies here. Find a space like your office, your local coffee shop, library, or a cozy chair in your living room, to do your blogging. Having a specific spot where you blog will help your brain switch gears into writing mode.
3. Make it enjoyable
What would make writing a better experience for you? Is there a treat that you enjoy? A favorite tea you like to drink? Can you dim the lights or wrap yourself in a cozy blanket?
For me, I look forward to writing because I light a scented candle, make some tea, and eat a treat. I create a space that is cozy and helps me to relax, which then helps me to be creative and allow thoughts to flow. I look forward to writing because I get to go back to that cozy, relaxing space.
4. Play Music 🙂
There are SOOOO many benefits to listening to music as you write! To get in the mood to blog, you have to shift your brain to writing mode, and you have to keep it there until the post is done. You need to zone out your life and zone into writing. I would argue that the easiest way to do this is to put on some headphones and listen to two types of music: emotionally evocative music and music that wakes your brain up and gets ideas rolling. I usually choose a playlist OR, like for this blog, I chose a song and it’s remix and listen to them on repeat.
The original emotionally evocative song:
And the remix to pump me up:
Don’t know a lot about music? Check out these great YouTube channels that could help you write:
So, fellow private practice counsellors, if you can put in the effort to setting the mood, your blogging experience might not be something you dread and may be be something you even look forward to 🙂 Happy writing!
Julia Smith is the owner of “Insight Mental Health Counselling” in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Julia learned how to “set the mood for writing” when she wrote her Governor General nominated master’s thesis. She looks forward to a long career of writing and blogging.
Click here for her Halifax Counsellor website.