My prayer habits goal for March is to pray before blogging. Earlier this week, I failed. (I almost finished writing this post when I realized that I failed again. I didn’t pray at the before writing this post either.)
I forgot to pray (twice. . .three times now). Why?
In this case, there was no clear beginning to when the actual blogging process began. I wrote the article, Finding Time to Pray, over a series of days when I had a few minutes in the morning, during lunch, or at night.
Two Mistakes I Made When Trying to Pray Before Blogging
Mistake #1. I never considered my blogging routine.
After a couple of years of blogging, I have more or less developed a routine, a step-by-step process to creating content. However, this routine doesn’t necessarily happen in one sitting or even in just one day. Generally, here is my blogging routine:
1. I have an idea for a post.
2. I enter the idea in a list in Evernote 0r I create a separate note in Evernote to jot down my ideas in bulleted list form. Occasionally, I will just sit down and start writing (which is what I am doing with this piece of content).
3. I go to the Google Keyword Tool or open Market Samurai to find the best keyword phrase to optimize for the post.
4. I write out the bullet points in paragraph form.
5. I look over the post and if necessary I adjust the keyword focus of the post.
6. I optimize the post for SEO (URL, title tag, headers, check keyword density) I use the All in One SEO Pack to optimize the title tag, meta description, and meta keywords.
7. I look for or create a relevant image to enter into the post, download it, upload it, and optimize the file name, title, and alt tag for SEO.
8. I preview the post and make editorial adjustments if necessary.
9. I click Publish or schedule the post to be published at a different time.
10. If necessary, I share the post on social media outposts.
This is the first time I have ever written out this process. Notice what is missing? Prayer. Looking this over, there are a number of opportunities where I can insert prayer as a part of this routine. But…
Mistake #2. One thing is for sure, since there is no beginning to this blogging routine (I might stop at any point and pick it back up again later on), praying before blogging is not something that is as concrete as I had once imagined. Take this post for instance. I have worked on this post in three separate locations and at various times throughout the days and during the course of a week.
How I Will Adjust My Habit-forming Strategy
The points of this habit is to offer blogging as a gift to God. This should be something I keep in mind at every step along the way. Here are my options as I see them:
1) Pray at the beginning of each time I return to creating the content. (This I failed to do even writing this post.)
2) Focus on prayer before publishing the post rather than the development of the post.
I’m going to do both. I will consider the “beginning” not to be the beginning of writing, but the moment in which I open Evernote or the draft of a post in WordPress. I have not decided what to pray yet, which to be honest is somewhat of a deterrent. For now, I will try to say this simple prayer: “Lord, bless this work. I offer it as a gift to you.”
I am also going insert prayer the moment before I click the Publish button. I will vary this prayer to the specific goal of the post rather than a pre-prepared or pre-written prayer.
Here I go…I will keep trying.