As I told you in my previous short post, I had a tough week, which was time consuming and mind consuming above all. I ended up facing the infamous blogger's block, then decided to search - again - for some ideas to fight it. At first a lot of obvious stuff came out, but after a better search I found 5 good posts to learn from.
First of all, my sources
What they all are saying
There are some recurring tips in the articles I read, which makes me think they might work for the most of us.
1. Change up your location
Getting away from your computer and blog can definitely help but so can blogging from a new location (friends houses, net cafes, public libraries, other rooms in the house...). Change up your blogging environment and you might just find that it gives you a fresh perspective on blogging that will unleash some blogging creativity. ProBlogger
Familiar surroundings comfort some but for others, they can dull the senses and the brain. That’s when you should take things outside the office. Try a change of scenery or ambient sound to refocus your mind and recharge your writing. Social Media Examiner
It could be a different room in your house, a coffee shop, or even a friend’s sofa! If you’re struggling to focus or to come up with new ideas then a simple change of location can really help you. You never get your best ideas when you’re sat at your computer, willing them to come anyway. Rock n Roll Bride
2.Keep a notebook
Idea journals are great in the short term as they are great for recording those impulsive ideas that flow through my mind all day everyday and for creating ‘to do’ lists for immediate action. However I also find them great in the long term and occasionally get my older idea journals out and flick through them to find unused creative ideas that I never go around to implementing. ProBlogger
Whether it’s a simple paper notepad or a mobile note-taking app, having a place to keep track of ideas as they come to you is a great help during dry periods in your writing. When you’re blocked, read through your notes and you’re sure to find a thread to follow. Social Media Examiner
Sometimes it’ll just be a few words, other times full paragraphs or articles, but the point is to not disregard ideas or think “Oh I’ll write that down later” (believe me, you won’t because you will have forgotten it). However trivial the idea may seem at the time, WRITE IT DOWN. Then, when you’re having a uninspired moment, have a flip through that notebook (or your phone) and see if something you jotted down a while ago sparks something. Rock n Roll Bride
3.Take a break
Whether it’s a longer holiday, long weekend, day off or even a lunch or coffee break – time off is probably one of the most essential tips I’d give Pro Blogger types. I got sucked into the 7 days per week 12 work life earlier in the year and it’s perhaps the quickest way to deteriorate your effectiveness as a blogger and the quality of your content. It can also be one of the major causes of bloggers block. ProBlogger
Take time to get away from the incessant buzzing of online chatter and just maybe you’ll find your voice in the quiet. Social Media Examiner
Taking time away from your computer is vital if you’re feeling uninspired. Being chained to your desk 24/7 is probably the quickest way to deteriorate your passion and deplete that ideas bank. Rock n Roll Bride
Your content well might be dry, but there’s no shortage of great material from online sources. Almost any article, even a past one, can point you toward new ideas, writers and resources to explore. Spend time reading any back articles or newsletters you may have missed, follow their links and dig deeper. Don’t think of surfing the Internet as a waste of time. Instead, look at it as a necessary part of the research you need to do as a blogger. Social Media Examiner
It is important for any writer to read, and the more time (outside of your writing time) you can devote to reading the better. By frequently reading what else is being published online, you:
- Keep up with recent trends and events that are important in your industry.
- Learn from the way other people write, and use their writing to influence your own.
- Expand your knowledge and understanding, giving you more possible subjects to write about (and add more authority to what you write).
- Discover gaps in areas where there should have been a blog post written, but hasn’t been (such as the landing page idea I brought up at the start).
Great writing inspires great writing. So, when your blogging is stuck, put down the pen or the laptop and pick up a treasured book. The Thinking Closet
It feels a bit odd when you first use this technique but it’s amazing how quickly a talk begins to form in your mind as you do it. I find as I do these exercises that the first few minutes is generally pretty gibberish but that in most cases as I write whatever comes out that eventually I hit on an idea that is worth building on. I also use this same technique with blogging. ProBlogger
Freewriting is one of my favorite tools for breaking through a block. Freewriting is when you let your pen (or your typing fingers) go and write whatever comes to mind, even if it’s blah blah blah, until a new thought appears. The point is to put on a timer, and just fly. You might be surprised at what gems unearth when you let yourself go and just…keep…writing. The Thinking Closet
6.Set a deadline
Deadlines need to be used with caution (they actually can be the cause of bloggers block for some people) but I find that having posting goals and deadlines helps me to keep fresh content turning over on my blog. ProBlogger
Writing takes time and it can become all too easy to put the task off. Due dates, even self-imposed due dates, force you to focus on completing an article. Rather than picking a date far in the future, commit to a deadline that will arrive sooner than later. Time marching on may be the spark that will get you started again. Social Media Examiner
7.Read your archives
Go back over some older posts and tackle some of the topics you’ve written about previously again. ProBlogger
Revisit your first blog post. You’ll not only see a progression in the industry since you’ve started, you can also post about your own progression by revisiting updates about your early experiences. Your past can serve as grist for the content mill. Social Media Examiner
Best tips (IMHO)
While I don't think I could benefit from setting a deadline (it would cause me too much stress), I found some good advice in these articles.
First two are from ProBlogger:
1. Flip an Idea
Sometimes I get stuck on an idea because I’ve only ever looked at it from one angle. What about tackling it from another direction? Flip it! Sometimes when we flip an idea and start arguing a case that we don’t agree with we learn a lot and find new inspiration.
2. Find your golden hour
Identify those time/s in the day (some of us have a number of golden hours – I often come alive at about 10.30pm also) when you’re at your best and clear those times of the day for your most important and creative work.
The following tip comes from Social Media Examiner:
Familiarize Yourself With Your Followers’ Preferences
Do you know what people expect and hope to find in content from your business or organization? Reach out to a few friends and faithful followers, and ask them why they regularly follow your business blog. What made them decide to follow and what do they hope to learn from your site? Their answers will get your mind moving toward a theme for new content pretty quickly.
Peter from econsultancy wrote the next piece of advice:
Find inspiration in your daily experiences
One of the sources of inspiration that many of us don’t make full use of is our daily experiences working in whatever industry we happen to work in. Most of us come up against unique challenges every week, many of which could easily translate into an interesting blog post or two.
Kat at Rock n Roll Bride suggests to
Write about something that scares you.
It is always the blog posts that you’re afraid of hitting ‘publish’ on that surprise you with their popularity. Why? Because people love to read things that are relatable. We all have struggles and personal demons, and while I never think you should write about difficult things just because you want some kind of validation, being open and honest about them always garners a big response.
Last but not least comes the tip from The Thinking Closet:
Use images instead of words.
Sometimes, we need a break from the written word. I think the “Wordless Wednesday” movement that you may have seen around blogland is a response to blogger’s block and a valuable one at that. We can all benefit from a new medium of expression. And since pictures can speak louder than words, consider sharing a story through photos or selecting one evocative image to suffice as a blog post. Not only might it be healthy for you as a blogger, but your readers will probably appreciate the change of pace, as well! As William Cowper wisely put it, “Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.”
1. This time my usual brainstorming tecnique wasn't enough to overcome my block. 2. Reading is a great source of inspiration and again proves itself essential to grow new ideas. 3. It's worth to take your time to read the comments. For instance, look at Richard Hamer's comment on Overcoming blogger’s block: never be short of ideas again and AmandahBlackwell's on 26 Tips for Overcoming Bloggers Block.
Thanks for reading this looong post! I'd love you to share you thoughts about this topic so feel free to head over to the comment section. :)