At some point every writer is going to experience writer’s block. When it comes to the internet, people expect new and updated information constantly. That’s why writer’s block can be detrimental to a blogger.
I’ve had a bad case of writer’s block for the better part of three months now. Some big changes happened in my personal life and it had a huge impact on my blog.
You see, I want to write. I really do. I want to help my readers and keep them updated, but the words just aren’t flowing out properly.
Right now I have 4 drafted blog posts, each one already contains over 1,000 words. I will think of something I really want to write about, something I feel passionate about in the moment. I’ll sit down and type away. Something will happen and I will have to stop writing for the day. When I return to the post the following day, the post just doesn’t feel right. I review it, try to edit it, read it 10 times in hopes that I can get back on track. Nope. Nothing works.
It’s extremely frustrating! I end up leaving my blog and doing something else. I’ve only posted on my blog once this month, but I was on track to post at least 5 times. I just couldn’t find the words to make my posts feel “right”.
3 months of this and I’ve learned a few lessons. Writer’s block may hit all of us at one point or another, but if you’re serious about your blog, obviously you need to try to work through it.
I feel like I’m nearing the end of my journey down this frustrating road and don’t worry, you’ll get through this, too. Here are some tips to help you overcome writer’s block and keep your readers happy while you struggle to write something worth posting.
Write 500 words a day
It sounds daunting, doesn’t it? It feels like all your ideas and creativity have completely disappeared. No topic seems worthy of writing about, but that doesn’t matter.
There’s a reason I have so many 1,000+ word post drafts (and a new page with about 700 words right now) and that’s because I started making myself write at least 500 words a day. Was it easy? No. Did it work? If I end up publishing this post today, then yes.
What you write about doesn’t even have to be for your blog. You could write just for yourself in a Word document or go old school and pull out some paper and a pen. Write about anything and everything you want to write about. Eventually you’ll start to get back into the hang of things and reconnect with your inner writer.
Bullet point brainstorming
I find this helpful even when not suffering from writer’s block. Brainstorming my ideas with a pen and paper makes it easy to keep track of my thoughts when I’m really on a roll and writing comes easily.
When I’m having a hard time writing, brainstorming in this fashion makes it easier to find ideas for a post. The only difference is when things are going smoothly and writing isn’t an issue, I’m usually just brainstorming topics. When writing is difficult, sometimes I’ll dedicate an entire sheet of paper to title ideas and talking points for one single blog post.
Have a drink
It’s about 10:30am right now, so I’m not pounding booze, but I’ve definitely drank to get my creative juices flowing in the past. Sometimes it works, especially if the topic is something I’m passionate about. Having a couple drinks loosens me up and I care a little less about how the sentences I’m writing sound or flow.
Note: Don’t hit the publish button right away! Drink, write, sleep on it. Read and edit what you wrote the next day!
Create a routine
Sort of like the 500 word idea, forcing yourself to write at a certain time everyday has really helped me in the past.
Prior to my hubby taking a new job (which included a different work schedule), I had a pretty set routine. I’d get up with Hubby at 3:30am. He’d get ready for work, I’d start blogging. The little one didn’t wake up until 7 or 8am, so I had a ton of time. I could spend all of it blogging, I could do a little blogging and then clean the house and pay bills. It was amazing having 4+ hours to myself every morning! I always made sure blogging took up at least half of that time.
Today Hubby gets up for work at 6am most days and now the kid is waking at 6:30 or 7. I really miss my early mornings and I’m strongly considering returning to my old ways. Just because Hubby stays in bed doesn’t mean I have to, right?
Read another person’s blog
Other people can inspire you. There have been many times when I’ve written a post because I read someone else’s blog post. It usually starts out as “I can’t believe she has that opinion! I should write about my opinion on this topic!” And then it leads to something slightly different. If it hadn’t been for that blogger, though, I wouldn’t have been inspired to write about anything at all.
Definitely leave comments on the post if you want to, too. Not only is it another chance for you to write, there’s a good possibility that blogger will head over to your blog after seeing you commented on hers.
Remove the distractions… or add some. Your choice.
I’ve read tons of articles about writer’s block and all of them recommend that you get rid of all the distractions. Turn off the TV or radio, switch your phone to silent, wait until your kids are in bed.
Personally, I have a tendency to work better with the distractions. Right now there’s kids music playing about 12 feet away from me, my daughter is dancing around in the living room with two of her favorite stuffed animals. We started potty training this week and I’ve had to get up about 10 times to take her to the potty since I started typing this. But somehow none of those things are bothering me. In fact, I’m writing better now than I have in months.
Do whatever you need to. For me, noise and random interruptions seem to help more than a silent house when my kid is napping. I always turn my phone to silent, though. Between emails, FB notifications and texts, I’d be checking it way too often.
Make a to-do list
I’m a huge fan of to-do lists. It always feels great to mark off goals once you’ve completed them. I like to make two lists every day: one for mom & wife related things (pay bills, clean the bathroom) and one for blogging related things (schedule Twitter posts for the week, start writing a blog post).
I’ve gotten pretty bad about making my lists lately and it shows. I used to have a spotless house every evening when Hubby got home from work, now one or two rooms are usually a mess. I’d have my IG, FB, Twitter and Pinterest posting and pinning regularly. These days it’s sporadic. My to-do list for next month will include a to-do list for every day of the week!
Don’t let your social media die
I’m not going to lie, even when I don’t have writer’s block I struggle to keep my social media updated. Facebook is the easiest to keep up with and I used to be GREAT with Pinterest, but I’ve really started slacking there lately. It’s impacting my page views and I need to make changes ASAP.
Social media seems to rule the world sometimes, doesn’t it? Even people my grandparent’s age will ask me questions like, “did you see that video on Facebook?”
Keeping your social media alive is vital. Post memes that your followers will enjoy, share one of your old blog posts or someone else’s blog post. Heck, share a recipe video! Those are all the rage right now. Just make sure your followers know you’re still around. Each time they see you post something, it’ll leave a small imprint in their mind. The more you post, the more often they think of you. And readers keeping you in mind is definitely a good thing.
Remind yourself why you want to write
Why did you start this blog? Do you care about your blog? Do you have regular readers?
I started this blog for two reasons: I (normally) love to write and I also wanted to help contribute a bit of money to our bank account. I didn’t know until after I began blogging that I would grow to enjoy helping my readers.
Right now I feel like I’m letting everyone down. Myself, my family and my readers. When I think about that, I can usually find the inspiration to do something blog related, be it writing, scheduling stuff for social media, or interacting with my readers or fellow bloggers.
So there you have it. My best tips and tricks to help you avoid killing your blog while you struggle with writer’s block.
Have you ever had writer’s block? Do you have writer’s block now? Can you add anything to my list?