As someone who has been blogging for over three years now, I’ve experienced my fair share of writer’s block. There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down to write a blog post and feeling completely drained of all creative energy the moment you go to write something.
If you try to push through writer’s block as a blogger, it can be difficult to capture your blogging voice in the words you write. At the same time, it’s difficult to allow ourselves to indulge in writer’s block when it feels like blog related work never stops.
It wasn’t until I started freelance writing last March that I realised just how inconvenient writer’s block can be. There’ll be days when I sit down to write for clients, and feel completely void of creativity. When you have deadlines, there isn’t always time to step away from an article and come back when inspiration strikes, so I’ve had to come up with my own ways of overcoming writer’s block.
A lot of the things that I use in my freelancing career have also become useful when it comes to overcoming writer’s block as a blogger, so I thought I’d share my advice with you all today.
Freewrite For 10-15 Minutes
It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes the best thing you can to do overcome writer’s block is to just write. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, or something that’ll ever see the light of day, but doing something is better than nothing, right?
That’s where the freewriting activity comes in. Like the name suggests, this activity involves writing down whatever comes to mind for a specific period of time. I’d suggest 10-15 minutes to really get the ideas flowing, but it’s really up to you how long you to do this for.
The most important thing to remember if you do try out this activity is that you must not leave the word document blank. That, and the fact that you must write whatever comes to mind, are the only rules you need to think about.
The idea is that, even if you start by writing ‘I don’t know what to write about’, your brain will eventually start brainstorming ideas that get your creativity juices flowing.
I used to use this method a lot when I wrote my monthly overviews because I found it difficult to put everything I had done in a month into one blog post. That was super helpful, and was an essential part of overcoming writer’s block with my blog for a long while.
Read Your Old Blog Posts
When my writer’s block is really bad, I like to go back and look at my old blog posts to familiarise myself with the content I’ve already written.
This helps me to come up with new ideas based on content that I’ve already published. I might expand on something I’ve already written to make it more detailed, or something else that comes under the same topic.
Reading your old blog posts can also serve as a reminder that your writer’s block is only temporary. It’s so easy to get discouraged as a blogger when writer’s block strikes, but reading back old posts can help you to remind yourself that you have written good content before, and you will again.
Analyse Your Blog
You might think that reading back your old blog posts is analysing your blog, and to a degree, I think it is. I do, however, think analysing your blog can go further than this if you want to.
If you want to analyse your blog to overcome writer’s blog, I recommend going back and exploring what your most popular posts are. WordPress and Google Analytics both have functions that will allow you to check this out.
By looking at your most popular posts, you will see what people enjoy reading on your blog the most. This will help you by allowing you to see what people want more of when they visit your blog.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not saying you need to post everything to appease your readers, but compromising with content isn’t a bad idea, especially if you’re struggling to come up with ideas yourself.
And who knows? Your most popular content might be what you like writing about the most anyway, and analysing the results may provide you with the push you need to continue writing about it.
Search Pinterest Boards For Inspiration
Will I ever write a blog post where I don’t mention how much I love Pinterest? Maybe… but not today.
One of the things I love about Pinterest is that you can use it for so many different things. Lots of people use it to promote blog posts, but it can also be a great source of inspiration for bloggers and non-bloggers alike.
The truth is, whatever niche you consider yourself to be a part of, you won’t be the only one writing about it. Even if you are a lifestyle blogger, there are a million ways to find other lifestyle-related blog posts to give you ideas. Group boards are great, but you even find blog post ideas to help you with your writer’s block by typing ‘blog post ideas’ into Pinterest’s search bar.
Take A Break
I know further up in this blog post I said that sometimes the best way to overcome writer’s block was to just write, but sometimes, even that isn’t enough. Sometimes writer’s block is a sign that you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and you need to take a break to do something else.
Let’s be real with ourselves for a moment and admit that blogging isn’t an easy thing. Writing a blog post isn’t just about having an idea, writing it, and hitting publish.
You have to fit in time to come up with the idea, carry out research, plan the article, write the article, and edit the article all before anyone else reads it.
If you’re writer’s block refuses to shift, take time away from your laptop. Spend a few hours engaging in self care, or a couple of days doing something less demanding if you can. This will help you feel more creative when you do come back to write a blog post days later.
Download Writer’s Block Software
No, writer’s block software isn’t something that can write your blog post for you, unfortunately. You still have to put in the work. This software will, however, remove all distractions, making it easier to concentrate on the task at hand.
When I used to write novels, I used ZenWriter. This app will take over your entire screen, forcing you to focus on the document for a predetermined amount of time. You can’t click off it unless you restart your computer, making it impossible to procrastinate. Although it was free when I used it, I think it’s worth the lifetime fee it currently costs.
Alternatively, there’s Written? Kitten, a free software which will reward you with a picture of something of your choice for every so many words. Again, the amount of words you want to reward yourself with a new picture for is completely up to you.
Create A List Of Blog Post Ideas / Search For Them On Google
One thing I’ve done since I started blogging over three years ago now is keep a list of blog post ideas to hand. This really helps me when I experience writer’s block as it gives me a backup plan for when I don’t know what to write. In fact, the idea for this blog post came from an old blogging ideas list I wrote about two years ago.
I will admit to being super unorganized when it comes to keeping lists, however. In a recent Twitter chat, I admitted to having blog post ideas written in several different notebooks, on discarded pieces of paper, and even on a dried glasses wipe (I know, ew).
This year I’ve got a dedicated blogging notebook, and I’m trying to keep all my ideas together in that, but it’s not foolproof.
If you’re like me and really struggle to keep lists organised, however, all hope is not lost, thanks for the bloggers who are kind enough to share their blog ideas with the world. I guarantee that at least one person in your niche has written a list of ideas that you can use for inspiration at one point or another.
Even if you don’t end up using one of the blog post ideas you find in one of these posts, it may get your creative juices flowing enough to come up with an idea of your own.
Figure Out What’s Blocking You
Some psychologists believe that writer’s block is about the fear of getting started as opposed to a lack of inspiration.
I don’t know whether I believe this tells the whole story, but I do think finding out what’s causing the writer’s block can help us to overcome it.
As you might expect, the reasons behind writer’s block vary from person to person, but there are three common things that might be blocking you that you might want to think about.
I feel like fear makes a lot of us hold things back. We might have blog post ideas that we’re scared to publish because we don’t want to be judged, or criticised. Perhaps it’s controversial and you’re worried that people will stop reading your blog because of it?
I’ll admit that this is definitely something I’ve been battling recently, especially with my disability content. When I used to write about my disability regularly, I grew a thick skin and learnt to ignore the negative comments accusing me of faking my disability, or blaming my parents for vaccinating me. It’s definitely something I want to get back into eventually, but there’s definitely a fear there that I won’t be able to handle being judged again.
Is there something you’re scared of writing about? I’d love to hear about it!
This is something I have struggled with so much since I first started blogging. From conversations I’ve had with others in the blogging community, it seems to be quite a common battle.
I feel like a lot of us put so much pressure on ourselves to write the perfect sentence, paragraph or blog post in general that we’ll scare ourselves out of writing a post. Surely I’m not the only one who can relate to this?
The blogging community is so big that it’s inevitable we’ll come across another blogger who writes similar content to us. We may even find bloggers who have written about the same things we have and put their own spin on things. It happens.
When we come across this, however, it’s easy to lose perspective and start convincing ourselves we’re rubbish bloggers and everyone else is so much better than them. I reassure you, however, that someone has probably thought this about you at some point, too!
Remember It Happens To Everyone
When you experience writer’s block as a blogger, it can be tempting to fall into a trap of believing you’re the only person who has ever struggled with blogging that much.
The truth is, however, we all experience periods where we’re less motivated to blog, and overcoming writer’s block seems virtually impossible.
As hard as it is, try to remember that writer’s block is temporary, it will pass, and you can get through it. No matter how long it takes, it is possible to come out on the other side.
Have you found any of these tips useful? Do you have your own ways of overcoming writer’s block as a blogger?
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