All you bloggers out there have no doubt experienced the occasional crippling bout of Blogger’s Block. This affliction hits especially hard when coupled with burnout. Blogs tend to focus on a single topic, and it can be hard to write about the same theme over and over again. Eventually, you are likely to hit a wall and have to rack your brain for a new and interesting way to approach your topic (I guarantee your audience still wants to read about the same thing, even if you can’t think of any other way to write about it).
When you first feel the symptoms of Blogger’s Block coming on (irrational hunger, restlessness, headache), restrict your access to email, cell phones, and text messages. If you’re like me, on a typical day at work, you’ll have at least 10 browser windows and three email drafts open at all times. If this is the case, you’ll never be able to get around to that blog post. Someone is bound to interrupt with an urgent email, or at the very least you’ll give in to your burning urge to check Instagram. Likely, the blog isn’t your full-time job and if you allow distractions from your “real job” – or your kids, hobbies or those pesky Groupon emails – to creep in, they will. When it’s blogging time, do your best to keep those electronic distractions out of the equation until the job is done.
Perhaps, even with your email closed, internet disabled and phone tucked away, you’re still not inspired. Try Blogger’s Block elimination step number two: Hit the power button on the monitor and give up the computer entirely. As Natalie Goldberg says in her book The True Secret of Writing, “Handwriting is the first physical way we learned to write . . . A computer is a two-handed activity. A different structure.” When one medium fails to elicit inspiration, try another. When a yellow steno pad stubbornly remains blank, try a spiral notebook. Pencil cramping your style? Trade it for a ball point pen.
Perhaps letting words flow through your favorite utensil onto good old-fashioned paper has given you an idea, but you still are having trouble stringing the words together in a satisfactory way. Try expressing yourself in an alternate form. Maybe a limerick will do a better job of communicating you thoughts.
My ed said write a post for this blog,
But I’m stuck in a bit of a fog.
A bad poet, too,
Oh, what shall I do?
I’d rather be a bump on a log.
Even if your poem or song or stream-of-consciousness rant turns out to not be a work of genius, you may have been able to see your topic in a different light which can clear the way for a much more astute blog post. It’s all about opening the floodgates and allowing your ideas to flow. Sometimes bad ones have to come out before you can get to the good ones.
A final option is to be honest with your readers. Try writing about what’s on your mind. It might even be what’s keeping you from writing an otherwise relevant blog post. You’ve managed to convince your loyal blog readers to be interested in you as a person and not just a dispensary of wisdom on their favorite topic, so they’ll read your post and enjoy it all the same. Especially if your struggle is something they can relate to. For example, say you’re a mommy-blogger who can’t get her post done because your baby is sick and crying. Tell readers about it. Or if you’re a food blogger who hasn’t had time to try out any new recipes. Why not explain what you make for dinner when you don’t have time to create the elaborate recipes that would normally populate your blog?
Finally, the best part about blog posts: They don’t have to be anything groundbreaking. Your readers will likely read it once, (presumably) enjoy it and then move on to 15 other blogs. The important idea is not to let Blogger’s Block keep you from providing readers with fresh, entertaining content. The easiest way to lose readers is to have them visit your blog only to see that they’ve already read the most recent post.