Got Writer’s Block? Run Out Of Things To Say? Here’s The Cure.
Having had a few conversations about this recently it made me wonder why I nave never really had this issue (trying to rack my memory to see if I’m lying!) But it is a recurring theme with my blog students.
So let’s look at what causes bloggers to ‘dry up’ or have writers block.
You’ve heard the old saying ‘can’t see the wood for trees?’ Well this is often the problem. People will say ‘Sorry guys I don’t have much to say this week so I haven’t been blogging. I will see how I feel next week. Anyways I’m off to go sky diving and then I’ll be fighting a caged lion in Whipsnade Zoo. ‘Bye.’
I’m reading this thinking,
‘Huh?!! Fighting a lion?! Sky diving?! WRITE ABOUT THAT!’ Bloggers often can’t see the wonderful source of stories in the lives they lead. Okay, perhaps not everyone is fighting lions but actually in truth there are enough people interested in the less action packed aspects of anyone’s life.
I have often said this but the fact that you are struggling to write IS A THING TO WRITE ABOUT! There will be others who are feeling the same and will either come to empathise or come to see how you solved your writers block issue so they can mop up ideas.
Here’s another example:
You close your sad and empty blog page then pop down to the post office. All fairly mundane…but BING! …There’s the topic! – You could talk about how the mundane everyday admin things we are forced to do grind your gears, or how we seem to spend a great deal of our lives just queuing for things. Perhaps once you get there you see something amusing in the post office like a crappily written sign.
How about commenting about the good / bad / slow service or the weird mannerism the person serving you had?
A good example is Ellen Hawley who writes highly amusing posts on anything from fish and chips to immigration but she makes it her own quirky, witty, special thing.
Let’s drive this bus!
You could go super creative or sci-fi: what would happen if a meteorite was to hit the post office whilst you were queuing? What would you do? Who would you save first?!!
Let’s go religious: what if Jesus was to walk into the post office and order 14 first class stamps and a stack of self-seal envelopes but you were the only one to recognise him because everyone else had their noses in their phones? Do you go up and whisper, ‘Hey, JC…It’s you right?’ Or do you stalk him to see if he lives in flashy mansion or a garden shed? Plus…would it be rude to take a selfie?
You could go deep like James Clear who takes everyday situations and analyses the feshizzle out of them to draw out his productivity and good living theme.
It’s your blog lol! You can go wherever you want with it! Haley Joel Osment saw dead people but I see live potential stories everywhere!
That’s another thing. People limit the subjects they can write about via their blog title and then get themselves in a right old pickle when the subject they chose is not birthing great posts.
Until you are sure, perhaps don’t start a blog called ‘Snails With Three Heads,’ I’m guessing that niche has limited potential! Name your blog something that can grow and flow with your experience.
So to sum up there are 3 things from my magic box of tricks that will ensure you have an endless source of material. I don’t think you will ever look at a blank screen again and sigh:
1.Always Take A Notebook …Or Device
Always take a notebook wherever you go and jot down things that can turn into a story or a discussion on your blog. I have one by my bed for night ideas, by my desk and I would always carry one in my bag / pocket for when I go out and one in the car.
Connecting with other bloggers not only helps to build your network, you get to see a wide variation of ideas and inspiration from a wide range of people. You can see what works and what doesn’t and what ideas can be re-moulded and told through your own experience.
3. Have A Great News Source
Have a great news source. You may have one but I could not recommend Tinterwebs.com more. In one click you get a sweep of what is trending and being discussed around the world collated in one spot. When I go there ideas for my next posts are popping and exploding like little idea-bomb balloons. There are sooooo many subjects you can latch onto and bring home to your blog to discuss either as a standalone news event or re-sketched from a personal perspective. In addition I noted that Tinterwebs kills 3 blogging birds with 1 stone:
a) It’s Chatterbox feature allows you to connect with other bloggers whilst befriending your potential non blogger fan-base.
b) You can submit your own posts for exposure on T’interwebs and other more specific galleries e.g. the one for parents, fashion, pets, travel etc.
c) It’s a one stop shop of constantly updated topics, news and steal-able virals to use for your blog.
Yes I am in love.
SO SCHOOL ME FOLKS!
What do YOU do to stay inspired and find topics of interest for your blog?