Last week I wrote about how we are suffering from ‘blogger burnout’, and the response was amazing. We had people saying that they were going through the same thing, and last Monday we received the most likes for one blog post in one day than ever before!
So, this week, I would remiss not to share some tips for breaking through the blogging writers block – or indeed, just writers block. This is something, as a Creative Writing PhD, I have experience of. You know the phrase ‘everyone has a novel in them’? Well, that really isn’t a saying that I subscribe to. Everyone might have an idea for a novel, sure, but does every person have the ability, talent and perseverance to write? Absolutely not. Blogging is the same, in my opinion. Of course everyone has ideas for blogs, I have had lots myself and many of those ideas have not made it through the first month of blogging. The bloggers that succeed are those that write often, and keep the momentum going. It isn’t always easy – but if it was, everyone would do it. So, if you are a blogger and you need help breaking through that blogging post barrier – read on!
That’s the first step to getting those creative juices flowing. Turning creativity on like a tap takes practice, and as a teacher of Creative Writing I would always tell my students to learn what their most creative and productive times were, and to harness those moments. Set aside time to write your blog posts, and if you struggle once you get to that allocated hour, do something – anything – creative instead. You could try re-designing your blogging home page, drawing a new logo, coming up with, or researching, potential future blog posts. The trick is, do something creative and relevant with that time, because that is exactly how you learn to switch on creativity when needed.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
When am I at my most productive?
What do I need to work successfully?
What time can I allocate to do this in my week?
When you have the answers to these, make sure you integrate the plan into your week/day properly. Keep it realistic – don’t put pressure on yourself to write for an hour every night if that’s not what you can realistically manage. For example, I write best in the mornings. I need quiet and coffee to work successfully. I allocate Monday and Friday in my working week to do this. When the time comes, I do not sit in bed and write – I check in properly. I get up, get dressed, have breakfast and move to a different part of the house to begin. I know that if I stay in bed I won’t be as productive as I could be – even if I am writing.
Don’t Give Up
It can be really hard to keep going sometimes. You have a text from someone you love asking you to go for coffee, you have to hang the laundry up to dry, and if you don’t get to the gym today when exactly are you going to go? It takes effort and patience, but do your best to plan things like this after your blog post has been written.
Be Kind to Yourself
There are days when everything is planned perfectly, and you are poised for success…and then? Success doesn’t arrive. It could be anything, from having a headache, to just not being able to complete the total amount of words you had allocated yourself for that day. Do not be hard on yourself – this is what writing is like. Sometimes, it is best to walk away, have a break, and maybe even try again another day. Ultimately, you are the boss. You own your blog, you built it from the ground up. If you say a post is going to be published on a Friday instead of a Wednesday that is your call – just make sure you’re enjoying the blogging process.
I hope that helps you with the writing process – let me know what your experiences are!