Guest Post By Grace Pamer.Want to get involved ? See how you can become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Blogging is a phenomenon of the Internet age that has few precedents from the past. Bloggers have to come up with new ideas for articles on a regular basis, write and edit their work, and post them, ready to move on to the next blog entry. On the whole we undertake no formal training for such demands and yet the pressures can sometimes be intense. We often work in a particular niche, sometimes alone, and on occasion may feel the constraints of such choices. In fact, in many ways, the only activity prior to the advent of web logs (blogs) was the work of professional column writers at newspapers and magazines for they had to come up with new ideas regularly to maintain their readerships expectations – and they were paid to do it!
As such we blog writers can become overwhelmed by the task of creating new content especially when we feel like we have ran into a wall of non-creativity. In addition real life problems also play their part in causing blogger’s block and it can sometimes be difficult to get back on track after life has thrown us a curve-ball. But rest assured there are tried and tested ways to overcome this problem, and to feel productive again. When you need a consistent well of ideas for articles, here are some methods to consider.
1. Take notes – Keep a small spiral pad and a pencil or pen on your person at all times. Many of the activities and suggestions which follow depend on your writing them down. Alternatively, use a small digital recorder that fits in your pocket to dictate thoughts, ideas, etc. Whatever tool you choose to use, you have to use it, not lose it or forget it at home or in an inaccessible place.
2. Write – This may seem like an obvious or impossible tip – how can you write when you can’t write? But all bloggers understand the difference between blogging and other kinds of writing. If you don’t keep a diary, start one, and use it for freewriting. Yes, you can talk about the weather and what you had for diner, but use it like a tool to let your mind go to places you’ve never been before. That feeling of low that happens when you get on a roll writing a blog entry can also happen without restrictions if you just let your mind wander and write. Consider doing this writing by hand or even dictation, as a way to differentiate it from your normal practice of typing on the computer.
3. Brainstorm – Not quite the same as freewriting and diary keeping, to brainstorm is to work your creativity in a concentrated burst. Pick a topic dear to you and start jotting down anything that comes to mind related to it. Don’t hold back, don’t judge, don’t edit – this is not for anyone else but you. You’ll be surprised by what your mind can come up with if you let it go.
4. Browse – If you are a reader and a book owner, you probably have a few shelves full of your prized possessions at home. Or you might be an e-book reader with a list of books you have read or intend to read. At any rate, browsing your own books for ideas is a place to start. A better way though, is to go down to your local big chain bookstore and browse the shelves for ideas. Don’t be afraid to sit and take time with a new area of interest, or a specific title that catches your eye. And don’t limit yourself to your particular niche at this point – think of your role as a sponge of knowledge, so that you can refill the empty well of ideas. And don’t forget to take notes.
5. Surf – Bloggers probably surf the web all the time even when they are at a loss for ideas, but try going outside of your usual Internet visits. Find some new sources for news and other human interest stories. See if there are other blogs that are in your niche – not to plagiarize or steal ideas, but for inspiration. The web is absolutely jam-packed with possibilities for blogs no matter what your area of interest is, but you have to make an effort to go outside of your comfort zone. And, don’t forget to bookmark, take notes, and keep track of interesting leads to other sites.
6. Destress – If you are an anxious type of person who finds it hard to relax, now is the time to break that habit. It is possible to change your personality, but effort is needed. Listen to music, try aromatherapy, learn meditation and relaxation techniques, try anything that calms down that inner confusion and relaxes your mind. For many of us, movement of any kind helps to reduce stress. Walk, ride a bike, swim, participate in an enjoyable sport, do something that gets your circulation going and your muscles working. By destressing, you make room for new blogging ideas and feel better all around.
7. Socialize – Bloggers, like novelists and other professional writers, tend to be solitary people or at least to jealously guard their solitude. But being around other people can jumpstart the mind and inspire you to get creative again. Even just going to the mall and doing some shopping or people watching can trigger ideas and get the flow restarted. There is an energy given off by other humans that you can take advantage of to break through the wall.
Blogger’s block is not permanent, and you will continue writing those blog entries. We all know how hard it is to come up with new ideas, but never think of the problem as a roadblock that will always be there. Use your own ingenuity and creativity to break through the wall, and get back to blogging.