The cursed writers block. It can pounce at any time, quite usually at the worst time such as deadline day. If, like me, you are a regular blog contributor you know what I mean. Another issue that can be sometimes faced as a writer is a feeling of stagnation in subject matter. It is no secret that content has been written on the same topic numerous times, so how is your piece offering any more value than the next? Well my friends, I have come up with a few ways to beat the blogging block and overcome the writing decay. Most of the tips are related to preparation, so you don’t find yourself in the same boat as I am today. Staring at a blank screen. Making endless cups of tea.
It is a handy idea to have a little notepad on your person at all times, to quite literally jot down any ideas or inspirations. It may sound a little twee but it is very effective. Only recently did I discover the value of this. While on holidays I came up with a super blog idea. I like to think the fresh coconut and Balinese background melodies were inspirational necessities. Que to when I got home and back to my laptop – and couldn’t remember what my idea was. Why didn’t I have the damn notepad right?! Notes on a mobile phone work equally well for this; I just happen to be a little old fashioned.
Sometimes we are not beacons of knowledge and don’t dream up wonderful content ideas. Sometimes we (me!) harness the academia of someone else’s piece and mould it into our own. Examples of this include utilising newspaper articles, educational literature or a contributor’s opinion piece. It is all well and good to take inspiration from other sources for your own content creation, but if you can’t remember the sources or what they were about, it’s pointless.
This is where I call in the help of my old friend Evernote. You might remember Evernote from previous blog posts; yep I am slightly in love with the organisational software tool. It gives the user the ability, among many other functions, to save snippets from the internet and photographs for reference later. Very useful indeed. Especially in a circumstance where you spy some worthy content that is not necessarily at your immediate fingertips; the bloke on the bus with the eye-catching headline on his newspaper. You know where this goes and it involves a camera phone and some stealth. Bye bye blogging block ; hello stolen ideas from cute bloke on trains newspaper.
OK kind of weird heading. What I am referring to is my above point that mentions a sense of decay in one’s work. Particularly when the topic has been done so many times before. An example that is apt today is the subject of strength training. It can feel wasteful to create an article on the topic, particularly if your findings or opinion are not so different from other contributors to the topic. This is where you need to flip your thinking on its side and approach the topic from another angle. Everyone is writing about how awesome strength training is in general, so you could write about how awesome strength training is for women in their fifties.
I guess what I am saying is to own your subject more and master its intricacies. Rather than skim the surface like many others do, get your hands dirty and dig a little deeper. Not only is this a great way of re-hashing old content in times of writer’s block, but it also gives you permission to grow your knowledge base and become the expert in the field. This only strengthens your content, and therefore your audience base.
This is for those who are past the point of no return. Writers block has set in so deeply, that there are scratch marks on the monitor and the kettle has exploded from over use. It is also suitable for those with talents other than writing. Blogging does not always have to consist of the written word! If you simply cannot muster up the grammar to express yourself, why not get handy with a camera and create a podcast. Maybe even create an infographic; hell, even some clip art! Our brains are so spectacularly designed that if one creative function is on the go slow, the others are often heightened. Improvising may help you to get your groove back Stella.
To conclude, its January and I am clearly writing about my reality right now. How beautiful is blogging though? I have written a blog about how to overcome blogging block, thus solving my own problem! Hope this helps you guys too. Most importantly, I would love to hear your ideas on keeping your content ideas bank bright and bushy tailed. Please let us know!
Next week’s post – I clearly don’t know yet. #bloggingblock