The blogger’s block is a common ailment which affects bloggers knowingly or unknowingly. It is also known as writer’s block, but that covers a vast scope, as all bloggers need not be writers. But for me, when you write a blog post, you are a writer. There are several reasons for the writer’s block. The few ones I can think of now are:
- Running out of Ideas
- Having too many ideas clogging the flow
- Having no time
- Feeling low or in a state unable to think
- Physical inability like illness or broken finger!
There maybe other reasons too, but need not count to writer’s block, but the end result is the same – no new posts on your blog. Of course I have excluded the “inaccessibility to the net”, which comes under publishing, because then, you do have new posts and maybe you are writing!
Now, let’s move onto the solutions.
Searching for Ideas:
- There are innumerous sources on internet to get ideas. You can also read news channels, other blogs, maybe blogs of your readers, or starred/bookmarked sites which you could never read,etc.Use StumbleUpon, Digg and other social bookmarking sites.
- You can even follow others (or me)on twitter, and get to know whats the latest talk on the net! Look out for #hashtags. Every word creates sparks in your mind, and if your mind is sharp enough, it will give you the ideas, even though it may appear vague initially.
- And if still vision doesn’t get clear, take up the tag post or meme and spread some link love! 😀
- Read books, magazines, newspapers. Check out for advertisements!. Go into the specific details as you read them. You can even end up writing a post on “selecting the right font”, you never know!
- Watch movies, TV shows, Quizzes, Interviews. Or just go out (even from the balcony) and watch people. Moving objects increases the flow of thoughts.
- Take photographs and blog about them.
- Blog about any trips you made before. Interesting but short travelogues can be a good topic for blogging.
- Try talking with the sky, trees, flowers, winds etc etc. Observe them. Nature has its own way to refresh your thinking and ignite idea-pots from your mind. Why do people love beaches???
- If you have some basic idea, but are not able to develop it into a post, think about it. Try to speak about the topic to yourself or an imaginative audience, for say, 1 minute, either silently or aloud. Think more to get more points on what you can talk on that topic. Try to put down the same onto the post.
Too much Ideas, Huh?
- Write down each and every one of the ideas or thoughts as an ordered list, maybe a blog tasklist?
- People recommend usage of mindmaps, though I have never used one. It is especially useful when you are creating a long post or having huge ideas around a topic. In this way, you can link so many points correlated to the topic, without losing any of them.
- If it is a short (or long) story, create the outline first. If nothing else, we need to keep in mind, the start and end of the base story. I am not sure how Ekta Kapoor thinks and I wonder upon her ability to prolong her story!!!
- Jot down the ideas when and wherever possible. Keeping the ideas in mind, makes the mind overburdened and lefts you feel mind-clogged, and over the time, maybe the ideas get crunched up too, under the pressure! Mobile phones are handy for storing ideas in the form of drafts, notes, or messages(if you are on SMS pack!)
Once you have a bunch of correlated ideas, it is easy for you to relate them and create sentences to fill them up. Speak or try to explain the ideas to a nearby imaginary person or to yourself. (Make sure you are alone, or else there are chances that you might be taken to a nearby mental hospital! 😉 )
No time, man, such a hectic schedule, you know?
Ya, I know. This is a pure lame excuse, if you ask me! 🙂 You need to attend time management course for sure, and that too as soon as possible!
- Create the outline of ideas or make a list of ideas you wish to convey in the post. Keep them in handy for reference.Fill out the sentences in between during your free time. Say, while traveling? I know you may need to cut down your sleep in order to do that, but its your choice. Time is available.
- There are workaholic people, who take breaks by reading newspapers or small books. If you have plenty of ideas already, you can try writing too. I know one person who finishes his lunch fast, and writes blogs for rest of the lunch break time! Not by choice, but because of his fast-eating habit, he is left with free time! Think of time, when you squander like this and make use of it!
- Get GPRS on phone and start moblogging! Some people use Blackberry for the same!
- Allot two/three hours (or as much you need) per week, and write posts in stretch. You can even publish or schedule to publish/post for the whole week. Did you know that WordPress has the option of publishing in future automatically, whenever you want to? You just need to edit the time stamp and click Publish!
Time never waits for you. You need to make use of the time!!
Feeling Low or Ill?
There are times, when people don’t feel good. The mood swings are common these days, maybe due to our lifestyle and people talk publicly about it. The best way to recover from the low state depends person to person. But at any cost, recover as fast as possible. Time is moving on. How to recover from low state requires a different post but once done, get back to work!
- Try to recover fast as possible. Atleast boost yourself to write or scribble something, if its your personal feelings, you can even keep it private and confidential, You need not have to publish them and may choose to discard later, but keep the writing on, which induces the train of thought to continue, and this will also help in recovering your mood back.
- Listen to music or watch movies, and post mini-reviews about them. Let the readers know that you are alive!
- This is the best time to gather up ideas actually. You are not able to think much, due to the personal reasons. Then make use of the time, reading heavily. Keep in touch and in the network using your networking strategies. You may feel not responsive, but its okay. Over the time, the social network pressure will excite you enough to respond. If you are not able to reciprocate, then its time to find other methods, but never give up.
- Some people prefer to remain isolated for boosting up themselves. This is not wrong, but make sure you are not left behind for long!
If you are really ill, take plenty of rest. Don’t strain too much. Nothing is more important than your health and life!
Got a broken finger? Hands feeling weak? Having an eye-problem? Take rest.
Readers will not go away for a while. Once you are atleast able to speak or keep your mind alive, when the pain has subsidized, start thinking. Developing ideas need lot of thinking I presume.
If you are not in a position to jot down ideas, use the recorder. Do you know you have a built in recorder in most of the mobile phones? Talk into it. And when time changes the season, you still have the captured version of your ideas in your recorder. You can either use it for drafting posts, or to enhance the ideas and make it a good post.
You can even try audio podcasting. The boys at the Smoking Apples do this once in a while. The first few times may not be quite good, but once you are with the flow of talking continuously, you can become expert easily.
Now there should be no more excuses. No more reasons to hold you back. So start writing. Now! 🙂