Ideas for a new blog post can fly at us like a grade 5 hurricane. Fragments of thought swirl around in the air, and our minds leap up and swirl around with them. Eventually we land with dozens of fresh fragments tugging at our brain (in our hair, dangling off our arms, clinging to our back and so on…) and we’ll write about all of them. An enthusiastic whirlwind of scribbling (typing) and ink (pixels) follows!
Or… we stand there, staring into the sky, waiting for the hurricane that never shows. We wait and we wait. When it doesn’t come, we pick up a handful of dirt and grass and throw it into the air, trying our hardest to summon our own swirling mass of thoughts and ideas. But ultimately all we’ve done is just thrown dirt and grass into the air.
So how do we find middle ground? A gentle breeze that provides a continuous stream of ideas that we can pluck out of the air with some semblance of regularity.
I’m not sure. I was hit by the hurricane a few weeks ago. But today, I’m throwing dirt into the air.
Speaking of dirt, I decided to do some digging, and I’ve put together some useful suggestions to help break through the bloggers block when your pool of thought does dry up:
Leave it alone and let it breathe for a few days ~ see if anything comes to you naturally
When you want to write, and have time to write, it can be incredibly frustrating to purposefully neglect your blog for a period of time. But the saying “patience is a virtue” was coined for a reason.
Use techniques to identify random words or random images that can be written about
Go to Google. Type the first three words that come to you and write about the fifth search result that comes up. Interesting idea but slightly convoluted. I’m not sure how well it works, although if I type in “overcoming writer’s block”, I’d probably find a list of suggestions I could base a blog post on….
Write about having nothing to write about
Guilty. As of right now. It works, but only once. Clearly, I’m using this card very early in my blogging game.
Revisit old drafts
This one is for the long-time bloggers who likely have drafts piling up in their blogging locker. Have a look at old ideas and ask yourself why you didn’t finish them. There was a reason you began writing them in the first place. Wasn’t there?
Revisit old posts
Again, this one applies more to the long-time bloggers. Re-read your oldest posts. Re-read your about page. Has anything changed since you first started your blog. This is more about checking your progress and a w ee bit of self-reflection. You may find an old post that you can update and re-post, or something old to build on.
Embrace the hurricane!
This sounds obvious I know, but when that hurricane hits, open your arms and let it sweep you up! Jot down every idea that comes to you. Expand on them a little, or a lot. Stockpile, stockpile, stockpile! So when the wind does disappear, you’ve got a good few weeks worth of material ready to be worked on.
Be one with the blogging community.
Have you checked in with your blogging community lately? This is a great suggestion for two reasons. First of all, you keep in touch with your precious blogging community – you know, the one that takes the time to view, like and comment on your stuff all the time. Secondly, it’s a haven for new ideas. Not to copy or plagiarise, but to ignite the spark already forming in that brain of yours.
What about a series?
Is there something you regularly post that could become a regular theme? Movie review of the week? Or you could build upon a fictional character you’ve already written about. What about a piece you’ve already drafted that could be split up into several parts? It keeps your posts shorter and builds a little suspense.
What other methods do you use to summon up that hurricane and get your writing mojo back? Share this with your friends and fellow bloggers — they might have some extra ideas to add to the list.
And if that fails, there’s always Photo Booth for those of you with a Mac……..