Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Ways to Tackle Blogger’s Block

The concept started with writers being stuck creatively, and now scores of bloggers are meeting the same fate. And in order to accommodate bloggers, the terminology had to be branched out from Writer’s Block to Blogger’s Block. Both the terms propagate the same phenomenon with two different kinds of writer and involve occasionally hitting a psychological barrier that inhibits creativity. And the worst part is that such blocks are an inevitable part of every writer whether good or bad.

In my opinion, experience is a potent weapon that most bloggers use to recover from Blogger’s Block. The reason why I excluded knowledge is that it’s one of many reasons why bloggers have Blogger’s Block on the first place. When there’s a pressure of being knowledgeable, there is also fear or a paranoia of being wrong, and this combination makes a blogger even more susceptible to Blogger’s Block. And the remedy is practical knowledge of knowing what to do when facing a Blogger’s Block, which can only be acquired through experience. I guess knowledge in general plays both the saviour and the whacker in this context.

I had my share of Writer’s Block when I was a full time freelance writer, and now as a new blogger I get Blogger’s Block occasionally. And through this blog post I want to share a little bit of my experience or practical knowledge on how you can get hold of yourself during Blogger’s Block.

1) Rely on good old note making: Scribbling notes forms an important part of any research, and it’s also a great way to harmonize our thoughts and ideas. Sometimes during research for an article or during writing, the mind can get cluttered with too much information, which creates a situation that preludes Blogger’s Block. Once in such a situation, it becomes necessary to resort to a way that places our thoughts and researched information in sight.

2) Distract your mind when you feel low: It’s a universal truth that ups and downs are part of life. No matter how smart and rich you are, you can’t escape from the feeling of being low; it’s how we are made. Think of the phrase “feeling low” as more like a generic term that encompasses a host of negative emotions. 

You can get Blogger’s Block from negative emotions or Blogger’s Block can give you negative emotions. And when you write with negative emotions, everything seems to be wrong.

When I feel low, I take a break and do something else apart from blogging, and it works well for me and should work for you as well.

3) Write with no bounds: The idea is to write whatever you like with no limits; it’s like jotting down thoughts as they are being generated. And similar ideas to the one I have propounded also sit at the centre of several theories from renowned authors and bloggers about creative writing, inspiration, motivation, etc.
Writing with a spontaneous burst of thoughts helps especially during times when you feel that you are all burned out. Who knows by spilling out your thoughts, you may as well find bright ideas that were buried deep in your sub-conscious.

4) Share your problem: If you think that your Blogger’s Block is too severe and you can’t help yourself then ask your friends and family for help. They can give you new ideas and positive reinforcement to make you feel good. If your Blogger’s Block is the outcome of personal issues, then they are the only people who can help you.

I have a cousin who is an engineer, and I sometimes ask him to write articles for me, not for my blog though, on subjects that require a high degree of technical knowledge.

5) Ask for new ideas from your audience: If you think that you are facing Blogger’s Block because you are all out of fresh ideas then you can ask your blog visitors or audience to submit their ideas. The best way to do this is to create a separate static page with a form asking for ideas from visitors. You can use Google Drive to create a form without any hassle and paste the HTML code of the form on that page. This way visitors won’t be bothered with extra steps associated with sending an email when submitting an idea.

6) Invite guest bloggers to share the load: Maintaining an ideal post frequency is vital for the purpose of SEO, and you can’t afford to sit idle on the pretext of Blogger’s Block. If you don’t feel like writing then let others write for your blog. This may not solve your Blogger’s Block situation but will prove as a balm for your in-activeness. 

7) Revisit your archive: Reading your old blog posts is a great way to remind the great work you did over the period. Not only it makes you feel positive, it rekindles your love with which you started your blogging journey.

8) Join hands: If you are getting frequent Blogger’s Block then this may be a sign to bring on other bloggers as contributors.

If your blog is based on a broad niche and includes topics that you aren’t an expert at then get ready for the worst kind of blocks. If you really have such topics then it’s best to collaborate with other bloggers or hire expert writers. It’s always better to collaborate with bloggers whom you personally know, because such collaborations are long term and more personal than inviting for a guest post.

9) Hit the gym: Sometimes I get the wildest and wackiest ideas when doing exercise. I think the adrenaline rush somehow helps especially when I am having a bad day.

You can definitely try doing some kind of light exercise or going to the gym when you think that you are having a block. Even a light stroll outside can open your mind to new ideas.

Bloggers can have Blogger's Block for days, but if you have a healthy mind then you can prevent such long period lulls. And for a healthy mind, you need a healthy body.

10) Read what others are writing: As a blogger, you should definitely follow other bloggers in your niche/niches; see what others are writing and get inspired but never ever copy or paraphrase; use your own ideas and thoughts and create something unique. The main idea here is to create unique content on topics that are hot in your niche/niches and learn what others are learning.
You can use social analytics to view trending topics like Topsy and Bottlenose.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading my article. Please feel free to use the comment box.

A mind stimulating book on creativity by Michael Michalko.

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