writer's block

As a writer chances are you have or will find yourself in a dry spell.  Ideas will be as hard to come by as Brad Pitt look-alikes in WalMart, and you’ll have trouble finding the words to express the simplest thought.

Writer’s block.  It happens to everyone.

Any number of things can bring on writer’s block; a change in schedule, illness, or something you just can’t put your finger on.  Identifying the cause may help you find a solution.

For example, if you work best in the morning but started sleeping in over vacation, getting up earlier may just jump start your creative process.

But sometimes the problems isn’t so easy to fix.  Then what?  Well, here’s what works for me when I find myself blocked.

Rewrite old posts.  If you can’t think of anything new to write, go back and refine some of your older posts.  It can be helpful to read your own writing in your own voice to help you find new things to share.  You can even republish some rewritten posts as new while you get your mojo back.

Side note: Don’t forget to redirect the old post to the new, improved one.

Read other blogs.  One of my first cases of writers block came when i had only published a few posts.  I hit a wall because I didn’t want my blog to be a copy of someone else’s and I wanted all my ideas to be 100% original.  Well, that’s great, but it’s a touch unrealistic.

I still don’t want my blog to be a copycat, but I now find reading other blogs to be inspiring.  There are tons of good ideas out there and sometimes all it takes is one small spark of inspiration to get the fire going again.

Focus on something else.  There’s a lot more to blogging than just writing.  If words are hard to come by spend some time focusing on the other aspects of your business.  Punch up some old graphics, update your SEO, try to find some new plugins that can help your blog function better, work on your social media strategy.  There’s no need to sit in front of a blank screen getting frustrated when there are other things you could be doing that are far more productive.

Side note: If all those other tasks are what’s distracting you from writing (as has happened to me), ignore everything I just said.

Dig into your idea bank.  I find that when the ideas are flowing, they’re almost overwhelming.  Even if I think it’s a stupid idea I try to write everything down and keep them all in one place – in my case, an excel file in a dropbox.  When I’m in the middle of a dry spell I’ll go back to that list and try to work on an idea I wrote down but, for one reason or another, never went anywhere.

It gives me something to start with.  And if it never amounts to anything that’s okay because the goal is to…

Keep writing.  No matter what, don’t give up writing completely.  Whether it’s tweets, Facebook updates, e-mails, or pin descriptions, just keep writing.  One day something will click and you’ll be back to your old self (or better) in no time.

During these frustrating times it’s important to keep in mind that it’s only a phase, a speed bump in the road.  This, too, shall pass.  Always remember the immortal words of the great philosopher, Dory.

Whatever you try, remember the golden rule of blogging: Do something for your blog every day.

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