Hands up who has gone through a blogging block. Anybody? No? Come on, no need to be shy. You, over there! Yeah, you. I just saw you half-raising your hand. Nobody’s going to bite you, come on, all the way up. A little more. A little more. There you go, see? Now you perfectly blend in with the rest of the group, come with me.
It’s a beautiful picture, isn’t it? It perfectly sums up the mood I’ve been in these past few days… This is my land of desolation and despair and I want to be left alone. It’s a bit melodramatic, I know, but that’s just how I feel. And I’m sure many of you can relate. There are times when nothing seems to work, and all you want to do is crawl into your bed and stuff your face with chocolate… or sleep… or lay motionless while staring at the ceiling. It’s a phase everyone—or at least the majority of bloggers—has been through at least once in their blogging life, if not more. It’s a horrible feeling, I know, but the good news is that it’s curable. Yeah, exactly! You can come out of that dark hole and go back to your happy place of blogging unicorns and rainbows.
One thing that I need to point out, though, is that each blogger is different, so what I did may not work for every single one of you. If you have come out of the blogging block, I encourage you to share your story in the comments, so everyone can find the right way to help themselves. We are a community, after all, so we should try and help each other in time of need.
Are you still with me? Good! This feeling fest is good for the soul, trust me. Sharing your struggle with someone else can make you feel less alone. Actually, being alone is the last thing you need in these situations, because the evil little blogger inside you will take advantage of that and start whispering the most horrible things… You’re not good enough… Nobody will read your blog if you don’t post every single day… What’s the point in having a blog if you can’t even write one bloody post? And that is if your evil little blogger is from Britain.
Before we go on, let me tell you a little story. Prior to A Thing for Life, I had another blog for four years. A book blog, specifically. I received books from different publishing companies in exchange for an honest review and it’s been a fantastic experience. Unfortunately, towards the end, the pressure of deadlines became too much to handle and that resulted in me quitting. When something you enjoy doing becomes a burden and you feel forced, alarms should go off in your head that something is definitely wrong. You love blogging and you don’t want to feel like that, do you? Exactly. So it’s way better to act and do something about this block before it gets to that terrible fate.
- Don’t force it. This is my number one suggestion and the most important one, by far. If you need to write a blog post but you’ve been sitting in front of the computer for over an hour and the screen is still blank, get away from there and do something else. Writing a blog post is something that should come from a passion. If you have to force yourself to write because *you have to* and your blog cannot be postless, you’ll only end up with a crappy post and with an even crappier mood. It’s better to stay away for a while.
- Use your block as a starting point. When I woke up this morning, I literally dreaded entering my home office because I knew I had to sit down and seriously write something—otherwise I would have no post to promote next week. I tried to avoid opening a Word doc as long as possible, checking my inbox, catching up with my social media channels… Then it hit me. Why don’t I write about having a blogging block and how to get out of it? So, here I am. :) Sometimes the key is to use your own weaknesses as a leverage and make them your strengths.
- Listen to music. Music is a great source of inspiration itself. The majority of writers and authors use music to get inspiration for their stories, so why shouldn’t you? I am listening to my Spotify playlist as I’m writing this post, but it’s not like I’m using the music to find inspiration on WHAT to write. I’m not even listening to the songs, I just use music to let my blogging juices flowing, and it works great. Like I close my eyes and I let my fingers type what they need to type… Not that I’m doing it for real, though. I mean, I know where the letters in the keyboard are and I’m pretty good at writing without looking at the keyboard, but I feel that if I closed my eyes I’d just get it all wrong.
- Play a game. I know, that sounds like procrastinating, but it’s not really like that. Ok, maybe it is, but that’s not the point. Find a game that you like (whether it’s a board game, a game on your phone, or computer) and play it until your mood has improved. Games can be a source of inspiration too. Not only because you can talk about the games you like in your blog post but—since your brain has managed to shut the evil little blogger up—you can come up with new stuff for your blog, too. For example, I love to play The Sims, and there are times in which I literally play for hours. However, playing with my Sims has made me think of a few ideas for posts—not necessarily related to the game—and also reflect on things that I would like to do with my blog in the future. Brain multitasking, people, brain multitasking.
- Go outside. Go to Starbucks. Or Costa. Or wherever you go drink your favourite hot beverage. The main point is, take some fresh air. Bring a notepad with you for when inspiration strikes. Observe people around you. No, I don’t mean staring at them until they start to feel uncomfortable, you weirdo! Just observe. You’ll see people with their laptops, business men/women having meetings, women with the cutest babies. You never know what kind of ideas these strangers might inspire. And you’ll get another chance to see that handsome barista you’ve been eyeing for months. However, if your blogging block strikes on a rainy day and you're home bound, no need to flair your arms dramatically in the air. Download Coffivity on your phone (available for Android and IOS), put on your earphones, close your eyes and it'll be just like you're in your local coffee shop. I tried its Morning Murmur once just for fun, and it's a very relaxing, calming sound... so much that it made me yawn twice... Yeah, maybe try not to sit on the couch or the bed. Yes, your dining table will do. :)
These have really worked for me, so I hope that they can be helpful to someone else.
Have you experienced a blogging block? How did you overcome it? Share your story in the comments!