A Quirky Guide to Getting Out of a Blogging Rut!Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Help! I've fallen into a blogging rut, and I can't get back up!
Have you ever found yourself in what seems like an inescapable writing rut? Whether it be a lack of inspiration or the complete halt of any sort of update. I recently found myself in such a rut after coping with a terrible flare up of my autoimmune illness while planning my wedding & juggling a billion other obligations. Overwhelmed with the stress and the lack of time from holding down two jobs, I felt my blog suffer as night after night passed without any updates.
After taking a month long hiatus, I felt that getting back into my blog routine was nearly impossible. Every time I sat down to compose a post, I felt hopeless and uninspired. A few weeks ago, I received a sad email from a lovely reader who wanted to know why my writing had nearly ceased entirely. She expressed that many blogs often end up being a dead space on the internet when a blog author abandons them and how sad it would be if that were the case with my blog.
I decided that I was either going to let my blog fade away and sit like a cob web inside a dusty cyber closet, or I was going to reclaim my blog and infuse it with the energy & positivity that I began my writing endeavor with originally. I felt that the best way to end my blogging rut was to write about it. As most you know, our blogs are like an extension of who we are as people. Not our whole selves, but a very deep & personal part. What better way to bring my blog back to life than to write about my ideas on how to avoid and defeat a blogging rut.
(My desk is my favorite place to write)
My main problem whenever I find myself in a rut is to figure what to write about. That has always been the most difficult part of the process for me. I can easily get stumped by the most docile case of writer's block. I feel that the best way to avoid writer's block is to have a plan of action before you even start writing. To give you an idea of what I am talking about I will lay out the process I have conceived for my own writing.
First, I jot down a list of numerous topic ideas. To make things easier, I usually keep a working list of topics with me inside my Filofax. I constantly think of ideas while I'm in the most inconvenient places, and I find it easier to jot those ideas down when I have a list with me at all times. Write all of your ideas down in the same place. Even silly ideas or ideas that still need some work. Never dismiss an idea just because it isn't 100 percent perfect.
Next, I sit down with a calendar and plan the schedule for my blog posts. You can approach this step a number of ways depending on your personal preferences. I like to print out blank calendars for each month and fill in each day with my goals & planned posts. I also plan what days I'm actually going to composes said posts. I like to write a few posts in one sitting when I'm feeling inspired.
After the planning is done, I simply continue to brainstorm topic ideas and try my best to stick to my schedule. There is always some give and take when it comes to a blog schedule but it should definitely be followed most of the time in order to stay on track.
STOP MAKING EXCUSES
It's easy to make excuses when it comes to anything that requires effort. Writing, editing, and organizing your blog posts takes a lot more effort than anyone reading can imagine from the finished product. If you have fallen into a rut for a long time, you should start by extinguishing that nagging voice in the back of your mind that reminds you that it's just been too long since your last update. Even if it's been months, it's okay to come back to your blog. Even if some of your old followers have moved on, there are plenty of new readers out there just waiting to discover your writing.
Stop apologizing for gaps between your posts or skipped days without any new content. There is no need to feel guilty for taking the time that you need.
MORE QUIRKY TIPS
♥ Don't be afraid of writers' block. The less you dwell on it, the quicker it will disappear.
♥ Don't be overly critical during your first draft of writing. Just let the words come out as they will. Edit your writing once you have gotten your original idea out.
♥ Try using a word processor while working. I also enjoy using Ommwriter when I need to block out the distractions and just write my heart out.
♥ Listen to instrumental music that is inspiring but not distracting. Turn off the television and close all superfluous web tabs. Shutting out distractions is a big help for me because it's easy to let multi-tasking overwhelm you and keep you from your writing.
♥ Set aside time to write free from distractions. I tend to write early in the morning or late at night when everyone is asleep.
♥ Take some time at least once per week to jot down lots of ideas. Even silly ideas can spark something brilliant. Write & doodle freely without any inner criticism.
♥ If you usually look for images or edit images prior to writing, switch things up and write the article first. And vice versa if you usually write first.
♥ Read everything & anything that inspires you. Watch your favorite movies, listen to podcasts, read magazines/newspapers/blogs. Absorb it all and let yourself be inspired. It's funny how anything can spark a new & original idea if you are receptive to it.
♥ Work away from the computer. I have a composition notebook covered in pink hearts that I like to write in.
♥ Go somewhere new like a chic cafe or a park bench. Find somewhere that works for you. My
local library has an amazing row of secluded desks fully equipped with outlets. I could spend hours there hidden away from the world.
♥ Don't stress if you don't have time to update on a daily basis. Write when you feel inspired. Your writing schedule will develop over time. The more passionate you are about what you are writing, the more frequent your posts will be.
♥ Pre-write when you feel inspired to do so. Write some articles in advance when you are feeling especially creative. Save them for a busy time in your life.
♥ Go for a walk outside and let your ideas percolate inside your mind.
♥ Set small goals and reward yourself. Sometimes I tell myself that if I write one post, I can do something fun like watch a bit of trash television or get a manicure. It sounds kinda of kooky, but it really helps you stay focused when you have something to look forward to.
♥ Dive headfirst into a blog project and get lost in your creation.
♥ Explore your hometown and find hidden inspiration.
♥ Don't apologize if you are feeling uninspired.
♥ Create inspiration collages with magazine clippings or make virtual pinboards like on Pinterest.
♥ Break from your routine. Routines start to get old and can make you feel uninspired.
♥ Grab your best friend and go for an adventure. Do something you have never done before then write about it.
♥ Dream big, even when it comes to your writing.
♥ Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers, especially pro-bloggers. We all start at the same place, so don't get discouraged by the success of other bloggers.
♥ Write about what makes your heart leap inside your chest. Odds are you won't run out of things to write about when you are truly enraptured with the topics you have chosen for your blog.
These are just a few things that have helped me. I would love to hear your own ideas on staying inspired & working through ruts.
Lots of love & positivity,