One of my biggest pet peeves as a blogger at Inc, Forbes, Entrepreneur, TheNextWeb and the rest of the gang, is the ever familiar and daunting fear of 'blogger's block', writer's block's second cousin to be exact. The time when I find myself in a staring competition with my computer screen, hoping miraculously that it will write the story itself, as I am suddenly at a loss for words, ideas or just something.
I've come to learn that this 'problem' has become something of positive nature in the writing process and as frustrating as it is, walls were meant to be broken. Normally when a person suffers writer's block, it causes them to take a step back and reevaluate what they are writing about. The end result is fresh content and new ideas.
Fellow bloggers, there's no need to feel victimized, this happens to the best of us. It's not the end of your blog, only if you accept defeat it will beat you to it. So how does one overcome this dilemma? Here are 4 tips I usually use to conquer my blogger's block, and kick it to the curb once and for all.
There's nothing wrong with window shopping, from reading other blogger's sites to interacting somehow on their blogs. Researching and checking out your competition often drives motivation. Often, the archives on blogs become forgotten and lose their worth when not on the front page--and archives are a gold mine of past articles.
Scan through them and you'll find that new ideas will start emerging off those published posts. There's no shortage of great material from online sources. Every article published can point you towards new ideas, writers and resources. That's why I'm a hardcore fan of the blogs that are about blogging--Copyblogger, Problogger, BuildYourOwnBlog and a few more.
Don't Be Interrupted
A great piece of advice is to shut down your inbox, mobile devices, put on a timer and take off. By writing quickly with no interruptions, your inner critic has no time to sneak in and create judgments. Since your phone is off, go after the simplest online timer you can find, such as this one that I use. After you have thrown down all your thoughts you may be surprised to see the diamonds unearthed.
Change The Scenery
Seemingly obvious and often one needs to be reminded, that a small change in environment can prove wondrous. Whether it's taking a break outside for fresh air or blogging in a place that's somewhere new, inspiration should follow afterwards as habits seem to follow our intentions.
"There's just one way to radically change your behavior: radically change your environment," said Dr. B.J. Fogg, Director of Stanford Persuasive Lab.
Researchers discovered in a study on "habits vs. intentions", that students who changed schools were most likely to change their daily habits. Similarly, if you have trouble falling asleep in your bed, the best solution is to get up and change rooms and the same can be said for bloggers unable to write. Try alternate locations, such as friends' houses, cafes, libraries or even a park (if there's available wifi).
As a blogger, an essential must-know strategy is to "freewrite". This is when you go with the flow and scribble or jot down whatever pops into mind, even if it's 'gibberish', until real and conclusive thoughts start to appear. There are no technicalities to this, but I find that it gets the ideas flowing. If you try to force a piece of content then you will end up breaking all the rules that makes a piece of content a winner to its readers.
Now, it's all up to you! There's no proven cure for everyone, you have to test what works individually for you. Hopefully, my personal tips nudge you in the right direction you need to overcome your blogger's block. Most important is to not get overwhelmed!