Top 5 tips for beating blogger’s block

“Writing is easy” said journalist Gene Fowler.  “All  you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

We might be staring at a blank screen nowadays but the feeling of frustration is just the same.  So what can you do if you get hit by blogger’s block?  Here are my top 5 tips for getting your creative juices flowing again:

# 1 Go the easy way round

You don’t have to be a Booker prize winner to write a decent blog.  Find shortcuts and solutions that work for you and your readers.  Make links to other people’s writing and posts - where it’s relevant, and your readers will enjoy exploring the links.  Using quotes is another ‘easy’ approach.  Keep a folder of well-known quotes that are relevant to your subject (be imaginative here - look for the connections!) and pick one to use as the hook for your post.  This practice will help you develop new ideas and insights into your subject matter and is also good for traffic (people search for quotes).

# 2 Get into the blogging habit

Write short, frequent posts so you are getting into the routine of writing most days.  This makes it easier to keep your momentum up.  According to the pros it’s also good for search engines and traffic.  The longer you leave it the harder it’s going to be to write - you’ll have to overcome those initial fears of hitting ‘publish now’ all over again.

# 3 Capture your ideas

Writing at your machine is only one small part of the blogging equation.  The raw material comes from everything else you do - conversations you have, people you meet, things you do, connections with client, stories on the news, a song you’ve heard or a movie you’ve seen… The list is endless.  The trick is to keep your eyes and ears open for things you can turn into posts and to capture the ideas - a few words, a headline, a rough outline, a picture, a phrase - whatever is enough to jog your memory when it’s time to write.

# 4 Respond to invitations

I’m writing this as part of a group writing project being run by Problogger.  There are lots of invitations out there - blog carnivals, memes, even requests for creative comments on other people’s blogs like the ‘lateral thinking’ challenge being run by Roger von Oech at Creative Think.  Any of one of these should be enough to spark your writing again.

# 5 Walk away

When you’re really stuck don’t sit there till the drops of blood form on your forehead.  Walk away.  Go and do something else.  Talk to your team.  Walk round the office.  Make some phone calls.  Go outside.  Take a lunch break.  Clean the kitchen or cut the grass.  If you’ve time, go out for a walk.  Even thirty minutes out in the fresh air will get your ideas flowing again and you’ll be more than ready to write when you come back.

Well that should be more than enough to get you blogging again - but I’m going to cheat and add a number 6.  Ask a question.  This is good for generating comments on your site.  It can  help you brainstorm a problem and generate new ideas.  It also builds rapport with your readers.

So now it’s over to you: what techniques do you use to get round blogger’s block?