We're not writing novels. We're not writing academic essays or lengthy progress reports. We are writing sassy, fabulous, informative and fun blog posts. We're writing about what we love: fashion, beauty, design, our lives, our interests and our closets!
So with all these wonderful, beautiful things to talk about, why can it be so hard to do? You sit down at the computer, you've got to have a post for tomorrow and… Nothing. Nada. You might even know what you want to talk about (summer beauty tips, perhaps?) but you don't even know where to start. How do you lead off, how will you organize your thoughts? What will your readers like?
Often I feel such pressure and responsibility to write something, that it stifles my desire to produce anything.
Your next post is in that noggin of yours somewhere, you just have to coax it out. To get those fingers tapping on the keys and bring brilliant thoughts to fruition, you may just need to break out of your routine, change things up a bit or maybe start fresh altogether.
20 tips to try to help you bust through your writer's block:
- Go for a quick walk. Circle the block, leave your cell phone at home. Keep your eyes up and take in whats around you. Sometimes you just need a charge of fresh air to clear your head.
- Try a schedule. Mark out a time in your day (or your evening, or your weekend) that is always for writing. Training yourself to be present at a certain time and place, and your brain will start showing up, too. Routines work, people!
- Let yourself draft. Often I feel stunted when I want to write because I want the words that show up to be perfect. That's what editing and re-writing is for, so just start with something, even if it's just bullet points.
- Set deadlines for yourself. I always function well under pressure, don't you? (Even if it's self imposed.)
- Do some browsing around on image-heavy sites like Pinterest or Tumblr blogs. Let your mind take a break from words to see some lovely things and get inspired and energized again.
- Write something else first. Try making your grocery list, a to-do list, a journal entry about how you spent your day – something easy. It's a good way to ease back into just putting words on a page.
- Read. I always get inspired to write when I read something particularly good. Whether it's a passage in a book, a great magazine article or a few of my favorite blogs, seeing something done well helps motivate my own creative juices.
- Get your blood pumping. Go for a bike ride, dance, hit the gym, attend a yoga class, run a few miles; as a person who spends a lot of time in front of the computer, it's just as important to get away from it and expend physical energy as well as mental.
- Get caffeinated. Seriously, it helps. Whatever your method may be, a little beverage-based stimulation can help the gears start turning.
- Write somewhere new. Try a different room in your apartment, a new coffee shop, an outdoor park that has free wifi (is that just a New York thing?) or even your friends' place. A change of scenery can do wonders for the imagination.
- Get out of bed. I have never written anything brilliant from under my covers (as many times as I've tried). A lazy posture inspires lazy writing, if you ask me. Sit up at your kitchen table, at a desk or at least in some kind of chair.
- Do an outline first. Get back to your middle school roots and compose a quick outline of what you want to accomplish in your post. Introduction? Body paragraph? List of shopping items? Start with the meat, then garnish later!
- Go shopping. You don't have to spend any money, but spend some time browsing the shops and seeing what's new. You may notice trends worth addressing, you may find your next favorite pair of shoes, you may have a great experience worth sharing with your readers. You gotta live your life to blog about it!
- Turn off the TV, turn on the music. I hate working in a silent space, but television can be the ultimate creativity killer for me. My writing is heavily influenced by my mood, so I play music to reflect it, and work from that.
- Set the scene. Sometimes I need to do some distracting things before I can actually sit down and work, so I let myself do them. Organize your papers, set a notepad and pen next to your computer, get a big glass of water and a plate of snacks which may be similar to the ones found on services like send cookies for valentine's day. Create the environment you envision brilliant work to be produced in.
- Don't expect too much from yourself. Let's be honest: not every post you put together is a banner achievement. Sometimes you just need to get it done and move on. Once you take a little of the pressure off of yourself, you may find it easier to let your words flow.
- Establish a reward for yourself. Again, sometimes you need to #treatyoself. Will you get a frozen yogurt when you finish your post? Grab a drink with a friend? Browse your favorite shopping site? Don't let yourself have what you want until you've finished your task.
- Shelf it for a day. We all have days that just don't feel right, whether you don't feel creative or you're frustrated or too busy at work or distracted with other things. Sometimes you have to just let it be, sleep it off, and circle back later.
- Do the other things first. My biggest move when procrastinating is to do every, single other thing I can think of before setting to the task I really need to accomplish. When sitting down to write, if I can't stop thinking about doing my laundry or emptying the dishwasher or emailing a friend from home, I have to just let myself do them. Get to a place where all you have to accomplish is your writing.
- Just apply yourself. Yep, I'm sorry, but my last tip to break through your writers block is just to write. Tell the story, describe the outfit, dissect the trend. Look at that blank page (post) and say, “Not today, internet!” and cover it with words. Or something.
10 Tips For Maintaining Your Blog Mojo
Many people start new blogs every week but a much smaller number continue to post regularly. The initial excitement of writing your own fashion blog can wear off after a few months or a few years. As with life in general, we all have our ups and downs with blogging and have times when it feels much harder to motivate yourself.
I have been writing my own personal style blog for nearly four years and for much of this time have also been writing as a professional fashion blogger for various different companies. I would like to share with you a few of my ideas on how maintain your blogging mojo and stay motivated to continue writing and growing your blog.
10 Tips For Maintaining Your Blog Mojo
1. Pace Yourself – you should consider your blog-life balance. If your blog completely takes over your life then, it will reflect in your posts. You need to get out and about, spend time with family and friends and also get enough rest to be a happy and productive blogger.
2. Re-evaluate your blogging goals – Do your original goals still apply and do they fit with your overall life plan, values and beliefs? If not then now is a good time to re define them.
3. Make time to regularly review, refocus and plan – decide what you need to do and write yourself an action plan. Writing things down often helps to get them done.
4. Think Big – take some to day dream about your blog. In a perfect world, imagine exactly how your blog would be? How would it look? What sort of response would you get from those reading it? And how would you feel about it? Thinking about what you can achieve with your blog is likely to make you much more motivated. Now you can start to work towards your dream blog.
5. Brainstorm – scribble down everything that you can possibly think of to write about or do for your blog no matter how ridiculous or absurd it might seem. Try and think outside the box of unusual things that you could write about or do to promote your blog. Once you have spent 10 minutes or so doing this, you can begin to work through and refine the list into a more workable action plan.
6. Develop your skills – it is difficult to get bored when you are learning something new. Aim to continuously develop yourself and your blog. You could try enrolling for a writing, styling or photography course at a local college. You can also find lots of courses online or if you prefer set yourself a task or challenge to learn how to do something new each week using free resources on the internet.
7. Interact –interaction is one of the key parts of blogging for many people. Don’t forget to interact with your followers and other like-minded people through social networks, forums and IFB. This is a great way to get inspired.
8. Do something different every now and then – they say a change is as good as a rest. It can be anything from turning your blog posts into stories or videos or writing your posts in a different way.
9. Keep a notebook – a great idea will usually pop into your head when you least expect it. When you are trying to think of something to write about it can be much more difficult and the dreaded writers block can set in. Tumblr , Instagram and pinterest are all useful tools for discovering and recording new inspiration.
10. Blog about what you love – Forget what everyone else is doing and concentrate on the aspects of fashion and style that you really love and that interest you the most. For example, If going to and reporting on all of the shows during fashion week exhausts you, is it absolutely necessary that you go? Perhaps you could cover fashion week from a different angle. By doing this not only will you feel more motivated to blog but you will also create something unique that is driven by passion.
How do you maintain your mojo, baby?
How do you beat the block? Share your best tips for beating procrastination and boosting creativity in the comments!