I have to confess that I am suffering from this condition at the moment, so just maybe if I were to write about it, it may not only help me get back into the swing of things but perhaps help other people too. I’ve always believed that blogging should ideally be a two way thing. I know that as a blogger myself, we all sometimes fall into the ego trap, surely everyone is keen to know about my (rather than “your”) new phone? Camera? Cat? Yes? No? Well, perhaps not. However if you write about your new phone in such a way that it may be interesting for at least one other human being, then you’re going to have an audience, of one, two, ten or maybe hundreds. Peoples’ ears are open and you have their attention. It’s just keeping it there, that is the hard part. I am sure many of you have watched your Google Analytics rise and fall like the North Sea more times than you’d care to mention. In desparation you find yourselves either reaching for the keyboard to throw something half meaningful together or running away from it all.
I have digressed a little bit but I felt that I had to in order to relax my writing muscles and to focus on just writing and not so much having to get a post up on the blog that has been quiet of late!
What causes it? Lack of inspiration? Exploring new things?
Is it just a case of running out of ideas or inspiration for new things to write about? Sometimes we go through periods of life when there is not much to “write home about” as they would say. After all we all have our own individual motivators and certain things excite us. It is easy to identify celebrity writers as being in their element when it comes to certain topics, so when they step out of their comfort zone or speciality, we all become suspicious and judgemental. I feel though that this is a great stimulus to leave the familiar behind (just for a little while) as otherwise you could run into trouble and begin showing symptoms of writers’ block. Venture into unchartered territory and write about something other people don’t believe you know an ounce about. Surprise them and you have a bestseller on your hands. You get your writing mojo back. Writer’s block cured?
Writing dried up? Put it on hold! Do some reading!
As I was saying at the start of this post, I have been struggling recently to find time to write well thought out and meaningful articles. I tend to either begin writing something for the blog in stages or to sit down and write from start to finish. These two approaches have their pros and cons (more on this in a bit).
I have recently taken time out of writing in order to spend more time reading other peoples’ blogs. I have found this to be a very valuable excercise as I have come to learn that the best blogs are in fact those that are not updated every day but once or twice a week. I shall in fact name one of these blogs and this isn’t a plug for the sake of plugs because I really think this guy has got it sussed. His name is David Bennett and he runs a website called Quillcards which has an associated blog site. He researches his subjects very well, writes about them and shoots his own photography to accompany them. I feel that what I can see here is a gap being bridged between blog posts and articles, suffice to say what he writes should be printed! The method of research, writing and photography being combined is exactly what you should do in order to get articles printed in magazines.
I highly recommend that all bloggers should take a blog break every now and again. Spend a little more time reading others, drawing inspiration not in terms of content but method. You should not plagiarise but learning good method is much akin to being an attentive student listening and absorbing what his/her lecturer is tutoring them. Life after all is a constant learning process but you don’t need me to remind you of that.
David is one good example but there are many others who I shall happily mention on these pages in the future of this blog. If you would like to drop me a line, please do.
“I have started, therefore I shall finish”
To paraphrase the late Magnus Magnusson, this mantra is one that should be applied to many things in life. Blogging is no exception to this and sometimes as you reach the mid-point in an article, you’ve started well, the tricky middle bit can put you off (is this the equivalent to the musical middle-eight?), especially if you’ve thought of a great closure for your work. I highly respect novelists for doing what they do, they have hundreds of pages to fill. Bloggers we have far less, so why can it be so hard?
I think it often boils down to the fact that you are trying to convey so much in only 1000 words or less. The flow can meander all over the place and run off course entirely. I hope I don’t do this or have done it in the case of what I am writing now?!
My point is, I have often started writing something and then……………….
Lost it altogether and the unfinished article remains in my drafts folder for ever and a day. I can only imagine that other people out there have suffered this? It is important to finish articles off even if you leave them for ages in order to find out more details.
Some tips on how to combat the writing blues
Out of ideas?
Don’t kick yourself, take a break and spend some time reading and enjoying other blogs. Make a note on the approach they take, is there anything they do that inspires you, gives you a little nudge of persuasion?
Don’t write lots
Sometimes the briefest of posts attract more attention than the biggies. I once wrote about Red Kites becoming more proflific in Hampshire. This post was so brief it was almost criminal – the comments have gone beyond what I expected. What’s more I now have more inspiration on this topic to follow it up with a project. So if you aren’t feeling up to writing a masterpiece, there is no harm in writing a quick post about something interesting. I am fortunate as quite often I just post photographs! Then of course that is a big part of what this site is about.
It is often a good idea to look at your blog from the other way around. Put your mind into reader mode, what do you feel people want to read? Plan ahead and schedule out some ideas. Research them. Gather photographs (your own ideally). Then write.