Put Down That Hammer: Busting Blogger’s Block

Between client projects, attending the Copywriting Success Summit 2009 and fighting with a head cold for the last two weeks, my blog writing time has been limited. When a reader commented that she’d suffered from writer’s block recently, it occurred to me that I actually had a case of blogger’s block. "Explosion" hammer image by ItsMe1985. Courtesy of stock.xchng®

For the last six-plus months, posting three times a week has felt effortless and I always made it a priority. That energy paid off in fantastic new readers as well as links to some of my posts by bloggers I admire. Then October arrived and I stumbled. And I haven’t been able to get back on track.

In reviewing what’s worked for me before—whether I was stuck on a post or just having a rough week—here’s what I found:

  • Personal struggles: One of my most personal posts ever generated a huge response from readers and on Twitter. I was still wrestling with how I felt about the situation and sharing it here made a big difference. It’s amazing what a commiserating comment can do for helping you realize you’re not alone with an issue. If you’re stuck on your next blog post, try writing about something that you’re grappling with on a personal level.
  • Get opinionated: Have you noticed a hot topic in your niche or industry? Did another blogger’s post get you a little steamed? Or did the blogger eloquently state her opinion on the topic, inspiring you to respond with the other side of the issue? Do it. Especially when done respectfully, entering a debate can open up a number of new connections and fuel your writing. My piece on Writing Mills was written from my gut; I feel strongly about it. I never expected it to find legs of its own! It’s my most linked-to post, at least so far.
  • Blog for days: This may sound counterintuitive to busting blogger’s block, but it can work. If you decide to blog for seven, fourteen or even thirty-one consecutive days, it can help you get over yourself. Meaning, you don’t do as much self-editing because you don’t have time to waste. If you go this route, it’s also a good idea to share it with your readers—they can cheer you on and even stir post ideas. It’s the same idea behind NaNoWriMo and The WordCount Blogathon.
  • Walk away: If nothing can break your blogger’s block, it is okay to step away. One of the most refreshing vacations I’ve ever had was one where I couldn’t use my phone and I had no access to the Internet or TV. I returned from that trip bursting with ideas and eager to write. Your break doesn’t have to be that extreme. It can be as simple as a walk around the block, a movie or picking up a new book. Do something that will engage your imagination and you’ll be surprised at what your brain can work out when you’re not forcing it.

How do you battle blogger’s block? Please share in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Put Down That Hammer: Busting Blogger’s Block

  1. Michelle ~ Thank you so much for sharing your recent experiences with forcing yourself to blog. I loved your post When good enough is good enough and highly recommend people read it.

    Also, thank you for sharing more details on The WordCount Blogathon! I plan to sign up for it this year and can’t wait to connect with fellow WCB participants.

  2. Before, during and after I went on a business trip earlier this month I had total blog apathy – not good because at the same time I was working with a designer on a big blog makeover. Come to think of it, that’s probably why I wasn’t as interested posting because I was concentrating on other aspects of the site (for a change). Then I went to back-to-back conventions for six days, got a project from out of the blue while I was gone and came home to deadlines galore. It took everything in my power to force myself to blog – and my post When good enough is good enough – was one of the results.

    I also run The WordCount Blogathon, which Jesaka referred to, a month-long commitment to blogging every day I’ve run for the past two years during May. Last time more than 45 other writer-bloggers joined in – we had a blast. We set up a Twitter hashtag to encourage each other, had an official guest post exchange day, and held a Twitter wrap party the day after it was over to exchange war stories. If you’re thinking of committing to daily blogging for any length of time I’d highly recommend doing it with a group – the moral support is fantastic. And if you’d like, join us next May for the 3rd annual WCB!

    Michelle Rafter

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