2/18/2011

Three Tips for Overcoming Blogger’s Block

It was inevitable. I always knew the day would come when I wouldn’t know what to blog about. It isn't that I have nothing to say about the writing craft or the writer's journey. But I am suddenly experiencing stage fright. After over a year's worth of blogging. Why now?

Here’s why: I signed up for Rach’s Platform Building Crusade. All last week, I watched my followers grow. The number doubled. Thank you everyone! Squee! But now I suddenly feel as though the expectations are greater than before.

I also started following many Crusader blogs, and discovered some really awesome blogs and bloggers. I can appreciate the time that you all are putting into your blogs. Believe me, it shows.

So then I sat down to write my next blog post, and spent three hours trying to work something up. This has never happened to me before. I tried to write about three separate ideas, and gave up on each one.

I decided I needed to figure out how to deal with this new and frankly annoying problem. I’ve come up with three answers that I hope will work for me in the days and weeks to come. If you’re experiencing Blogger’s Block, I hope they’ll be useful to you as well.

1. Develop a Blogging Routine: I work on my novel every day, same time, same place. I'm at my computer by 7:00 am, seven days a week, which gives me 1-2 hours to work on my novel before leaving for work, depending on the day. I never suffer writer’s block. Working on my WIP is often the highlight of my day. I LOVE showing up for the work, and cannot wait to do so. Perhaps if I set up a time to blog every day, same time, same place, an equally delightful groove will form in my brain for blogging.

2. Don’t Expect Too Much of Ourselves: Know How Many Hours We Can Spare for Blogging; Spend that and Nothing More: The hours I’m able spend on blogging are limited. I work full time and, since last September, I've been working on my WIP for 15-20 hours a week. That leaves precious few hours for blogging. Someday there will be more. But until then, time spent blogging occupies the appropriate place on my priority list. I need to accept that limitation and not stress out about it.

3. Remember Why We're Blogging: I’m not blogging to win awards. I’m not blogging to earn money from it. I don’t feel compelled to teach or advise people on how to write, although a writer’s blog has to be about something. Ostensibly, writing. My biggest interest is in getting to know other writers. I love to discover what's on their minds and to comment on posts.

Do you ever suffer from Blogger’s Block? How do you deal with it?

26 comments:

  1. I don't really have trouble figuring out WHAT to blog about (it is book reviews 90% of the time, Wordless Wednesday, Monday Movies, and my Sunday rant, without fail, every week). But writing reviews stump me constantly. I have found that I just have to sit down and DO IT. Just start. Sometimes the words come, and sometimes not, but worrying about it gets me nowhere!

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  2. I know what this is like. I often have blogger's block. I've started keeping a list of ideas for the times I need to write a post and am drawing a blank. There's also the ability to schedule so if I feel inspired I can write posts to pop up later.

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  3. This is why I have themes for what I blog on each of my scheduled blogging days. And today's cool links are pretty easy. Just very time consuming. But I don't mind. I do them for a reason. ;)

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  4. Thanks for this! I've definitely gotten a bit overwhelmed before, but the writing blogosphere is so friendly that I try not to stress too much. Then again, I only post twice a week :)

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  5. I feel the same way about the increase in followers/expectations! But I really like your #3. I blog for writing practice, being in the habit of writing regularly, and connecting with others. If I just keep that in mind, it usually clears things up for me. : )

    P.S. You're doing great!

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  6. I blog for the fellowship, the connection with other writers. I have no set schedule (in the little over a year I've been blogging I never have had a blogging schedule), I write a post when I have something to say. And my topics/posts are willy nilly as well. Sometimes they're personal essays, sometimes I write on writing, most often they're random bits of info.
    I spend the bulk of my 'blogging time' trying to visit everyone else.

    But, I shall warn you now, the more followers you have, the more impossible the task of getting around to visit everyone. So, my 'system' is to visit those who comment on my blog first. After that the system gets pretty haphazard. But sometimes I'll get 100+ comments...and it will take me a week to get around to everyone, and I don't make it past my commenters. But, I always make them my priority.

    Oh, and Stina's (above) Fri. link posts are excellent. Truly. :)

    Hugs,
    Lola

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  7. I know what you mean about being nervous now that your numbers are growing thanks to the Crusade. I feel the same way! But rest assured that I enjoyed reading this post, and it looks like others did as well.

    I agree with Sari's tips above - I always have a list of possible blog topics going, and I often write posts ahead of time to use when I'm out of inspiration or time. Scheduling future blog posts is also helpful.

    Keep writing and I'll keep reading!

    Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

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  8. It's the blogging routine that's killing me. BTW, I'm here from Rach's Crusade, and I'm your newest follower. My blog is at www.idevourkidbooks.blogspot.com

    Best,
    Lois

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  9. here on my round of checking out the crusaders - to say hi - to say your blogs seem to be fine - I have little time for blogging and each one has to be checked by someone else before i post (I have dyspraxia and it shows if I just write!) so I limit myself because it's my books I really want to write -BUT - I do love to natter and chatter so spend a lot of time reading other blogs and web sites - such fun

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  10. Great post. Thanks.
    Welcome to the crusade

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  11. I never suffer from writer's block on my novels...haven't quite gotten there with my blog, either, altho sometimes I scratch my head. But I do page critiques on my blog, so as long as someone has sent me material, I'm good. ;o)

    Anyway, buddy crusader! I'm making the rounds today and checking out your blog. Nice to meet you, and Happy Friday! :)

    Artzicarol Ramblings

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  12. I used to feel pressured to write on the blog I had first, but that one crashed and burned thanks to some phishing operations. Now, I do one post per week, but the blogfest has ensured that I've done a couple more this week. I do agree that knowing one's limitation and working within in is the smart thing to do.

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  13. Fellow crusader dropping in to say hey!

    When I suffer bloggers block, I surf the internet. So many interesting things out there in the web-verse. I can always find something that sparks my muse.

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  14. The bloggy balance is a thin beam, for sure.

    I do it mostly as Lola mentioned above - make my commenters a priority. Though I have times when I don't even make it to all of them. But I always try my best.

    Nice to meet you. :-)

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  15. I love this post! By the way, fellow crusader making my rounds. Nice to meet you. Now following.

    Nikki

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  16. I feel the same way about why I'm blogging - not to teach or preach or earn money, but to get to know other writers, and also to document my writing journey for my own benefit. :D

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  17. Blogger's block! He he...only occasionally, but much less frequent now that I'm made a blogging schedule AND set up regular features, so I know roughly what I'm blogging about in advance! Also, I'll leave the great advice to the more experienced/published writers. :)

    Thanks for popping by my blog! You have another fellow Crusader following you now!

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  18. Great post! I especially love your third point. I keep imagining that I will carve out a little time on the weekends for blog brainstorming and come up with post ideas that would appear on my blog the following week. I've managed to do this a few times and find that it helps with bloggers block.
    I'm happy to have found your blog!

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  19. Thanks Catherine - I've been dealing with some of the same issues myself and your post is very well received by me. I generally try to write every day and blog when I can. If I'm too busy I'll put something short up just to make sure I'm in the habit of checking in every other day (er, few days) or so.

    No pressure.

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  20. Hey fellow crusader! I'm a talkative person, so I rarely get blogger's block. ;) However, I tend to think metaphorically when it comes to blogging. If I'm ever stuck, I think of something that's happened recently in my life and figure out how it relates to writing. Or maybe I've learned recently from working on my WIP. :D But thanks for the advice!

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  21. Great post! I do get blogger's block occasionally, but I think a lot of times it's due to lack of time. I'm enjoying my new WIP loads and all the rest is secondary to that ;-)

    Nice to meet you, fellow Crusader!

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  22. Great post and new follower:) I do suffer from this now and again, but it does help to slow down and just get back to the basics.

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  23. Great post. Thanks for crusading over to my blog--delighted to have discovered yours and am now following. Over the years, there have been times when I felt like I was losing my bloggy footing and it was hard to post. I honestly think a good blog takes some hard reflection, discipline and focus. Love learning from other great blogs!

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  24. I had bloggers' block for my first post. I was definitely feeling stage fright then. What could I say that would possibly intereset people? What if nobody visited my blog, or even worse, people visited and said mean things? These were all the things running through my mind as I crafted that first post.

    I'm feeling much freer with it now, but I have no doubt further moments of bloggers' block will confound me from time to time. I've started to develop a list of blog topics so that I have something to fall back on, but so far, I'm just having fun with it.

    I'm part of your crusade group - can't wait to get to know you more during as the crusade rolls out!

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  25. Awesome advice! I try to blog 3 to 4 times a week and one of those is usually the YA Highway roadtrip, but I usually find time is more my issue than figuring out what to write about it. There's just not enough of it!

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  26. Great post! I find some posts bubble away for weeks before coming together, and others seem to just write themselves...(Now if I could actually get them to just write themselves :)) thank you for the lovely comment on my blog - talk about warm fuzzies! :):):)

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