This morning was unusual – I got up and went to work, still feeling quite weak and generally ‘bleurgh’ after being ill all weekend. However, by the time I sat down at my desk it became quite evident that I wouldn’t be very productive today, so I was sent home for fear of infecting the rest of the school. I arrived back, changed out of my wet clothes (it’s been raining here constantly over the last week) and decided to update my blog. Unfortunately, I found that I’d been staring at the screen for the fifteen minutes and came to the realisation that I had nothing to write about. Zilch. Zero. Nil points.
In just over six months and almost 500 posts, this was the first time I had experienced the dreaded ‘Bloggers Block.’ If i’m being absolutely honest, it was quite an uncomfortable experience – I had the urge to write something, as I often do, but couldn’t think of a single subject that I found interesting enough to sink my teeth into, or even have a little nibble at.
I was just about to switch my laptop off and then something occured to me (I always think of Gavin and Stacey when I hear the word ‘occuring’ – those of you in the UK will understand this)… why don’t I create a list of ideas for those in a similar situation? So here we are: these are my hints and tips for overcoming Blogger’s Block.
1. Freewrite. Freewriting is something that I found particularly useful when studying A-Level English – if i was stuck on a particular thought or idea I would take my beautiful fountain pen and write down whatever sprang to mind until I was satisfied that I had a new piece of material to work with. There’s no right (write, ha, geddit?!) or wrong way to do it, just feel confident enough to let fly with your ideas, and avoid any focus on spelling or grammar.
2. Take ideas from some of your favourite bloggers and writers. I’ve been able to ‘borrow’ tons of brilliant and inspirational ideas from some of my favourite bloggers, although I am careful to reference them in the resulting post.
3. Collaborate. I’ve seen plenty of wonderful examples where collaborations have been very successful between bloggers – one will create a poem about a photograph that has been taken by someone that they follow, or vice versa. Interview a fellow blogger. Invite somebody to guest blog (I’ve done this quite a few times now and it’s proven to be quite successful).
4. Change your location. Visit a coffee house, go to a friends house, go to the library, take a notebook and pen and go and sit in your local park or on a bench in your local town, even go to another room in the house. The change of scenery may evoke a brand new set of ideas.
5. Try a different form of post. This could be a poem, creative story, set of photographs, factual or fictional stories. On the subject of photography, you could post a photograph or a picture that means something. Write about it. Or don’t. I like to use the ‘Wordless Wednesday’ idea when I am stuggling with ideas.
6. For those of you that are number enthusiasts (I can’t claim to be one of them), use a mathematical formula to assist with inspiration. This was once suggested in the ‘Daily Post’ and I found it quite an interesting way of gaining new ideas. For example:
‘Take the number of the day that you were born. Turn to that page number in the book closest to you. Take the first complete sentence and use this as the title of your next post.’
7. Write about your day. A few of my friends try to avoid discussing anything personal as they are afraid to be seen as uninteresting. I love reading about my favourite bloggers lives – I like to hear about what they do, where they go and the experiences that they have. It allows your readers to develop a greater connection with you as a blogger. (Note: remember to always be careful about the information that you give – I don’t mention people’s names, give addresses of places that I frequent etc.)
8. Keep a blog idea journal. Take a small notebook everywhere – if you have an idea that you may find useful, write it down.
9. Re-visit some of your old posts. You may find inspiration from something that you may have previously written, or it may be a great opportunity to do a ‘follow-up’ to a goal that you set yourself earlier in the year or a story or poem that you started.
10. If all else fails, give yourself a break and return when you are feeling a little less frustrated.
Great Blogging Topics
Here are some topics that you may find useful:
- Write an ‘Open Letter’ to someone.
- Host a poll and post the results – WordPress allows you to have a poll widget as part of your blog.
- Write a follow up to your most popular post.
- Share some of your favourite photographs.
- Review a product.
- Review a film.
- Review a book.
- Review an album.
- Review an event you attended.
- Share your favourite recipe.
- Collate a Bucket List – things to see and do before you die.
- Collate an Anti-Bucket List – things you never wish to see and do before you die.
- The experience of hindsight … eg. ‘Eight Things I Learned From My Teenage Years.’
- Write about the worst present you’ve ever been given.
- Share your life’s little pleasures.
- Share some of life’s little annoyances.
- Top Tens – create a list of top tens of anything and everything.
- Write a response to someone else’s blog post.
- Share what is your Facebook status likely to be in 2020 and explain why.
- Explain where and when you would travel to in a time machine.
- Describe how would you spend your last day on earth?
- Write about how you would spend a large lottery win?
- Describe the day you left home.
- Write about your first love.
- Create a post comprising of old tweets.
- Share your favourite YouTube videos.
- Share your opinions on fictional characters in TV programmes, books and/or films.
- Pick holes in various film plots.
- Write about ‘A Day in the Life.’
- Hold a contest.
- Host a Blog Party (I do one on the 1st of every month and it is becoming really popular).
- Create a resource list – put together a list of useful websites, tools and networks that help you in your daily life.
- Write a ‘Recipe of You.’ What makes you, well, you?
- Discuss your favourite charitable cause.
- Write a ‘How To.’
- Compare and contrast different opinions on a subject.
- Inspire others by sharing a story that you find heart-warming.
- Research something that you find interesting.
- Create a set of predictions for the future.
- Write a hypothetical post.
- Review the past.
- Write a post based on a comment that one of your followers may have left you.
I hope you have found this useful – feel free if you wish to reblog this or add to it – i’d love to hear your thoughts! You can also find me on Twitter @suzie81blog.
A good list and loads of ideas too. Get well soon!
Thanks, as always!!
Writing about not knowing what to write about also works, as you have proven here 😉 Hope you feel better soon.
Thank you! Oh the irony!
Writers block is what Lionel Ritchie the musician had for years. He said it’s the worse thing a man can endure….
I never knew that!
Thank you very much my lovely!
nice ideas for writers, bloggers
Are you saying you wrote 500 blog posts in 6 months? I’m not so great with the maths but that is INSANE. I only just started so I still have plenty of ridiculousness clogged up that I can write about– but I’ll refer to these tips down the road!
Yeah – I managed about 500 in 6 motnhs. I’ve slowed down now it is at the end of the year and done 576 in total…
Wow! That is still very very impressive!
Thanks! I don’t work on Mondays so i often spend the entire day on here… Sad, but i love it!
Not sad at all! I spend most days on WordPress 😉
Haha! It’s very addictive isn’t it!
this one is a keeper for certain! For not feeling well and drawing a blank, you have conquered it all, go rest now and feel better soon.
I’m with Aussa. I just wish I could get the time to write 100 blog posts. I mean I’ve got them outlined already and now I’m feeling guilty about spending time saying I can’t time to write them…irony or self-sabotage?
I get this every week. It’s why my posts sound so full of gibberish. Because it is gibberish.
I like my gibberish, though.
My cure is to just write and write. Even if what you’re writing is crap, inspiration will find you.
So many great ideas! Bookmarking this one for sure. Thanks lovely!
Thanks amber! Apologies for the late reply – I’m playing catch-up now i have a little bit of time…
This post of yours could not have come at a better time. I’ve been having a block on my blogging for about a week and its starting to drive me insane!
also very interested about this blogging party you spoke of
Reblogged this on Passionate Dreaming and commented:
been having writers block for a week… finally some solutions!
What an enlightening post !! You gave me a lot to write about !! Thanks !
I took the suggestion about (taking the date of your birthday and finding that page in the nearest book and using the first complete sentence) as my title (in today’s post)!
The book I took it from is Robert Ludlum’s “Sigma Protocol.”
Your suggestions are extremely helpful !
Ooh that’s great! So pleased it inspired you!!
It did…. And I’m saving that post of yours in my inbox fur future reference!
This is a helluva list! thanks for sharing 🙂
Dear suzie81, I totally enjoyed reading your post. It’s so different from what I’m writing (and just beginning to post). Perhaps I was born a thousand years too soon. Your refreshing enthusiasm, even when feeling ill, is inspirational. And thank you for enjoying my “Not so inner dialogue”
Thanks very much! Really appreciate it!!
Respect! – After 5 years of blogging and publishing 2 books, I finally got bloggers block – but I busted through and you can read about it here http://www.selfleader.com/blog/self-leadership/bloggers-block/
Reblogged this on suzie81's Blog and commented:
Another one for new bloggers, I write this earlier in the year… Hope you find it useful!
This another great source of help. I use the Notes app on my iPhone whenever I get an idea so I don’t forget…
I will keep this for future reference. Thank you.
I have blog block all the time, I am totally saving this post somewhere. Thanks Suzie!
You truly are fantastic! Love this list. It’s interesting how a change in scenery can be inspirational. I used to go to a local coffee shop to get creative work done. Maybe it’s the smell of fresh coffee, or the mass amounts of things and people to stare at, but I always found new energy there.
And maybe bloggers block isn’t too bad. Lately my mind is racing with too many ideas and as you suggested in a previous post, content is king, writing for the sake of writing can be overkill. Trying to seriously take that advice with me in 2014!
This is a great article. It will be very helpful for new bloggers like me. I just figured out how to post something…lol
Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing.
Reblogged this on Punk Rock Pericaliya and commented:
Some great ideas on how to refresh your mind!
Really inspiring. Thank you. I am determined that 2014 will be the year I really grasp my creative side and blog daily and this post will really help me. Susan x
Thanks Susan! Really pleased it was useful!
Reblogged this on Susan Jane Bradfield and commented:
I love this post. It is very inspiring and will give me lots to think about for my blog in 2014.
I could kiss you with joy for the advice – mwa mwah. Feel better soon. Happy New Year btw.
Thanks! It was written a while ago so I’m fine now, but i’m glad you found it useful!
It was great advice & much needed of late. Thanks again.
This very similar to something I was about to write. But I think you did a better job at helping.
Dear Suzie, you are an inspiration. I enjoy reading your blog. Jotted down ides in case ….
Thank you very much! Really appreciate it! Happy New Year!
Great ideas! Hard to believe that you’ve ever had writers block with all of the posts you have written! Many of my posts are based on ideas that come from reviewing pictures of me. I experience writers “block” when nothing “jumps out” from the pictures. Sizi
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This is fabulous, thank you!
Thank you very much! Really appreciate it!
Thank you! This list comes in real handy when I suffer brain mush.
Good list. 2 questions: How do you write someone an open letter (who?) & what is a blogging party? Thanks
An open letter is a letter that is usually intended for one person/company but you write it on your blog.
A blogging party is when lots of bloggers choose their favourite post and post their link on one site. This means that they can all read each others posts and meet new people.
If you go into ‘Blogging Tips’ in my header there is an example of a blog party that I did last year.
I’ll be hosting another one soon… Hope to see you there!
Yes! That would be great! Thanks for the advice.
Wonderful list! I have close to 1700 posts myself and I have found value in almost every single one of these suggestions, some very recently.
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