Being a blogger is not about the need to fit in and conform. I know, I feel that pressure from many sides, to be like those productive and popular and successful bloggers. You know, the ones everyone talks about, the gurus of the genre, whatever your niche. And yes, of course I want to stand out on the global web. I just don’t like being scraped. After all, my blog, like all the others is personal. Sure, I’m gifting you dear reader with motivation, a few minutes of peaceful introspection, or maybe a giggle on your coffee break. After all, I have to be ME. So here it is, the bald faced truth. I am weird. I’m a bit of a misfit, just like you. Because we are all so unique after all. I hope that my blog touches you and finds a little corner of yourself that you tucked away. It’s alright, you don’t have to show me. Just keep coming back. I love your company. And fellow bloggers, today, I am revisiting the tip part of my blog. Enthusiasm and Greta ideas are contagious, but so is writers block. So accept it, we are not perfect, and we have off days. Here are some ways to beat those “blahs.”
Alright, let’s start with some cold hard truths. Writing is really hard work. I know those non-writing folk among you think we just pick up a pen or sit at the keyboard, and magically, instantaneously, words fly out and transform into blog posts, poetry and prose. But it’s just not so. Though we like to consider ourselves tortured, creative geniuses to account for the words stuck floating in our minds, the truth is that writer’s block is a serious affliction. Authors must choose to get on with our work, so that we can impart words of wisdom and literary masterpieces to the masses. How do we do this? There are lots of ways, each one unique to the individual who is stuck under that rock. You will need to experiment. Find what works for you. We are all different after all, and sometimes, you need to get relaxed or maybe seriously wacky weird to continue your work. This probably holds true to other professions as well, so dear readers, even if you’re not a budding blogging author, keep reading.
My biggest issue is my inner critic. I know that being objective and critical makes my work better, but sometimes, I feel that the editor within is a gruesome beast. It makes some posts good, and others great. It is the essence of penning a poem that other authors claim haunting and Poe-like (a massive compliment to me, so thanks fellow prosers) and writing a post that truly sucks like a tart, sour lemon. So if I know my inner critic makes for better blogging, how do I keep her in my side? By befriending her. I write, I re-write, I edit. I listen to that gut feeling. She controls the redlined and chooses different words to make an impact. She is the ice in my iced coffee. We are a team. You know what I am talking about folks. To be successful, you need to follow the gut instincts and be brave. Different? OK, but make it count. Stand out and stand up. Different might be just the thing to bring in your audience, and push your ranking up the charts.
Alright, so now, there’s a plan. You outline your post or story and sit down to write. High school English class taught us all that outlines are the way to go. We even use this strategy when planning a trip run errands or to pack for that dream vacation. But, and this is a big but, that outlined plan can suck the life and joy right out of your penning hand. You get bored. Now, you’re stuck, sometimes mid sentence. The answer? Stop planning. Write gobbledegook mismatched rhymes if you have to, but stop following the outline. It’s like the child who always colors outside the lines. Creativity needs an outlet, and a step by step plotting of paragraphs just doesn’t always work. Sometimes, the jibber sigh leads to a weird sentence, a thought, something that snags your attention. Now, you have something to work with. Run with it.
In the same vein as the tossing your outline to the wind, step back. Stop thinking about your audience for just a few minutes. Perhaps, you have something on your mind. Something is sitting within your soul and you need to spit it out. Project. Write. Even if it turns out to be something irrelevant and unsuitable for your blog, you need to write it…NOW. Get rid of the thoughts so you can move on. It’s taking up too much rental space and evicting the great blog post before it has a chance to be written. Write what you want to write, even if you are the audience, then, go back, revisit and rewrite your awesome post. But get on with it already.
While you’re distracting yourself and writing for yourself, take a little break. Yes friends, a coffee break. When I’m totally stuck, I grab my favorite mug and brew some magic. Those beans relax me, maybe take away some stress, and I can write. Sometimes, I can on,y write for a few minutes, then I need more java juice. And then my brain opens up, the words fill my head and travel down my arm to my beloved purple pen. I’m focused and alert (hooray for caffeine!) in five minutes I have recharged. Sometimes I sit on the little balcony, my cute wrought iron chair digging into my short clad legs, and I watch the clouds. I listen to the car alarms and barking dogs until I can’t hear them anymore. Focused. The whole secret to being creative is not in the mythical ideas that become successful prose, but in productive thought and work. To be successful you must take a break every now and then. It helps your flow of unique ideas, just like taking a walk increases cardio good stuff. (Not a health article guys, so ease up). Don’t spend your break on social media. That is not truly relaxing. Five little minutes staring out of the window should do the trick. The modern coffee/cigarette break.
OK, so now you’ve relaxed, but you’re still stuck. How about digging out that old imaginary friend. Thinking about your audience and who reads your blog posts is seriously scary. So stop dwelling on your readers for a bit, don’t worry about what they want or expect to read tomorrow. Talk to your little friend. After all, your imaginary friend is your biggest fan, and she loves everything you write. Even if the grammar is inconsistency the ideas flaky. She love you. Talk to her. Ask her about her dreams and the challenges she faces as an imaginary friend. Be a good friend and perhaps she will feed you some good ideas. If you’re sweet and very lucky.
Still frustrated and blocked? Mind a blank slate? Scream. A big, primal, gut wrenching, from the depths of your soul scream. And curse. Be that drunken sailor you have always been told is unladylike. Be emotionally invested in your rants. Don’t worry about stepping out of bounds. You’re a writer, you’re passionate. Now write it. Great writers do worry about picking the right words. We wrote to inspire our audience, to make you, dear reader, feel something. I want you to emote: laugh, cry, be outraged. Be passionate. And if you love what I’ve penned, please share with others. It’s polite. And I’ll be grateful. Writing is really all about emotion, and so is life.
Last, but not least on this topic, is to go back and retread your work. Read through your glorious, most popular posts. I know, you feel like your mojo has gotten up to go-go, but it happens. All writers lose momentum once in a while. It’s normal. (I keep reminding myself) sometimes, I look at a post and remember something about it that I set aside, a metaphor, a story; so I pen it in my notebook. I just start in the middle, In that juicy good part. Sometimes, the opening paragraph is a killer. It sneaks up ad murders your blog post. So don’t let it. Introductions can always be made a later date, when you’ve met everyone already. Look at that popular post again. You are good. You’re a phenomenal writer. Your talent is there, within you. It just needs a little glittery shove to get back in shape. Stay true to yourself, and you will do well. After all, nobody else writes like you, and that should be off to get your fears oiled up and moving again.