By guest contributor PJ Feinstein. Photography by Lantern Hill.
As a blogger, there are few things more frustrating than writer’s block. After all, the nature of blogging is that it’s timely. A Christmas-themed DIY, for example, loses it’s impact when published on December 26th. I’ve found there are a couple main causes for writer’s block. The first is the need to refill your creative juices. The second is having a fantastic topic in mind, but feeling overwhelmed by the blank page on your computer screen. The next time you experience either version of writer’s block, give these creativity-boosting tricks a try.
When you don’t know what to say:
- Step away from the computer. Take the night off from blogging to check out the hottest new restaurant in town, or participate in a class or creative workshop. Who knows, something you ate, saw, or learned might inspire your next blog post—or even a blog series! Seeing my son play with sidewalk chalk at a friend’s pumpkin carving party resulted in a post about drawing and coloring.
- Get feedback from your readers. You can ask your readers about the topics that interest them, or you can use their comments and questions as inspiration. A Facebook inquiry about my favorite children’s books was the catalyst for two recent gift guides I posted.
- Use another blogger’s post as a jumping off point by sharing additional information on the topic, or offering a different perspective. A friend’s blog post about having a scheduled weekly date night with her husband was the inspiration I needed to write about the challenges of finding a babysitter. But play nicely; if you put your spin on somebody else’s post, be sure to link back and give credit to the original source.
When you know what to say, but don’t know where to start:
- Allow your first-draft post to be messy and grammatically incorrect (just be sure to go back and proofread). Expecting perfection is intimidating enough to make even the most experienced writer not want to begin.
- Have all of your inspiration material in front of you. Search for ideas, source images, and gather links before you start writing. This will prevent you from falling down an Internet rabbit hole of distraction.
- Use bullet points. When you’re struggling to string together sentences to form paragraphs, try a bulleted list instead. You don’t even need to write a complete sentence for each bullet point. As a bonus, readers are drawn to posts with bullet points because they are easy to read.