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What to Do When You Have Writer’s Block

There are times we forget why we started blogging in the first place. You know, those times when the words just won’t come and you don’t even feel like being online.

Now, I’m what you’d call a chatty person. I can’t say “Hello!” in two words. So, writing a blog? Seemed like a natural fit for someone like me. And usually it is, until that big ol’ square thing gets in the way.

Writer’s Block.

Have you had it yet? I say ‘yet’ because, sooner or later, you probably will. It’s the nature of the beast that we call blogging. You’re sailing along, posting regularly, gaining followers and subscribers, and then one day you just go blank. It just happens. Even to us creative types.

Now what? Do you give in, close the laptop and wait until the block passes? I once had a two week dry spell where every morning I’d think I would be able to write. Nothin’. Two weeks! After that, when I finally got thru that depression, I took some preventative measures so it wouldn’t happen again.

Stockpile Posts
Just as there are times when you don’t feel like writing a single word, there will be days when ideas flow like water. Grab some jugs and gather every single drop! Even if it’s just an outline for a post, write it down, save it as a draft, add some tags, and move on to the next idea.

You’d be surprised how fast you can write two or three posts, or more, when you’re mojo’s working. Take advantage of these times.

Now, if you’re like me, once you write something you can’t wait to hit “publish” and share your stuff. Don’t! Save a few posts for those times when you either don’t feel like writing or don’t have the time.

Editorial Calendar
Our blogs are our own little magazines, aren’t they? If you don’t have an editorial calendar already, plan one. Or at least, start planning one. Whether you post every day or just a few times a week, designate topics you love writing about for each day.

You may not follow the calendar exactly – I don’t – but having it really helps keep me on track. Follow your calendar, add some stockpile drafts, and you’re already ahead of the game.

Bloghop and Comment
But let’s say you don’t have any drafts stockpiled, you’re just not feeling the calendar-thing, and all you want to do is play games on Facebook. Ok, maybe that’s just me. But you don’t feel like writing a dang thing. Then go visit some blogs and force yourself to leave a comment. Even if you start out with, “That’s pretty. Thanks for sharing”, it’ll get you going. Move on to the next blog, and the next one, and leave comments. It’s surprising how much these little comments will get your writing muse activated.

Not to mention, you might make some new friends.

Be Real With Your Readers
Sit down and write how you’re truly feeling. “I don’t feel like blogging right now because . . . fill in the blanks.

After my two week depression I wrote a post like this and was overwhelmed with support from my readers.

Go ahead and share what you’re going through. Your readers will appreciate it.

Easy Posts in a Pinch
You can also try one of these ideas to get back into the flow of writing.

  • Memory Lane – share an experience from back in the day. Good or bad.
  • List posts –  Make a list. Of anything. Who you are. Who you aren’t. What you like. Or don’t.
  • Revisit an old post – Pull up a post from last year and repost it. You have new readers who will enjoy reading it for the first time.
  • Share Love Links – Shine the light on a few of your favorite blogs. I’ve found my favorite blogs from other bloggers.

When the ‘block’ hits me, I think of two of my good friends. Caroline writes romance novels and starts at 8 a.m. every day – whether or not she wants to. That’s how she has 3 books published. And check out Ree’s 10 Tips for Blogging. I read them at least once a month.

Okay, so Ree’s not an actual friend IRL, but she feels like one to me. And if she succumbed to writer’s block, I probably wouldn’t feel that way.

You probably have a follower that feels the same way about you.

Colleen Jorgensen blogs at Mural Maker and is a self-taught artist, decorator and writer. For the past 15 years she has painted murals and painted tapestries for homes and businesses in Northern California. Colleen lives with her husband near Sacramento, close to her 3 grown stepsons, her beautiful 3 year old grandson and her 95 lb. bull mastiff.
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14 Responses to “What to Do When You Have Writer’s Block”

  1. Michelle L. says:

    Such great advice – thanks for the article and the links! I’m going to borrow some of those ‘easy posts’ ideas for sure!

  2. I don’t think I’ve had true “writer’s block” yet… but I have had “blogger mommy totally overwhelmed with the real world and can’t find the energy to post.” That happened around the holidays last year. So, I’m working on some holiday craft projects now, stockpiling them, and that way I’ll be prepared. My blog won’t go into hibernation, and I won’t have bloggy guilt on top of all the holiday stress! : )

    • Good for you, Carolina! I often wonder how mommies get everything done, and then blogging on top? Wow!

      Look forward to seeing your holiday projects. You’ve inspired me to get in gear!

      • Ha ha! The trick is we stay up reeeeeeally late, and still don’t get everything done! My son’s folded clothes still haven’t made it to his dresser. I pulled the clothes I’m wearing out of the dryer this morning (SCORE! One less thing to fold)!

        The floor needs to be mopped, so many other things need to be done…

        Oh, and my craft table is a mess! Before I take a picture for a tutorial, I have to move all the junk out of the way so it both isn’t in the picture, and doesn’t leave a shadow in the picture!

  3. Caroline says:

    Now THIS is an excellent post. So many good ideas I intend to use. Truly, you’ve saved me. I’m not a great blogger and need any and all ideas. This was great, Colleen–THANK YOU!

    • Oh, Caroline! You of ALL people! I always, always think of you when I don’t feel like writing. I need to keep your books connected to my computer!

      And, thank YOU, for being such an inspiration – and my dear friend 😀

  4. Thank you for posting this. I have a new blog and I’m not always sure that the lists and personal stuff are okay, but you suggested that it is so I think I just might have to so this.

    • I felt the same way about personal stuff. My friend, Caroline (above), suggested it. Once I started posting some personal posts, my readers really ‘connected’ with me.

      Try it – and let me know how it goes.

  5. heather says:

    Great article, Colleen! So many good reminders wrapped up in one post!

  6. Thanks, Heather! That means a lot coming from you, especially!

  7. amy says:

    I don’t get writer’s block very often, but when I do it’s really difficult to work through. These are great tips – plus it’s good to remember that it happens to the best of us. Thanks Colleen! xo

  8. Pam Williams says:

    Love this post! I don’t get writer’s block much but I do have those weeks that just get away from me because of an active ministry. Great ideas even for those days. Thanks so much Colleen … btw, saw your tweet and dropped by.
    Blessings!

  9. Great article!! I think having an editorial calendar is such a good idea and can keep you on track.

    xoxo
    Jen

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