Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blogging through a slump.

Blogging, much like life will inevitably have a few flat spots. It is not often appreciated, just how superbly difficult to find fresh and amusing content to blog about consistently, especially when your day was spent cleaning the bathroom, doing a load of towels and making a sandwich that you ate while watching old reruns of Criminal Intent.

Blogging slumps are one of the most frustrating parts of blogging. The staring at the page, the beginning to write a thousand things before scrapping them and eventually you may shut the screen in a foul mood, claim that you are never blogging again, follow it up with deleting your domain name renewal reminder and walk away. I know, because I have done this at least ninety seven times.

This year though, I have FORCED myself to get my grove on, and I will share with you a few things that have definitely worked in helping to get out of the blogging slump.

 Hush your mouth.

I stopped telling myself that I don’t have anything to write about. Emma I said… Shut your whinging mouth. You are a writer; you have a constant narrative running through your head every minute of the day. I am assuming you do too. It is why we write, so that we don’t lose our shit.

Stop fighting that, and take a couple of really quick notes during the day when a provocative narrative hits. If you become aware of these narratives, you will probably find that you have at least three potential blog posts every day.

Remember to make it about the writing and not the amount of comments or keeping up with commenting on other blogs. turn the comments off for a bit if that helps, and disengage from anything that can make you feel like blogging is a race.

 Keep it realistic

I set realistic expectations of how often I can blog. For me it was three days a week. I chose to publish Monday Wednesday and Friday to keep the traffic consistent. Make these days Non negotiable, you HAVE TO POST SOMETHING on these days. Write a post about it to keep you accountable.

 Make hay while the sun shines.

When I get in the mood to write, I may write two or three posts at once, and keep them in draft. Knowing I have SOMETHING there to publish in case I really get blocked takes the pressure off and actually helps prevent me from getting writers block in the first place. Don’t get caught up about completing the blog posts in draft, they don’t have to have pictures or even be complete, having most of an idea down is sometimes enough to help it feel less overwhelming.
Take a stroll through your IG, FB and other accounts, sometimes these jog amusing memories that can make great blog posts.

 Challenge yourself.

I can't adequately express how much doing a thirty day blog challenge helped in my blogging slump. I know that when you can’t think of anything to blog about, the last thing you may want to do is commit to blogging every day for thirty days, (I blogged every weekday) but partnering up with someone else to keep accountable, and JUST DOING IT, proved that I really could find the time to blog, and getting a blog post out every day was not as impossible as I thought.
It forced me to see the posts in everything, because I had to. I can't recommend this enough.

If finding things to blog about is still eluding you, have ‘a google’ to see if anyone is running a blog prompt, there are a few bloggers that will give topics or themes to write about and link. This is also a good way to gain some new readers which is also motivating.

* Take the pressure down.

If you are anything like me, Farnsey is now singing 'Take the pressure down' in your minds ear and it is now stuck in your head.. My bad, but also, if you are anything like me, your inbox is full of ‘Quick post suggestions’ and media releases that you ‘May be interested in writing about?’

I found that the pressure of HAVING to blog and write sponsored posts really sucked the fun out; I found the pressure of HAVING to perform really demotivating for my writing.

Personally, I have taken a leave of doing most sponsored work, and making my sponsored stuff invitation only. This helped me take some of the pressure off, ensured that I was only doing the kind of sponsored stuff that I really wanted to do, but don’t discount the posts suggestions entirely. Have a scan through them before you delete them. Even if it is something you would never write about, I find that taking a moment to think about how I would write that post is enough to get the creative stuff flowing.

* Get mad.

When all this fails, I get mad, sad and inspired.
I scan the news, viral content and gossip, and will almost always find something that either makes me really angry, happy, sad or inspired, then I put my opinions on these things into blog post form.

I am not saying that all of these things will work for you, but they have worked well for me this year, and are worth a try before you walk away from your screen in a foul one.
If you can think of anything to add or you know of a linky, prompt or challenge, please feel free to leave the link in the comments below.

EM x


Cara McKee said...

Thanks Emma, this is a really useful post. I'm definitely in a slump right now, but this made me feel better about the whole shebang. In an attempt to be useful back here's a link to a post of mine in which I have suggested 50 things to blog about. It might provide someone with some inspiration. Loving your work as always.

vegemitevix said...

Ahhh Emma, you have no idea how bloody helpful that was. I am in the blogging slumps to end all blogging slumps. I have forgotten how to speak in blog. I am blog-tied. But thanks to your thoughts willing to give it another bash.. cheers m'dear.

Toby Nix said...

i have been researching and debating on whether or not to start a blog... thankfully i found yours and reading 2 posts of yours has sealed the deal! love it!