Last week something pretty scary happened to me: I got locked out of my own account. I had the password saved but it got wiped out, so I had to re-enter it. I’m sure I typed it correctly, but after a few attempts my IP was banned for several hours and the password reset wouldn’t work. I was freaking out! After googling around for a bit I finally found a clear set of instructions that allowed me to log back in. It was probably a security plugin error, all good and sorted now, but the incident gave me a mild case of blogger ‘s block. All the ideas I had were suddenly put on hold, until this morning, when I read a few of the bloggers over at the #BrunchClub commenting on how sometimes they felt stuck in a blogging rut. The shared struggle inspired me to write a post as a reminder to myself that hopefully might also help someone else. Here’s what you can do to get out of a blogging (or any other kind of) rut.
Clean up: I’ve noticed that my lack of writing enthusiasm usually affects other areas of my life, like my house. I have a spare room that in theory should be an office, but I end up bringing my laptop to the dining table and posting from the lounge so I can be close to my husband while he’s doing something else and I’m updating my blog. Lately my side of the table had been filled with random crap, from nail polish to PS4 games and dozens of different pens. My laptop was actually by my side of the bed, on the floor. So before typing these very words, I put away everything. Your surroundings are a reflexion of your mind and sure, Einstein’s desk was messy, but he was busy working. If you’re feeling stuck, declutter and clean up. That also applies to what’s on your computer: photos with non-descriptive names, duplicate files, dead links on old posts, drafts that never got finished and lost relevance, etc. Take some time to create a space that will encourage you to concentrate and produce.
Change your approach: You’re probably well aware of to-do lists, right? What about done lists? At the end of every day, list all the tasks you managed to do, no matter how tiny they seem. Track your progress at all times. That way you’ll acknowledge regularly the steps you’re taking to actually reach larger goals. Also try new things, scary things that challenge you out of your comfort zone. Change the way you create content, and even the way you present it. If you usually blog beauty products reviews, try putting together a make-up tutorial. If you only publish written posts, try recording a vlog. If your blog is based on lists, share a story. I have a couple of restaurants reviews coming up, but I think it’s time to post a recipe too now.
Ask for help: What I love about blogging is the sense of community and the #BrunchClub has been simply amazing in that regard. Turn to other bloggers for inspiration and collaboration. Read new blogs, outside of your niche, see what they’re posting and give your own spin. Open up your blog and let collaborators post too. Get together with friends and start a project. Offer to help others too as by looking at someone else’s problem you can also find solutions for your own problems.
Keep yourself busy: Work on other areas of your blog, like your About Me page or Media Kit. The important thing is to keep the habit going and avoid long periods away. Carry a notepad at all times or make use of apps like Evernote to jot down ideas. I often email myself and share/favourite posts on social media so I can refer to it later for inspiration. Even when I’m not blogging, I’m constantly thinking about it and in ways I can improve myself. Pick a new hobby, work on a skill or teach someone. And then share your experiences, interact on Twitter and Facebook, to increase what you can write about afterwards.
Don’t lose focus: one of the greatest motivations to keep posting is receiving feedback from readers and knowing that you have an audience interested in reading what you blog. But it’s important to remember that sometimes that response won’t come straight away. A lot of people prefer to read in silence but that doesn’t mean that your words don’t resonate with anyone. Keep setting goals for yourself and posting content you’re proud of, focus on your mission, the reason that made you decide to share your thoughts, experiences and knowledge in the first place. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just have fun and enjoy the ride.
Anything to add? What’s your secret to keep going? I’d love to know. 🙂