21 Jan, 2013
10 things to do when you’ve lost your blogging mojo
Posted by andrea tomkins in: The business of blogging
I think I’ve written about this before here on the Fishbowl, but I don’t believe in writer’s block. Block implies there’s an impenetrable obstruction that requires major effort to overcome. A monolith. A barrier. A hurdle. A great big wall.
Not a very happy image, is it?
I prefer to think of writer’s block as an emptiness that can be easily filled. I think of myself as a vessel, a vessel that sometimes runs dry and needs to be topped up every once in awhile. It is never a permanent condition.
A lot of bloggers start the new year making resolutions about writing every day, and this is about the time they start to lose faith. Some people advise to push past it, and that aspiring writers must force themselves to keep writing, but I’m not sure about that. I think the trick is to take a few steps away from my desk and change our perspective.
Off the top of my head, here are a few things to try if your vessel is running dry (remember, it’s not a wall). These have all worked for me.
1. Change the way you feel and think about writer’s block. My outlook has been a real game changer for me, and my vessel doesn’t dry out nearly as often anymore.
2. Go on a media detox.
Turn off the TV, put away the iPad, turn off the computer, and do something else. A lot of what we consume is very passive, and although there’s nothing wrong with that I also believe that feeding our brains a constant stream of candy isn’t very good for us. How can we let creative ideas take root and grow if there’s no time to think dream them up in the first place?
3. Take a very long walk. If you are a walker you probably already know where I’m going with this. Your brain is hard at work while you wander (preferably iPhone and iPod free!). It’s kind of amazing how this happens. When you are free of distractions - and not dwelling on your empty vessel - you will find ideas popping into your head.
4. Refill your soul: visit your local art gallery or museum. Or go to a concert! Go alone, with only a notebook for company. Look at stuff! New stuff! And think about The Stuff. It sounds simple, but it works.
5. Make a date with a friend. I think this one is self-explanatory! Again, it’s about changing scenery and shaking things up a bit.
6. Become an observer. Take photos, and record sounds. (I am really interested in this sound recording thing right now! If you are an iPhone user look up SoundCloud.) Shift your perspective and try to look at things a little differently.
7. Buy a newspaper and read it cover to cover, even the stories you wouldn’t normally read. I’m going to throw this one out there even though #1 indicates you should do the very opposite. This kind of sounds like homework, but stretching your brain and firing up your synapses will do you good.
8. Go for a drive, but turn off the radio. Same idea as #2! Basically, this creates a positive environment for you and your creative brain. It’s important to give ourselves space to think.
9. Do something out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s as simple as going to a restaurant or a movie by yourself. Or donating blood. Or taking a flying leap off the high diving board at the Sportsplex. You may just amaze and inspire yourself and discover something new while you’re at it.
10. Start lists, keep lists. I’m a big list maker. Evernote is wonderful for this purpose. I keep running lists of blog post ideas, ideas for other clients/jobs, recipes I want to try etc. If your vessel is on the verge of drying out, consult your list. There might be something there that will help.
As someone who’s been writing since she was able to hold a pen I am always confident that the words will come back to me, and that I will be filled to the brim with ideas once again. What about you? What do you do to fill your vessel?
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