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Bloggers Block

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of January 2006 Writing Content 0 Comments

The following post was submitted by Lyndon from Flockblog

A successful Blogger does one thing above all others.

A blogger writes.

A successful Blogger puts fingers to the keyboard and writes quality blog posts often and regularly. Seems obvious, but one of the biggest potential problems successful bloggers can have is procrastination and no one is more guilty than me. Even writing this post has had me thinking that maybe I should do the washing up, or I must just check my email. Sometimes it‚s the hardest thing to sit down and write. Here are some tips that if followed make things a whole lot easier.

  1. Develop a routine.
  2. Brainstorm topics
  3. Free Associate
  4. Go for a walk.
  5. Set Achievable Goals
  6. Reward Yourself
  7. Minimise Distractions
  8. Discipline Yourself
  9. Give yourself a deadline
  10. Show off your past successes

1. Develop a routine.
If you know that from 2:30pm to 3:30 you must write two posts, it makes things a lot easier. An established routine means you do not have to think what you should be doing, you just do it. Timetable your day, work out a routine that works for you.

2. Brainstorm topics
In a brainstorm there is no bad idea, only ideas. So write out everything you know on the subject. Do not edit or concern about the quality of information, just let it flow. This allows the brain to free up a little and run wild, throwing up all sorts of interesting things you may not have thought of.

3. Free Associate
Before I perform creative writing I dump what ever is in my head onto the keyboard, I let the words just flow without thinking. What I end up with is pretty odd sometimes and delete what I wrote, but it gets the juices flowing, it puts the brain in that mode you need to be in when you write.

4. Go for a walk.
I find that too much time in front of the PC and my mind goes to mush. Put on your walking shoes and go for a brisk work, scientists have proved that walking helps stimulate certain parts of the brain that enables you to think more clearly.

5. Set Achievable Goals
There is no point in thinking you will write 100 quality posts in a couple of hours. Set goals that are easy and have lots of them, you will find when all the small goals are added up, you have arrived at your big goal without even realising it. This is not to say don‚t think big, shoot for the stars. But in your daily goal setting routine it is important to set goals you know you can achieve.

6. Reward Yourself
Have you worked like a dog all day and completed everything you wanted to do? Then reward yourself, I have a bar of chocolate on my desk, which I treat myself to once I have completed my tasks.

7. Minimise Distractions
Like most of us. I work from home and it can be a huge distraction from blogging. I am in a particularly tricky situation, as I have a 1 year old little boy and every time I hear him laugh I need to go and see what’s happening. A big problem can be TV, email, talking on the telephone ect. Roald Dhal would write in a shed at the bottom of the garden. He would make a warm cosy nest away from the distractions of the real world. . Having a partner that is supportive is vital. I have a very supporting wife who puts
up with an awful lot from my chosen career.

8. Discipline Yourself
When you tell yourself you are going to do something make sure you accomplish it. If you find yourself justifying why you haven‚t completed the task then it usually means you are wrong and just didn‚t do it. If you constantly fail to create blog posts and find it impossible to sit down and do it, then perhaps you need to be honest about your real desires and goals.

9. Give yourself a deadline
It helps if you already have a routine, but if you set a time when a blog post should be finished it will help. It‚s not as scary as not handing in homework on time when you were a child, but knowing you have set a deadline can only help. You must keep to your own deadlines, be honest and do not set unrealistic deadlines. Know thyself!

10. Show off your past successes
Print out your successful posts and stick them on a wall, maybe you had great comments from esteemed bloggers, print those up as well. Surround yourself with your success and never forget how fantastic you are.

Just do it.

by Darren: Great list Lyndon – and if people are still stuck check out my recent series on bloggers block which picks up some similar themes and ideas.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Personally, I find one of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make, especially ones with bloggers block, is to think their readers are interested in their own posting problems, and use that as their subject matter.

    You have no idea how tired I am of going to blogs and reading “haven’t been able to post for a few days, but I’m really going to make the effort to get back on track, starting tomorrow” or “This year, I’m really going to make an effort to post at least three posts a week”.

    On behalf of blog readers everywhere, may I say “Who cares?” Can you imagine CNN printing “We apologize for not really keeping up with the news lately, but promise to try a lot harder in future”.

    Just a personal gripe. Sometimes it feels like there’s a huge number of personal blogs that are really about “how I blog”.

  • I find a little notebook (those old-fashioned with paper) very helpful. Usually when I write i don’t have any ideas in my head. I’m not creative.

    But outside in the park, in coffeshops, trains, stores even with familiy or friends…I become creative. The ideas suddenly burst into my mind although I forget most of them by the time I have access to my computer. So this notebook really helps accumulating an “idea stock” for future posts.

    I think the most difficult things for bloggers (or any other job at your home) are distractions and lack of discipline. I often go to a coffeshop near where I live to write my posts. I’m not distractet by undone chores, email or feeds and I can reward myself with coffee and food. Only bad thing is: It adds up to your business costs :-)

  • These are pretty good points.

    One thing to remember: Quality over Quantity. If you force it too much and end up writing a bunch of low quality posts, your readers will notice. I try to stick to at least one post per day, but if I simply have nothing to write about, and I literally write about nothing, what good does that do?

  • Stephen that is so true, if you are going to be a pro blogger you must remember the pro stands for professional, I think it’s OK to get a bit personal, but it has to be in context. And your right, no one wants to read about someone not posting.

    amtsleiter, you are dead right, the notebook is essential, in my past I have filled about 50 notebooks whilst writing my creative stuff. I always make the mistake of not writing ideas down and thinking I can remember them but I never do.

    Hung, although I agree that you must write quality there is a danger of being a perfectionist and then using the issue of being a perfectionist as a reason to not to write. But of course if you churn it out like a sausage making machine your readers would react accordingly.

  • One of my favorite tips for overcoming the dreaded BB, is to go back and read my own older posts…maybe they need a touch up, or I left something out since I wrote the original or my thoughts on the matter have changed. Usually lots of fertile ground there.

  • watchintv

    My Basset Hound couldn’t agree more with No.4.

  • Joe

    I agree with amtsleiter,

    One of my best posts (I think) was something I jotted down while I was going over my game plan (yes, on paper).

    It ended up that the post actually inspired someone who owns a forum to use the concept within his forum.

    So I think writing down an idea and saving it for future reference is a very good way of preventing writers block. And you never know how good it could be unless you use it.


  • Maybe in contrast to Truong, I find myself at times with a long blogger’s block since I work at a specific project without a full post to write about it yet. So, I sometimes write about the work-in-progress, even if it might not have the complete value of having all the conclusions set yet.

    This achieves two goals: First, I keep up a momentum (the little I have I want to keep..), and second I keep readers in an interactive level: They can write their views on what I do and maybe lead me to different conclusions alltogether.

    However, I always fear and sometimes really feel that I bloat the blog with short, less-than-relevant posts.