Today I opened up Microsoft Word document. I looked at the blank sheet of paper, and I simply didn’t want to write a blog post. I felt uninspired.
That’s why it’s 8:30 p.m. Pacific Time and I’m only now publishing this post.
Yes, me. The queen of blogs. I have four of them. (I used to have five.) I blog five days a week, sometimes writing more than one post a day, and I write for other sites as well.
Today, it just didn’t want to happen. I didn’t want to write. I wasn’t feelin’ it. I couldn’t get the words out. I had bloggers’ block, a form of writers’ block that afflicts bloggers.
I opened up the internet browser and stared at my last post. I knew how I could write something to elaborate on my last topic, and I knew this would prove valuable to my readers. I started. I didn’t get far…a title and two sentences. See for yourself.
Then I went back to the Internet. Checked email. Checked my social networks. Watched a video. Rinse and repeat.
About two hours later, I gave up and went for a walk. Then I had lunch. I did some other things before I ran a coaching call. And now I’m back…and writing! Woot!
Do Something Different
How did that happen?
First, I simply let myself off the hook. I rarely do this, but today I just said, “This isn’t working. Do something different. Do something else.” I took a walk and listened to an inspiring audio program by Dr. Wayne Dyer along the way. I gave myself some down time to continue listening to the audio program while I ate lunch. The down time allowed my brain to focus on other things.
I also came back to my desk and focused on the coaching call I needed to conduct for my Author of Change Transformational Coaching Program rather than on the post. I spent time looking over the material, which also put my mind on something else, although it was related to writing and publishing—and therefore blogging books. I then spent time on the call talking to other people.
Second, once off the call I brainstormed. I got out my mind mapping program and started drumming up ideas. I jotted them all down. The fact that I had just gotten off a call where my students had many questions helped. I was looking for one idea that inspired me. (You could get help from a friend if you need prompting on ideas.)
I typically have a blogging plan. So, I know what I plan on writing from day to day, week to week or month to month. I’ve been working on a new one, though, as I filter through my recent reader survey results. (You can still take the survey here.) Thus, my plan has been a bit loose this month, which contributed to my bloggers’ block. The mind map helped me to crystallize some thoughts on new posts, but I still didn’t feel inspired.
I hit on the idea for this post.
I realized I was struggling with the same problem so many bloggers struggle with: feeling motivated to write blog posts day in and day out. I had fallen prey to the same “disease.” How could that have happened? (I’ll discuss this in another post.) More importantly, what was I going to do about it?
I decided to write about my experience. Why? Because others struggle with the same problem. And because others want to know how to move past the problem. I actually rarely have writers’ or bloggers’ block, so I felt I could write about it…even from my stalled out position.
How was I actually able to sit down and write this post, to get my fingers moving on the keys? The steps I took above helped. But here’s what really got me writing: I remembered why I blog, or why I write this blog.
Remember Your Purpose
You see, when you come from a place of passion and purpose, you feel inspired—inspired to write your blog. When you come from a place of service—wanting to provide benefit to you readers—you have a reason every day to produce top quality content.
If blogging or blogging your book simply feels like a job or something you must do to promote yourself or your book or your business, you will soon feel uninspired and like you don’t want to write another post—ever.
When I realized I honestly could say, “Hey, today I couldn’t write,” and share with you my story, my ability to write returned. I didn’t have to be perfect; I could share an issue with you that at some point most of us struggle with. And I could also serve you by explaining what I did to resolve that issues when I encountered it.
I actually wasn’t sure where the post would go when I began writing, what I would say. I didn’t have a plan. I just knew I wanted to honestly share and to help, to serve. I managed to get out of my struggle, to rid myself of the block, by returning to my purpose for writing this blog—to help you blog and blog your book so you can become a successful author or author expert. In the moment that I remember that purpose, my motivation and my inspiration returned.
So, if you find yourself staring at that blank Word document, or fighting to make yourself sit down at the computer, ask yourself why you started blogging or blogging a book in the first place. When you remember, you won’t be able to write and publish that post fast enough. (I finished this one, including the mind map and screen shot in 30 minutes. Add in posting, editing and proofing, and it took me just under an hour. See what happens when you are inspired?)
Image credit: geotrac / 123RF Stock Photo
Timely post, Nina, thank you for sharing.
While we often think of procrastination in negative terms; if we reframe it into givings our minds, bodies and souls a little breathing space, we can remove the remorse, guilt and self-flagellation from the mix and honor the feeling (and ourselves) just a bit more. Often I find that simply reframing a “negative” action or feeling gives me a fresh perspective and allows me to move forward in ways that weren’t previously available to me.
Man, did you peg me today. I have not been motivated since Christmas. I’m having some health issues, too, which are setting me back, but my brain seems to have just shut down, as far as blogging. I AM working on my book proposal, which I want to get to you soon!!! I got Michael Larson’s book on writing a proposal and it’s excellent. Trying to incorporate his suggestions. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂
Marlene Cullen says
Love what you wrote, especially, “when you come from a place of passion and purpose, you feel inspired—inspired to write your blog. When you come from a place of service—wanting to provide benefit to you readers—you have a reason every day to produce top quality content.” Great stuff.
Nice tips on overcoming writer’s block. I however, just write my way throught it. I just write my thoughts at that moment (sometimes gibberish). But the goal here is, to force yourself to write something just to get yout engine going.
Sometimes, our body needs a little push to do what it is supposed to do.
Nina Amir says
That’s a good tip, too, John. Usually I just write. I pick a topic and go for it. But these other methods are great and remind you of why you write or blog, and that’s important.
Nina Amir says
Nina Amir says
Thanks for your comment, Mare. Well, the holidays can do that to us. It’s important to set a goal and stick to it. Although I recommend more, try to blog at least once a week. It’s the ritual, the habit…keeps you going and builds on itself.
I look forward to seeing your proposal. Michael’s book is great. He is a friend and mentor. I have a template as well that you might find useful. It is here: http://writenonfictionnow.com/landing/easy-schmeasy-book-proposal-template/ Good luck!
Nina Amir says
Yes, that negativity does us no good at all, does it. A positive, optimistic attitude helps much more. Even stopping to pet the cat can change your attitude and get you writing.
I’m jealous you live the horsey life…pet a horse for me, please.