Do you take blogging breaks? As much as I hate to admit it, it happens to me far too often: a post takes longer than expected to write, so it gets published a day later than planned. This cuts into time spent writing my next post, and so on and so forth until I find myself staying up late, night after consecutive night, until I inevitably reach the point of creative exhaustion and spend an entire week without publishing a single thing.
- Create a template and/or outline for your post. If the words aren't flowing from your fingertips, perhaps you just need a little structure. I like to start with a strong image, follow up with an introductory paragraph, and then I leave an open area labeled "content", a conclusion paragraph, and end with my signature. Template's done! If I'm still stuck, I use the content area to jot down a few main points that I'd like to include in my post, and transform these bullet points into topic sentences for individual paragraphs. That empty blog post is starting to look less and less sparse, yeah?
- Don't bother writing a whole sentence if you haven't figured out how to word it. I used to get writer's block because I'd get stuck on how to perfectly phrase something, and in the process I'd lose the very stream of thought that I was attempting to jot down in the first place. Over time I realized that if I can't decide on the exact wording to just add an ellipsis, skip it, and move on with my train of thought. This method also leaves a nice little template to start filling in once you've got most of your ideas down.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread! This one should be a no-brainer: if you catch yourself staring blankly at your word processor and drooling for an indefinite amount of time without writing anything down, you might as well check your grammar and punctuation.
- Have a few drafts on hand already. This post by Dana of Wonder Forest makes two great points: write down whatever you can when you've got the creative juices, and keep those blog posts around as drafts to finish up when you're experiencing a block!
- Stop writing and do something else! Even when I am not actively writing and publishing content, I still like to take time catching up on some behind-the-scenes sort of tasks, such as improving my blog design, making changes to pages, and studying Google Analytics reports. If you're getting some blog work done anyway, just go ahead and write about it - your readers will love knowing if you've spruced something up, and this affords you a great opportunity to ask your users what they think of the new changes!
- Write sponsored content. It goes without saying that you should never base your blog's content solely on sponsorship opportunities, but if you're having trouble figuring out what exactly to write about, then challenge yourself to take a creative approach on a predetermined topic - especially if it'll be worth your time in the long run.
- Take a break! Sometimes we just need to take a step back and enjoy some time off, even if it's not by choice! This past week, for example, Brad and I have been staying and working on Long Island and enjoying some hotel rooms that are either completely creepy, yucky, or entirely lacking a detectable wifi signal, and that really didn't help my creative process. That's when I decided that it was just too stressful to focus on, and that the world wouldn't end without one week of Tuesday Treasures.