Sometimes, having to constantly create content sucks.
I don't know about you, but I have phases when I have ideas coming out the wazoo. I'm inspired by absolutely everything. A conversation overheard on the train, a dinner gone bad, a weekend with friends. Bam! Blog post, blog post, blog post. But then, there are the weeks and months I feel I've hit a wall, taunted by a blank "new post" screen and stale writing. No more, my friends. If you're in a similar sitch, today I have for you three methods that'll have you bursting through that wall as if it were September 1st at Platform 9 and 3/4.
Don't Be Hindered By Your Daily Routine
One problem I have is that I'm deep in the trenches of my daily routine. I wake up, read the same ol' blogs, hop on the train, work work work, hop on the train again, watch some TV and eat some dinner, and then it's bedtime. Basically, I have nothing to write about. Two ways around this. 1) Be particularly observant. Your mind will be churning with ideas in no time. What are your thoughts when you first wake up? What's your morning routine? What does your coffee order say about you? All post-worthy. (Remember to jot them down before you forget.) 2) Find the time to do more. Yes, you're working or in school all the time, but... read a book before bed. Explore one new blog every day. Go to a meetup after work, arrange a monthly brunch club, hang out in a new part of town over the weekend. Make the time for discovering, and inspiration will strike.
Apply This "Design Thinking" Trick
Such a buzzword here in Silicon Valley, but design thinking boils down to problem solving by thinking outside of the box. We won't dig deep here, but I'll tell you about one cool trick. POST-IT NOTES. In all the colors. Put the timer on for say, 5 minutes, and as fast as you can (the rule here is not to think - tell your brain to STFU) jot down every idea that pops up in your mind. Every. Idea. ("Alien abductions! Mashed potatoes! Hunger Games! Comfy lounge wear!" Those were the first things that came to mind, what does that say about me...) Each idea goes on a separate Post-It note, and for some extra oomph, you get to slap each one against a wall. Once you're done, you can start organizing them physically... seeing if there are ideas that can be grouped together, putting ideas that can be elaborated upon in their own Special pile. This is basically a fancified, glorified brainstorming sesh – but it's fun, and it works!
Write Every Day, But Perhaps Take A Blog Break
I recently started Daily Page and it brings me right back to fourth grade when school would begin with a journaling prompt every day. This website generates a thoughtful prompt for you daily, and you can type away to your heart's content. This is awesome, and I'm finding that when I engage with this kind of stream-of-consciousness writing, I learn more about myself, begin to vary my vocabulary, and am generally more inspired at the end of the exercise. Pair this daily activity with a week-long blogging hiatus, and you'll be itching to get back in the game.
BONUS: If all else fails, blast Adele's new album while you're in the shower. Actually, you might want this to be the first thing you try. It's like magic.
What has worked for you during writer's / blogger's block? Spill it!