Got a blog?
Ever stared at the blank screen, at a total loss for what to blog about?
Or maybe you’ve avoided the blank screen altogether, because the thought of seeing that obnoxious blinking cursor makes you feel just a teeeency bit hostile.
I totally get it.
Blank Screen Syndrome (also known as writer’s block) affects all of us at one point or another. And we should be able to talk about it openly and without shame.
I’ll start. I’ve been a horrible procrastinator for the past two blog posts.
That’s why in today’s post, I’ll share the tips I’m using to kick the blank page’s digital bootay this week. (It’s like a live demo – without the handy kitchen gadgets.)
You may be thinking, “But Nikki, didn’t you just write about the top 10 excuses that keep us from writing great content?”
Why yes, yes I did. But an excuse as big as writer’s block deserves its own post.
Here’s the deal.
In a dream world…
- You’ve got a digital storehouse of fully written blog posts, ready to be auto-published each week.
- Every time you sit down at the computer, a brilliant idea travels from your brain and spills straight out of your fingertips.
- Writing a ridiculously helpful blog post comes naturally.
In the real world…
- You’re struggling to crank out one post a week, usually the night before your newsletter goes out.
- Every time you sit down at the computer, you freeze a little bit. (What was I gonna say again? I think I need to go mow the grass….)
- Writing a ridiculously helpful blog post can feel like work. (And your biz is supposed to be FUN.)
So what’s the hold-up?
As I mentioned, for the past two weeks, I’ve avoided writing like the plague. Instead of sitting down to crank out a newsletter and blog post, I’ve done everything else – from a series of enthusiastic step-ups on our couch ottoman (for real – great workout!) to dreaming up new offers for the fall (ALSO perfectly legit, but not an immediate priority).
I just couldn’t make myself sit down to write a blog post.
And it’s not for a lack of ideas. I’ve got a spreadsheet “Idea Bank” with a solid 97 potential post topics. I have a feeling you’ve got a long list of ideas too. (Am I right?)
Why, then, is it so hard to just pick a topic and GO FOR IT?!
Why I’m Dragging My Feet
If I’m perfectly honest with you (and why wouldn’t I be?), it’s more about my own mental “stuff” than it is about my idea bank.
- I’m starting to become increasingly aware of my (increasing) subscriber count. Pressure?
- It’s not even just about subscribers anymore – my site is live – on the world wide web! EEK! What if no one finds it?
- If I’m not super-inspired by a particular topic, it feels kinda yucky to write about it. And I only wanna put out content I’m excited about. Blah.
Can you relate to any of those?
Why I’m Sucking it Up
Excuses are lame. Always. But the first step is admitting you have a problem. Sooner you do that, sooner you can move to the solution.
Here are the three things I told myself after admitting my lame excuses today. (Try reading them out loud to yourself for dramatic effect.):
- Write for ONE: Your people subscribed for a reason. Whether you’re writing to one or 10,001, the goal is the same: write something helpful. Don’t overanalyze that.
- Write for PEOPLE: Who cares if the googlebots are after you (or totally ignoring you)? People who need your content will find it. And the right people will appreciate it.
- Write for FUN: If it’s not exciting, don’t write it. Don’t let your well-intentioned editorial calendar boss you around. Be flexible enough to write about what feels right each week. That’s the message the world needs to hear from you.
And when all else fails…
- Ask your mama – your best friend – your dog.
- Pick two finalists and flip a coin.
- Say a prayer for divine guidance.
- Eenie meenie. Winner. takes. ALL.
Writing blog posts should be fun. Don’t write about something that doesn’t FEEL good.
As I used to tell my college students, “If you’re bored talking about it, we’re bored listening to you talk about it.” The same goes for writing.
You can plan and schedule til the cows come home, but if you’re not excited by the content, it’s not the right content.
So chill out. Take a walk. Watch some tube. Talk to your friends. Get inspired by real life.
If you’re truly stuck on ideas, hire someone like me to help you get the creative juices flowing.
To paraphrase En Vogue, FREE YO’ MIND. And the words will follow.
In the comments, I’d love to know: What’s your best tip for busting “writer’s block”? Where do you find inspiration for your weekly content?
And please — if you liked it, share this post with your friends battling Blank Page Syndrome.
We’re in this together.