Ways to Combat Writer’s Block
As bloggers, sooner or later, most of us, seem to be struck by the occasional bout of Writer’s Block – that dreadful phase when you sit down to post an update to your blog but can’t think of a single interesting thing to write or everything you do write looks rubbish to you! As the minutes tick by, you start wondering if the creative well of inspiration has truly run dry or to stick at it until you come up with something.
It can be quite unnerving the first time this happens after starting your blog; going from not being able to get your thoughts down quick enough to completely barren of ideas.
Having found myself staring down the barrel of a foreboding blank screen more than once, I thought it might be useful to jot down what’s worked for me in the past to get the creative juices flowing again.
Know Your Key Topics
At the end of each month, I sit down and look back at the key or main topics my blog is about and list them.
So for example, when I did this for August 2019, my Key Topics i.e. my niche areas were:
- Home & Garden
- Yoga & Meditation
- Astrology & Divination
- Randoms (in case I’m feeling spontaneous!)
If you’re not sure what your Key Topics are, look at any “menu titles” on your blog or your “categories” for repeat topics. Believe it or not, writing a list of article ideas in one go is far easier than sitting down to write each time having to think of just one idea. Mine took me less than 10 minutes.
Identify Sub-Topics for Each Key Topic
This probably works best using the above example:
|Home & Garden||Health: What’s Your Greatest Asset?|
Family: London Trip
|Yoga & Meditation||Introduction to Yoga Nidra|
|Astrology & Divination||Happy Birthday Virgo (monthly series)|
September 2019: Energy Update (monthly series)
Witchcraft: Which Witch Are You?
|Randoms||Life Hack: Organise Your Workspace|
Light Bite: Feeling Uninspired?
Life Hack: Make a Motivational Playlist
Make an Editorial Calendar
Once you’ve had a think about Sub-Topic articles you might like to write about around your Key Topics for the coming month, draft a calendar for each day of the month either by hand or using the computer. I personally use Microsoft Word which has a handy template for a calendar. Just open up Word, click File and select New. Then just type “calendar” into the search box that appears and frankly you’ll be spoiled for choice!
I only started this one halfway through the month in August but the time I spent creating this, an hour to do the brainstorming session right through to creating this calendar, was time well spent. Every time I sat down at the computer to write, I always had an idea in mind so didn’t have to waste time thinking of what to write first.
Don’t be afraid to change the article idea if you think of something better – think of your monthly editorial calendar as a basic back-up or work in progress rather than what you initially decide being set in stone. Leave yourself some freedom to be randomly inspired sometimes.
Don’t sweat it either if you don’t manage to write one day. I had planned to blog every other day in August but amended my calendar as I went if something else came up and I didn’t have time one day.
Try to mix your article type up a bit too. I introduced “Light Bites” and “Life Hack” articles as monthly repeat topics that were intended to be shorter entries. This meant that I could type 3 quick blog posts in one night, helping me get ahead of schedule and be a bit more choosy about what I was in the mood to write about each day. This also meant that the articles that were posted were of better quality as well as feeling less rushed.
Having an Editorial Calendar has really helped with forward planning – for September, as you can see, this led to me posting far more “seasonal” posts based around autumn-related topics which are more likely to resonate with when readers might be looking for such articles.
Again, twice already this month, I’ve missed posting on alternate days but I just rearranged my calendar and moved on. Sometimes life gets in the way!
I’ve also redacted in the photos here the ideas coming up as these are subject to change but having found using an Editorial Calendar like this so beneficial, it’s definitely something I’d recommend taking the time to do at the end of each month as a way to reflect back on the last month and to help formulate a plan to move forward into the next one.
Do you use an Editorial Calendar? How has it helped you?
Feel free to share with any writers in your life 🙂