Are you staring at the blank screen in front of you? Is the blinking cursor putting you into a trance? Maybe you are lightly drumming the computer keys over and over? You have been waiting. Waiting for “IT” to come.
You straighten up in your chair, take a deep breath and….
No sense of inspiration, no witty verbiage to type, mind is completely blank.
My friend, you may be suffering from what is quickly becoming known as
We have all been there, including yours truly- It comes with the territory I think; and if a blogger tells you that they have NEVER suffered from this…well, I would not believe them. Thinking up and researching post ideas, and actually getting them written (or typed) can be a process. Add in to the mix finding time to read other blogs, commenting and staying plugged in to all the social media applications available, blogging can take its toll. Let’s keep in mind that you have real life obligations that need you too: family, spouse, work, house, laundry, bills, you see where I’m going with this? We are all human, not super-human!
No more beating yourself up, okay? Okay. I’m going to share the top 5 tips that I have learned along the way to help kick that frustrating feeling of ‘blogging funk’ right to the curb and help you get your groove back.
1. MOVE AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER
That’s right. Get up out of that chair and take a break. Your brain is telling you in no uncertain terms that it is tired, on overload and needs to shut down for some R & R. The more you fight it, the more it is going to rebel. So, it is time to turn off the computer. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Call a friend and have a nice chat. I will warn you; this break could be 30 minutes or up to three days. (I have been known to take a whole week off!)
Grab that book you have been meaning to read. A magazine works too. Maybe the newspaper with your morning cup of coffee is more your thing. Whatever is printed on paper is what you should be soaking in. Why on paper and not on the Kindle, Nook or iPad? Because it is giving your eyes a break from the electronic glow they have been staring into for days, weeks and months.
3. ENGAGE YOUR BRAIN
I know, reading is engaging your brain, but throw in a little bit of fun too. Challenge yourself to a game of Scrabble or Go Fish with the kids. Tackle that recipe you always wanted to try. Watch a movie or listen to music. Grab the camera and take some photos. Speaking of photos…
4. GO DOWN MEMORY LANE
Pull out those photo albums, or if you are like me, the box-o-pictures. Revisit the weddings, birthday parties and vacations. Go to that special time and place and remember. Enjoy it all over again. Look at the pictures again and now view the backgrounds. See the landscape, colors, and other people.
When the time is right (and you will know) to return from your brain vacation, take out a notebook and write about all the experiences you can remember. Give yourself 15 minutes of true free writing, no structure. Whatever pops in the mind, write it down. You may have single words or you could even have small phrases. The key is to not stop. Based on this list alone, you will be able to extract so many posts-even if your list has only 10 things.
When I experienced “Blogger Block” for the very first time, I felt so overwhelmed that I considered quitting. I thought “I am just not cut out for this.” I decided to shut off my computer and spent the next week hanging with the family. I read the Twilight series, watched baseball, went to dance recitals, went on some hard bike rides, and had fabulous evenings on the patio with hubs. After a week, I found that I had so many ideas in the noggin that I had to write them down. When I was back in front of the computer, I was refreshed and the words flowed.
When I feel I am approaching the “burn-out” feeling (yes, I still get it) I follow the steps above. You may want to add or subtract some items to suit you. This is nothing scientific, but I know it works for me and I hope it will help you too. If there is one thing to learn from this: IT IS OKAY TO TAKE A BREAK.
Remember, you are not alone in suffering this awful thing called “Blogger Block”, or “Funk”, “Wall”, “Lost my Mojo”, or whatever you want to call it. We have all been there! I hope you can use this list to help get your groove back!
What do you do when you hit a funk? How do you get your groove back? Share in the comments!