What to do when writers blog hits?!

Sher from Czech of the Beaten Path wrote some days ago about being hit by writer’s block. Something that happens to every blogger from time to time. But what can one do when the feared writer’s block hits? Go for a walk, fight it, something else? After being hit badly by it some months ago, I put up some measures / preparations to help me through next time. Feel free to adapt them to your own needs.

Preventions
Prevention is better than cure as they say, so I do try to prevent writer’s blog from occurring or at least from developing in a fully blown “disease”.

1. Is your blogging frequency realistic?
If you run frequently into a writer’s blog it might be that you accept too much from yourself. It is far better too post less but regularly than a lot in a short time and then being exhausted and not posting at all. Set a posting frequency you are comfortable with and stick to it. If it exhausts you, just lower it a bit, but stick to updating regularly. I would love to post more then one time a day on this blog, but it is simply not realistic with all the other projects I have at hand so I aim to stick to my 1 post per day rhythm that I feel comfortable with.

2. Have some timeless posts in the queue.
This is one of my weaker points, but I try hard to have always a couple of “timeless” posts in my draft queue. So when I have nothing to post, I have some already written blog posts to publish. Important is that such posts are timeless, means not tied to any recent events or the like. Similar idea with holidays / vacations. To avoid that your blog looks abandoned during your absence, put some post in the draft queue of your blog, ready to be auto-posted at certain dates and times. As you may have noticed this is something I am really, really bad about. But I’ll try hard to carve out the time before going next on holidays / vacations!

3. Have drafts and half-written posts ready to work on.
Every time I have an idea whilst browsing the internet or working on the computer, I will open a word document and start a blog post. Most of the time that is only the headline and a few sentences long, some are much longer. I save those in a draft folder. And when I have nothing to write about, I open the draft folder and, yippeh!, some blog post that are already started / half written to choose from, to finish and to publish on my blog.

4. Keep an ideas notebook.
Like I wrote in the post about “Checklists for new web sites”, I always carry a tiny, A6, notebook and a pen with me. This way I can note down ideas and inspirations on the go. When in need for ideas, I look through it, and most of the time I find something that inspires me 😉

Do something else.

5. Check old posts and comments
Checking old posts and comments is a great way for finding unanswered questions / suggestions that can be used for a new blog post. At the same time I answer also the odd question with a comment that I had overlooked previously. If somebody has subscribed to such a comment, then I get even a bit of additional traffic through this. Win-win.

6. Tweak your layout / ads / built backlinks
If you really find nothing to write about, do a bit of tidying up on your blog, check your links, check if you really need all your widgets, etc. Just do a bit of spring cleaning. And then write about it and ask your readers for feedback 😉 Spend also some time on building backlinks, most of the time you can just reuse and re-write your blog post to write your own backlinks.

7. Visit other blogs / web sites in your niche
Look what is going on in your niche, look what others write about or, more important, haven’t yet written about. Leave some comments and network with other bloggers.

8. Keep up with industry news in your niche
Leave the blogosphere and venture out into the world wide web to check on the newest trends regarding your niche and further afield. Google Trends is great for doing that! Look what is trendy at the moment and try to give your blog a new, additional, viewpoint.

(In)famous last words:
Don’t post just for the sake of posting, post only when you have something to say that you think your readers. If everything else fails, go for a walk, out in the real world, not on the internet 😉

How do you prevent / react when you have writer’s block? Any tips to share? Anything you don’t agree with? Just leave a comment 😉

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11 comments to What to do when writers blog hits?!

  • Ahhhh, writer’s block… not a good thing to happen to a writer! I can tell you that happens to me only when I am overworking myself, and I need a lot of things done, but then I feel like my brain is hardly working. The worst!

  • hospitalera

    @Chuggin
    In such cases it helps me to make a list and do the things first that need no brain, until it works again 😉 SY

  • Yeah! it happens,lets face it we all ran out of words sometimes, but what do we do about it? The tips you have posted are really useful, i would like to add one thing, a short quick vocation or a overnight picnic may just work wonders for writer’s block! Ya when we relax,we rejuvenate our mind, body and soul. playing some games or focussing on other things for a while can bring in good ideas,refreshed mind works much better and one can come up with some amazing ideas.

  • think point 1 is ultra realistic. Mine is certainly not. With 100 websites I cannot write 100 posts per day. I therefore outsource much of the work in a hopeless attempt to keep on top of everything.

    I am currently putting together a plan to build just a handful of authority sites which I hope to be able to maintain in the future.

  • hospitalera

    @Frank Lynch
    Good idea, getting away from the screen for a short period can do wonders.
    @Mike
    100 web sites? I hope not all of them are blogs??? That is the beauty with web sites, ones they are done, they need only occasionally TLC and updating. I have “only” three active blogs plus a few web sites and a few “projects” I am helping with and I can tell you, I can’t imagine of having more then 5 active blogs! SY

  • Hi Hospitalera,
    Thanks for the link back to my blog. The past few weeks have been a bit stressful with the many things that are going on in Life right now, and the best thing for me to do has been to ease up on writing–and give myself some space and time to deal with these stressors.

    You’ve listed some great tips. And I would urge anyone going through a dry time to just ease up on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to write. It happens to all writers at some point. Pressuring yourself to create will further dim the creative spark that is within you. Work through the dry time with the tips above. The situation will eventually right itself. Taking a breather is not a bad thing–you will come back feeling more refreshed and ready to write again, as long as you let yourself have some space. Taking off your “writer’s hat” for a time is OK. Be kind and gentle with yourself–follow the tips above–and things will turn out OK.

    Have a great day,
    Sher

  • hospitalera

    Hi Sher,

    Thanks for your comment, you are right, sometimes you just have to take a rest. SY

  • johnny

    Hello. Thank you for this great info! Keep up the good job!

  • hospitalera

    @Johnny
    Thanks! SY

  • A writer’s trick that has been around for a long time is to look at what you have written and try to find a different viewpoint or narrower focus from what you have written already. For instance, if you have a post about how to sign up for e-mail updates or feeds, you could write one from the other side, something about how to add feed options to your site.

  • hospitalera

    @stilloutthere
    Great idea! Thanks 😉 I found also another one, look into your Google Analytics account to see which keywords brought people to your site and look if they are covered on your blog or if you can write more about them, SY