Newbie Blogger Initiative 2016 - Got Nothing to Write About?
How often do you find yourself preparing a blog post when it dawns on you that you have absolutely nothing to write about? All of a sudden the view out of the window becomes incredibly alluring, especially that bird on Mrs. Coltart's roof. So you try to force yourself to concentrate on the matter in hand and dig deep for inspiration. Perhaps you should do some “research”on the internet? Next thing you know you've lost several hours of your life, watching videos of feral cats eating roadkill or Pro-Celebrity indoor Kabbaddi, on You Tube. Finally you give up because your muse has taken the day off. Coincidentally you’ll often find that all this happens just as the pub open. It would appear that the universe has conspired to prevent you from sharing your witty and intelligent prose with your fellow man.
Of course this is all utter bollocks because there is no such thing as writer’s block per se. The reason you’ve got nothing written is because you didn't want to. It's that simple. Now that's not to say that writing is a walk in the park and as easy as turning on and off a tap, because it’s not. However please name me any other job (because that is what writing really is) where you cannot perform your allotted task for some vague and nebulous reason and everyone is okay with that? Writing is like any other form of work in so far that it can still be carried out even when you’re feeling ill disposed towards it. It just requires focus, discipline and possibly some sort of psychological carrot on a stick (like a bacon sandwich or a pint of stout) that you reward yourself with upon completion.
I don't want to rob writing of its perceived mystique and glamour but it can be a hell of a lot less painful if it’s properly planned. Having maintained a daily writing schedule in the past it really makes thing a lot easier to have posts planned in advance and an ongoing list of ideas to be developed. On the days when writing comes easy why not create some extra material and hold it in reserve for the future. If it’s a slow news day, why not riff off other people blogs and directly respond to one of their posts. Lists, polls, and asking your readers a question are also options to consider. It's also worth remembering that although there is no harm in having standards, not everything that you write has to be a potential magnum opus.
Now if you blog about a single subject then all the above suggestions can be a little harder. However you can always reflect on older material you have written and craft a post about how things may or may not have changed regarding the thing you blog about. A "where are they now" story or an overall retrospective is always a good get out of jail card. If you’re really in a tight spot then posts based around in-game screenshots can be an easy solution to your writing woes. Folk always like a screenshot. Guides, hints and tips will always find an audience as well. You’ll be amazed how some nugget of information that you take for granted may be a real revelation to one of your readers.
Regardless of what we may think when wrestling with so called writer’s block, the reality is that there’s is always something to blog about. Too often as bloggers we confuse not wanting to write with not being able to do so. The realities of writing are completely at odds with the traditional image of the tortured artist, living a Bohemian lifestyle in a Paris garret, swathed in melancholic pathos as they attempt to find their inner muse. Writing is a task, a chore and even a job. It requires focus and discipline. At time it can even be arbitrary like doing the dishes or your laundry. That’s not to say that writing isn’t fun because it often is. It just isn’t as esoterical as some would have you think.
So next time you find yourself drifting while sitting at your computer, stop gazing at that bird on Mrs. Coltart's roof (unless you’re going to write about it), pull the blinds and push on. You Tube is not going anywhere, so you can watch Maru the cat and check out the “pus cannon” later. Pick a subject, set yourself a writing goal and then go achieve it. You’ll feel incredibly self-satisfied when you finish and hit the publish button. Who knows, you sometimes find that it’s the inconsequential posts written on a whim that are the most popular. Remember “It's the job that's never started that takes the longest to finish”.