Wednesday, February 12, 2020

How to Keep on Writing when you have writer’s block?

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Hello, today I want to continue with this sort of, kind of series on starting a blog. 

Back in January, I started, sort of backward, the topic on “How to start a blog?” I went over the basics of picking a topic, a name for your blog, customizing it for you and your readers, and publishing your first blog.  In the next post, titled cutely, “What the heck is Well-nigh and other ponderings”.  I covered the dirty subject of using re-write software and another website that allows you to reuse a post over and over again without getting into trouble with the “copyright police” or Google with your own post.  This title came about when I was not pleased with the “How to write a Blog” post, tried to re-write the post using a program online, and confused when the software suggested that I use the word, “Well-nigh” throughout the piece.

Side-Note:  I found out from an article, “The First Blog Posts you Should be Writing as a new Blogger, by Beautiful Dawn, which she talks about deciding on what topics you cover in your new blog.  In the article, she suggests that “cover multiple topics.  The example she uses is that you can cover travel, organization, and cooking if that is what you want to talk about.  Do not start a string of travel blog post, then switch to a bunch of organizational posts, then finally to cooking posts.  You have to create a map to tie-in each little nugget of information for the reader. Another way is to have a common theme within your traveling, organization, and cooking themes.  For example:  If you are traveling to India, you can map out a plan to write about the trip and your travels, follow it by having an “Indian-inspired” organization container in your “Indian-inspired” bedroom, and conclude the trio of blog posts by cooking a posting your version of a Indian dish you had on the trip.  The point is in 2020 it is okay to have a blog, especially a lifestyle blog with multiple subjects in it.
I have more on these and other subjects as I try to prepare my blog for “move out of Blogger’s backyard and into the world of WordPress” day.  I figured that this whole process, which I am letting you come for the journey when be completed around May.  Yes, I am taking it slow and steady.  I will let you know of the official move out/in date soon. 

Today’s Topic:  I am stuck so I cannot write today (writer's block).

This happens to the best of writers. You get to the computer, you open up your word processing program, and WHAM! Nothing comes out.  No magical moment where the brain instructs the hands to form the words to a beautifully mastered blog post. Everything you had hoped for dreamed of writing and the message you want to give to the masses is stuck at point zero.  I am not talking about the computer.  It’s fine.  What I am talking about is that moment when you have everything planned to say, and you cannot think of a thing to say.
This is typical of me. I start writing on a subject, let’s say Disney trips since I have not used that in a while.  I have been talking about subjects, such as planning a trip, buying your tickets, making your reservations, and scheduling dining times.  Everything is looking good, and I am working up a sweat.  I want to keep this Disney trip thing going, but now I have run out of ideas.  What do I write about next?  Where does my thought process point to?  Another example:  You have a blog about owning your self-worth because you see that lacking in today’s society.  You have been at it for a while, having Motivational Mondays, devotionals (it is a Christian blog), affirmations, and dedications to name a few.  One day, a subject comes to mind that you really feel like it needs to be addressed, but you are not sure how to approach it with your audience.
What to do when that happens?
I am a believer in the art of “always have something to say”. Most of the time, it is a matter of knowing what to say.  When that happens, try these techniques to get your creative juices started…

1.       Freewriting
Rebecca Talley of her self-titled blog, Rebecca Talley says to just write.  Before you write, you must plan.  By planning, you are mapping out how the story must begin and how it must end.  This technique works best for those who are writing a book or a script, but points are taken from this technique also apply to the blog post and non-fictional writing as well.  She goes on to talk about, “Think about the scene. Who is in it? What is the goal of the scene? What is the conflict? Where is it set?”  I will further that sentiment by saying, “write it down in a notebook”.  That way, if something or someone takes you away from the moment, you can return back to that notebook, and pick up where you left off.
She also says to write anything, even if it has nothing to do with the story or in this case, the concept of an idea.  Sometimes it takes me two days to write one blog post.  It is not that I am conflicted about what I want to say, but more on I might change my mind and take the concept in a different direction. She further suggests that you use a timer and write about anything that comes to mind for about 5 minutes.  You would be surprised at the ideas you come up with for 5 minutes.

  1. Change of scenery
Maybe a Change of Scenery-Pixabay
One other suggestion is to change your scenery.   By that, you are getting out of your comfort zone, that place where solitude and tranquility meet as one big pool of peacefulness, but every once in a while, the two do not go together.  To return to that space, consider writing somewhere different.  For example, if you like to write cuddled with a blanket and your feet up on your lounge in your bedroom, try the kitchen or the family room (make sure family members do not disturb you), or go to the library.  I do not suggest a place like Starbucks unless you can drown out the noise. 

  1. Keep a notebook of ideas
This is a different type of notebook than the one I mentioned under Freewriting.  This is also more for the blogger who needs to come up with a topic for future references.  Keep this notebook with you at all times for when those creative juices emerge.  Yes, this includes keeping it by your nightstand.  You can keep a traditional notebook or a digital notebook.

  1. Quora
Quora Website-
I love Quora. In case you are not familiar with the website, Quora is a place where people can ask questions and the general public answers them.  The way I use this little nugget of a website is I answer the question provided to me.  They are often to me through my email.  I can choose to answer because I am an expert in that area, or I have experienced it at one
time or another.  I will answer enough to give a good answer.  If I think that it is blog post-worthy, I will copy the answer before submitting it to the database, then in MS Word, I will pull up a blank document and copy the answer onto it.  This blog post I am writing, and you are reading now came from a Quora question.  I will sometimes omit the answer.  The original concept of this blog post had my answer to the question on it, but sometimes the answer does not fit the blog post.

  1. Writing prompts
They are in the same category as Quora, where you are given a question to answer, and you provide the answer. My one example was a post I wrote in 2012 about my summer vacation.   I forgot where I found the prompt, it has been a while since I wrote.  Please excuse the typos. 
There is an online event for writers every year in November called National Novel Writer’s Month or NaNoWriMo for short.  It is for people who write novels, and in the past, they used to have writing prompts.  Now you can easily look them up on search engines, Pinterest, and Facebook even has some groups that allow you to get you thinking about writing.

Well, that’s the end.  Not by a long shot. I want you to have a successful writing career if that is your choice.  Writer’s block happens to all of us, from novelists to bloggers, journal writers, and journalists.  It is what you choose to do with that writer’s block when it comes, and I have given you 5 ways to conquer it.  The point is to recognize it when it comes. 

Call to Action Prompt:  Comment below if you have ever had this experience of writer’s block and how you solved your situation. 

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