When you experience writer’s block, finding an excuse as to why all those writer’s block tips won’t work becomes your new mastermind skill. That is if you can even compare writer’s block to blogger’s block because even though it’s the same struggle of getting words on a page, it seems surprising that it could be difficult to write something about yourself – which is what a lot of blogging stems from, right?
A lot of people suggest just sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind, which works well enough – until you find yourself repeating the same old drizzle with even less passion than before. At the other end of the scale, some suggest that combating writer’s block happens before you even sit down to start writing.
They say it’s best fought against with a carefully constructed plan and a half-draft ready-to-go before you even start the real first draft. I’ve approached things this way and, yes, it does the trick, but sometimes we need more than a plan or a trick to get into the right headspace to create, don’t we?
My approach to dealing with writer’s (or blogger’s) block sits in neither of these two camps.
Like many of us, my ideas find their way to me on a delayed route, taking an age to figure out the direction in which they’re heading, and then jumping on the express train when the destination is finally decided. It’s a nothing-at-all and then an all-at-once kind of ordeal.
No matter how many ‘working baths’, brainstorms or word associations sessions I have, my ideas seem to be on a set path and there is no hurrying them along – much like myself when I’m getting ready in the morning.
P.S. Working baths are just baths with a notebook and perhaps a helpful podcast on in the background.
Even with this knowledge of my own inner workings, there is one method that teases the ideas out of me, and that’s what this blog post is really about.
They say write about what you know…
They say write about what you know, but how much do we really know after spending a week behind a computer screen? (or elbow deep in notebooks – possibly soggy from the bath…)
Besides the fact that I actually know shit about the world and life (and probably blogging too), it’s undoubtedly a pretty trustworthy tip, but like I’ve just said, it’s so easy to get into a place where staring at a screen or an empty page is all you know.
If it ever gets to this point then there’s only one thing you can do about it. Stop trying to write and try to live.
With blogging especially, there’s this funny paradox of sitting inside writing about your life and what you do leads you down the path of having nothing to write about because, hey presto, our life now consists of recoiling in horror when the screen goes black and we see our double-chinned face staring into the void with no signs of life behind the eyes (or however you spend your Friday night…).
To be a lifestyle blogger means to live a lifestyle you’re blogging about in the first place, and whilst a lot of my life is spent using a poetic license to make myself seem more interesting, a lot of it is also spent having a life – and when I’ve forgotten that I call it writer’s block.
Ironically, writing this post whilst going through a few days of, “Oh my god, I’ve not a single thing to write about” is going against my own advice – which technically dictates that I should be doing something that isn’t writing – but my boyfriend is away and after spending the afternoon moping about my terrible headache, I’ve buckled down and written something about what I know. Sure, all I know right now is that blogger’s block is real and my life is boring – but at least I know where to start tomorrow. Thanks to this post, really.
Although I don’t wish for any of you reading this to have experienced extended periods of not knowing what to write, it’s a pretty undeniable experience for all bloggers and writers out there.