After a couple of weeks of ranty rant rants here on the blog, I thought I’d share something a little more practical and helpful.
One of the questions I saw posted recently in a forum I’m on was from a girl who was getting ready to write her first ever blog post. And she had writers block.
She had no idea what to say.
Some of us feel like that with our first blog post.
And some feel like that every. single. week.
I’ve been blogging here for just over two years. And in that time, I’ve only had writers block once or twice that whole time.
Maybe it’s because I’m such a chatterbox.
On my first date with my husband, I told him I talk a lot.
He said – “That’s okay. I’m a good listener”.
I thought – “Just as well mate, because you’ll be lucky to get a word in”.
I usually have a few blog post ideas in various stages. I’ve even junked some that just didn’t sit right. Because they felt awkward and clunky. Because what felt like genius when I first typed them up, were rubbish in the cold light of day. And some posts just can’t (or shouldn’t) be saved. Like the rant I wanted to go on a couple of weeks ago. Might have felt great at the time but I would have looked like (and felt like) a boof a few days later once I was over it.
Public Service Announcement – Don’t blog angry.
Or PMS-y for that matter. No good can come of it.
So what did I say to this girl frozen with fear about her very first tentative steps into the blogging world? What have I learnt so far that could help her?
If you force it, it’s gonna suck. It will be hard. It will take forever to write. And you’ll hate it. You’ll hate how hard it is. You’ll hate every word you write. And you’ll end up hating everything about blogging full stop.
Imagine your favourite person is reading what you write. Are you excited when you hit the publish button? Or are you thinking “That’ll do – at least it’s something?” For me, I imagine my favourite actor or art mentor reading the post. Am I proud of it? Is it who I am? Would I be happy for them to read it?
Let it sit. Don’t hit publish straight away. I just get it all out in a draft and come back to it in a day or two. So I know what needs re-jigging, I write “Ash Edit” in the title. That means to go back and Ashley Ambirge edit it. Her advice on “Don’t be boring” and “Use better verbs” means when I edit my post, it reads soooo much better. It means I love what I write and I’m proud of my words. You need to be able to say the same.
Inspiration usually strikes when you can’t do anything about it. For me, it’s usually when I’m in the shower, just as I’ve gotten shampoo in my right eye. Or as I roar down the on ramp, merging into highway traffic as I go to That Day Job. In those moments, I keep saying what I’ve thought of over and over until I can get to pen and paper. Maybe it happens in those moments because you aren’t trying so hard. You aren’t trying to force the magic. It’s the same with my art – how often do you figure out the solution to artists block just as you are trying to drop off to sleep?
If you are putting off the jump into the blogosphere…
If you are blogging but hating every damn second of it….
If writers block is a constant companion that will just not go away….
Give these a try. They might help you fall in love with blogging. They may make you see your writing in a whole different way. And they may help you find your voice if you are still looking for it.
I’d love to hear what works for you – let me know in the comments.