If you are a blogger who is staying home, there is a good chance that you’re feeling creatively stuck and feel yourself falling into a blogging slump.
And that is perfectly okay, and quite frankly, normal.
I completely feel you on that. I have been struggling immensely with trying to get back into blogging and to just generate posts, especially when staying at home has you feeling kind of sluggish.
Therefore, I decided to compile this post of 10+ tips for you that can help you get out of that blogging slump and to rediscover your creativity.
Also! When I was creating this post, I saw this post by the amazing Marie that discusses blogging slumps that you 100% need to check out, because it is just so insightful, absolutely amazing and oh so helpful.
1. Recognise that you are struggling
The saying goes that the first step to fixing a problem (or something along those lines) is to recognise that there is a problem. When we have a problem, it can be so easy for us to charge on and pretend like there isn’t a problem, all while the problem gradually becomes a bigger issue and will likely end with a) it blowing up massively in our faces or b) getting used to this idea of avoidance and making it a habit. The sooner you recognise the issue, the faster you can reflect, implement appropriate changes and hopefully defeat that slump.
2. Dig into those idea banks
I will say that I’m not sure how many of you will find this one particularly useful, but I am pretty sure that a good deal of bloggers will have some bank of blog post ideas.
If you don’t, I highly recommend that you start one because *chef’s kiss* it is an absolute lifesaver.
And there really is no better time to dig into those quote banks than when you are creatively struggling. There’s always a chance that you might find an idea (or ideas!) that you happen to be in the exact right mood to be writing about. These are an absolute gold mine, and helped me so much when trying to get out of blogging slumps.
3. Re-read some posts that you’re proud of or other posts
A great source of inspiration (inspiration, not plagiarism), is looking around and seeing what other bloggers are posting. Is there a particular trend you want to partake in? Or a current affair that you want to discuss? The book blogging sphere is large enough that you will find a plethora of ideas (sometimes overwhelmingly so), and sometimes you might just find it so fun that it may prompt you to write a post.
Another great way to find that creative spark is to re-read some old posts that you particularly love or are proud of. While it can feel like it’s impossible to write at that same standard, reminding yourself that you are capable of writing something wonderful can be seriously so helpful. On some days where I’m deeply struggling creatively, I sometimes go back and read old posts that I’m incredibly proud of, and it’s given me that boost of self-belief to write that post. Yes, your old posts can make you cringe at times. But looking at what makes it compelling, or why it struck a chord with you (or others) does creative wonders. Seriously.
4. Talk to people
Inspiration is strange in the sense that it hits when you least expect it. Humans (well most humans) are social creature at heart, so why not utilise that?
While thinking by yourself can come up with great ideas, it can be incredibly beneficial to talk to some people that you trust and that will understand what you’re going through and bounce ideas off of them. In the worst case scenario, you tried. In the best case scenario (and what will likely happen) is that talking to others will give you a different perspective, help you connect the pieces or give you that eureka! moment. Personally speaking, some of my best ideas have come from when I’ve turned to others to discuss ideas I have.
However, do be careful about talking to too many people, because there is a point that having too many perspectives can become a bad thing.
5. Talk about things you love
It is a universally known fact that the best way to defeat a creative slump is inspiration, and what better way to do that than to talk about things you love and/or are passionate about? While it would be ideal if you can relate it back to your niche, don’t feel restricted to doing just that. Talking about something you know and love is going to be so much easier than something that you find stale and are struggling to write. I’m talking about things that gets you up in the morning. Things that you could talk about for hours to a wall. The topics that you delve into at 3am. You know, the works.
6. Deep dive into why you blog
In a blogging slump, you can just feel so bogged down and stuck that you sometimes lose sight of why you started blogging. Why did you start? What are your favourite things about it? Are there any posts or areas that you would potentially be excited about doing? Asking and answering those questions will be critical in helping you revitalise your love and drive for blogging.
<small>I’m sure you were as happy as Kermit about blogging at some point in your blogging career, no?</small>
7. Clear your head
This tip, in my opinion, is one that is so underrated and bonus – can be applied to your mental health!
We live in a world that values hustle culture and being productive to the point of making people
myself included constantly calculate their productivity levels and feel guilty for not being productive enough.
This is especially true in the time of COVID-19. How many people, does it seem, are using social distancing to find cures for 10 different strains of cancer, become fluent in five language, or become the next Mozart? It’s overwhelming and can make you spiral into cycles of self-loathing, guilt or other negative emotions overall, therefore having a higher chance of clouding your creative abilities.
Therefore, whenever you can, try to find ways to clear your head throughout the day. This can range from having a designated time of no-screens, exercise, meditation, having breathing exercises, or reading.
You know. Literary-centric blog and all that.
Setting the scene for a psychologically calm, objective mindset is generally a crucial first step in beginning to clear the pain that is that blogging slump.
8. Just write
Yeah, I get that this advice is incredibly cliche, but as they also say, cliches are a cliches for a reason.
Surprise: it works!
For this, what you should do is sit down with a pen and paper (or a computer and a document), and just write. Write anything that comes into your mind for either a set period of time or a set amount of pages. Journal your thoughts out. How you feel about the slump. Anything.
Just. Write. And do not edit anything.
Yes, not all of the prose that you generate is not going to the next epic drama. Something I’ve found though, is that the sentences that you feel are dumb, stiff or just not great might actually generate into an idea really worth exploring. Because sometimes, the most random things can be the most effective.
9. Don’t be afraid to write ‘easy’ posts
If I’m being honest, this is a piece of advice I really wish I had when I first ran into blogging slumps, because it would have helped me significantly when trying to overcome my slump.
It’s tempting to try to force out a developed, amazing, unique post when you feel that you are running into a creative block. You get so convinced that if you just wait a little bit and manage to formulate that idea that everything will be fine. So you wait and drag it out. Or you get an idea that you really like, but the words just don’t materialise, so you remain frustrated and again, you start to play the waiting game, both of which subsequently turns to a vicious cycle until the slump seems to go to the point of no return.
Therefore, writing up posts like tags or lists or other posts with very structured formats are significantly easier to complete than a more adaptable, blank canvas post, especially since structured post types tend to not be too time consuming. While I will be the first to say that it is not the most beneficial thing for your creativity, it allows you to still generate content, and for some, that works. And sometimes, you’ll find a tag or a list so fun that you just really want to participate in it yourself.
10. Stop playing the comparison game
I’m going to say this: one of the worst things you can do in a blogging slump is to compare yourself to other bloggers and their content. Really, what are the benefits of it?
Other bloggers are amazing. They have stellar posts, have the most thoughtful comments, the most beautiful graphics and an awesome personality, but using their content and presence to beat yourself up about how you feel about your blog and its presence completely misses the point. Most of the time, it will just speed up the process of your creativity shutting down, and may advance into a cycle of self-loathing. And this is coming from someone who has experienced it in many forms.
The comparison game is just awful and so difficult to get out of, so like, do your best to not get into that game?
What insightful advice, Taasia.
Bonus Tip: Break it down
While I did say I was only going to include 10 tips, I thought of this tip while drafting this post and thought to throw it in too!
One of the best ways to overcome a slump when you’re writing a post is to break down the post into sections. Yes, this is tried and true advice, but it has done miracles for me, personally.
Having that intimidating, broad post idea that you want to write, and the blank post staring right back at you, it will likely equal to procrastination galore … and we all know where that goes.
Breaking things down into list form is proven psychologically to reduce feelings of being overwhelmed, and ticking off smaller sections within posts will boost your motivation and make you feel more accomplished overall. Taking your time, and writing the post a section at a time does miracles. After all, it’s exactly what I’ve done with this post, and it really eases your stress.
So, what do you think of the advice offered here? How have you been doing with staying-at-home and social distancing? Have you been struggling with blogging recently? I hope you are all healthy and safe, sending lots of hugs and love ❤️