This post has been submitted by Karen Andrews from www.miscmum.com.
Do you believe in writer’s block? Janet Evanovich doesn’t; Peter Straub doesn’t either. In fact, he says, “It should never be mentioned in respectable company.”
Frankly, I agree with them. The truth is, those of us who are blogging or writing professionally can’t afford that kind of mentality; and those who don’t, shouldn’t.
Is it hard to realise ideas to their fullest potential? Sure, sometimes – but one mustn’t use the excuse of having a bad day to write off the next one. Because even on my bad days, the kernel of a story, that spark of something greater? Honestly? I still get about a dozen. I make myself write them down; they’re tithed for entering my brainspace.
I am what some people (occasionally derivatively) call a ‘parent blogger’. I post to a daily schedule. To do so requires discipline and planning. It requires lots of brainstorming and post-it notes stuck around the house for whenever inspiration strikes. Additionally, I am also a ‘naptime blogger'; I write whenever my small children are asleep, or before they get up in the mornings. I also freelance write for other publications. Sounds busy? It is.
And guess what – if you’re serious about blogging and, like everyone on the planet, these days, are as busy as me, then you’ll have to get used to it.
Are you one of the guilty ones?
Do these sound familiar?
“I’m too tired.”
“I’ve got no writing mojo today; so what I’ll write is bound to be piffle.”
“I’ll do it later.”
“Why bother? No one remembers what I write anyway.”
I’m sure there are dozens of other excuses out there. Just remember: stepping up your posting schedule, fleshing out ideas, developing your own personal style and voice are all investments into your skills set, and could hardly be considered a waste or something not to be bothered about.
Consider it this way: if you don’t sit down and at least work your ideas through to some sort of conclusion then you’re doing yourself – and your blog – a disservice.
Recently, two of my posts were featured underneath the Blogher Ad Network banner which can be found on countless other parenting blogs of my ilk. These two posts weren’t easy for me to write (or rewrite). I often thought the time I was spending on them could’ve been better spent elsewhere. But they brought me great traffic. They brought me new readers. They did a whole lot more for than that if they’d just stayed in my head.
So what can I do, you ask?
Here’s an idea:
- Go into your drafted posts. Find one that’s been sitting there for ages; the one you don’t quite know what to do with, but can’t bring yourself to delete. (We must all have one or two!)
- Scan it briefly and then write down a word or phrase which best suits its theme/tone. Sometimes it helps to just have that guideline back in the foreground of your mind so you can then develop it further, with the insight you’ve, hopefully, gained since it was originally drafted.
- After consideration, be honest. If you cannot breathe life into the piece, let it go. Not all ideas come to fruition. Make the decision to keep it ‘just in case’ if you must, but in my experience it’s often best to delete, thus freeing up my mind for the next project.
I’m not saying that every post has to be perfect (mine certainly aren’t), but I rest my success on trusting my instincts, staying true to my voice and by making no excuses.