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How Do You Overcome Bloggers Block?

It hits every blogger at some point in their blogging – bloggers block.

Whether it’s not being able to come up with a topic or whether it strikes midway through a post in which you just can’t seem to find a way to express yourself – bloggers block sucks.

So how do you over come it?

I once wrote a series of tips on the topic of battling bloggers block – but I’m interested to hear your own techniques for getting through these tough patches on a blog – what advice would you give a blogger struggling with it?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. John Grein says:

    When I get a block I just take a long walk and my brain starts working again and I come up with many things to write about

  2. Tinh says:

    It is very useful, but I think I am going to love Google Wave now. Just invited by Google and have 200 free google invites to share. I am a lucky man after many efforts. God blessed me :-)

  3. Tinh says:

    Sorry, I want to edit that, only 20 invites, not 200. So sorry for my typo mistakes

  4. Ashu says:

    I guess, there are quite a few ways I get ideas for my blog. The biggest one I guess is keeping myself updated about the latest happening around me. It sometimes happen, I get more than one idea at a time, what I do is write out all ideas and publish them on different dates. Also, constant reading other blogs and some great ones like proBlogger, i keep getting new ideas.

  5. I go into the various forums where I’m a member and do a search on ‘WordPress’. In the results I look for people asking questions on WordPress and, when I know the answer, I turn it into a blog post.

    A high proportion of my blog posts are answers to questions I found in the forums.

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  6. Deciding what to write about next is a far larger issue for me than writer’s block; however, if I were stuck I know exactly what I would do. I would go visit all my favorite blogs in my niche and read what they’ve written lately, what questions they’ve asked and what their commentators are discussing.

    That would definitely lead to many great ideas and allow me to write about and link to their best content so my blog would benefit them as well as my readers.

  7. edmuse22 says:

    Hi Darren
    I’ve learned a lot from your blog, I hope you’re not suffering from this.
    What inspires me is reading up on best selling authors and what they have to say about writing. These guys are so passionate, they make your fingers itch to write something.
    I also read, read, read and read . . . on old and new subjects. So far the best response I got to a blog was from my 100 best reads list.
    The one thing about blogging, especially if you’re blogging full time is that it could get lonely and make you feel isolated. If that’s the case you know the answer – get out and join some real people in some real forums.
    Okay I have to go there’s an article on your blog I have to read . . .

  8. Home Jobs says:

    Getting Ideas for my next post usually comes up when I write a post. While writing a post when we mention about a particular point which needs more explanation and is out of topic of that particular post, I immediately start a draft with the topic that clicked during my post. Other ways are spend some time reading my subscribed RSS feeds, twitter, Television, news papers magazines. I usually find myself blocked when I don’t write for some days usually when I am back after a break or vacations

  9. psp games says:

    Personally I never run out of the things to blog about. The world is such a mystery. There is always something there to inspire and motivate me.

  10. My theory is quite simple, I carry note book and pen with myself. Any idea which ever come to my mind. I noted it down, so whenever I want to write a post I just open my note book and can see hundreds of idea.

    After getting an idea I started to note down contents point by point with conclusion. When I finish I simply explore them and here is my new post.

  11. When I get a Block I go straight to the Laxative Jar…works a treat!

  12. Andertoons says:

    I find that having certain subjects or themes for each day of the week helps.

    I do a cartoon blog and often I do something like:

    Monday – Superheroes
    Tuesday – My Cartoons
    Wednesday – Cards w/ cartoons on them

    etc…

  13. Step back, get some fresh air and clean your head.

  14. Ryan says:

    By going into stillness. I find a quiet spot and sit until the chatter in my mind stops. The ‘I can’t think of anything good to write’ stuff. When relaxed enough creative ideas flow to me effortlessly. Works every time.

  15. titan says:

    it will come and attack our brain. So, let see if your antivirus works in your brain. If not works, thats why blogger block happen. hahha..

  16. I keep a variety of rough drafts, if I can’t finish them; or they just don’t sound right, I keep them in my draft folders. If I ever get completely stuck on what to write, I just go to my draft folders and finish up something I’ve already got started.

  17. Ellis Traub says:

    One thing you could do is to ask a question to stimulate feedback…maybe something like “What do you do when you have bloggers’ block?” :-)

    Well, it works, doesn’t it?

    Since I’m here, I might as well take this opportunity to thank you. Yours is the most valuable blog I subscribe to. While you do get something out of the activity…a lot, I’m sure, given the size of your audience, you always give more than you receive from any one reader.

    You’ll always be successful because you’re focused on filling a need and being of value, while the other “pros” are busy taking advantage of their popularity to push stuff and stretch the limits of cyber-hospitality.

    So thanks very much for your work!!

  18. I keep a running file of ideas and resources. When I’m ready to write, I take a look and see which one inspires me.

  19. work at home says:

    My blog is all about work at home. I want to inform people about legitimate work at home jobs and some blogging information that I learn from my blogging experience.

    I am writing my blog article myself.

  20. Ian Brodie says:

    I get “bloggers block” less nowadays since I’ve been taking notes all the time of interesting things I’ve seen or thought of that could turn into blog posts. When I’m short of an idea I just get out the journal and flip through for interesting topics.

    Another method is to look over earlier posts I’ve made from a year or so ago. By now my thinking has often gone further and there’s new ideas I can add to the topic. Or it may just trigger me with different ideas.

    Ian

  21. Dan McCarthy says:

    I’ve been blogging for three years, and it hit me really hard about 6 months ago. I wrote a post about it and asked my readers for ideas. In a few days I had a page of potential topics, and many of those ideas sparked related posts. It also gave a a sense for what my readers wanted to know.

  22. Stephen says:

    I find the best way to get over bloggers block is to move away from the computer and go for a good walk. The visual influences I see while I am out, and the lack of pressure to write something always helps.

    This solution is even better if the day is windy – I walk to the highest point in our city (which is in the middle of a very large park) and look out over it, I can see the hills in the distance and the urban sprawl in the foreground. Really clears the head.

    I can guarantee that every time I go walking I come back with a brimful of ideas, and I feel much better too.

  23. Very Nice !! Keep The Good Work UP !.

  24. Chip Etier says:

    Notes.
    Mental and written.
    I keep a file on potential blog subjects on a wide variety of topics.
    Anything that comes to mind, impresses me, or that I have an opinion about.
    Between my job as a pharmacist, my photography biz on the side, and my avocation of officiating high school football, something always pops up.

  25. For me, I maintain a blog editorial calendar in Evernote in which to place my ideas.

    For my blog community of genealogy bloggers, we’ve created a whole week of Daily Blogging Themes such as Tombstone Tuesday (where you post a photo of a gravestone of one of your ancestors and write about it). These can help our new bloggers stay on target for blog posts.

  26. I carry a note card around with me. When an idea hits me, i write it down. I dont typically have a string of blog posts already written “in the bank”, but i always have a list of ideas from which i can choose to write.

    Rick Smith

  27. My method of getting over Blogger’s Block is to go to other blogs and read and make comments. Yours is one of the blogs early on my list. I post links and write myself out of my blockage.

  28. Whenever I have bloggers block I just stand and look out of the windows and watch the world doing its business. It isn’t long before you see something that sparks a thought and you take it from there.

    I suppose it all depends on what is going on outside your window though.

  29. Galvahaha says:

    Well, this is a sticky situation. Throughout my daily activities, I always have a pen and a small pad of paper. If I get a brainstorm about a great subject that I feel would contribute to the masses, I jot it down on the paper. These small pieces of paper can hold about 10 quick notes. I do this constantly, and keep all of the papers in a drawer in my office. If I do get bloggers block, I dig into my collection of idea notes, and usually, can trigger a ‘thought-train’ that can help me complete the entry, or, if I’m really stuck, I can quickly pick another subject and it just seems to ‘flow’ because the notes on my papers were my original ideas to begin with.

  30. I’ve got a good one. Next time you have writer’s block, how about writing a post asking your readers what they do when they have writer’s block. They’ll do the writing for you… ; )

  31. I don’t. I try to write as much as possible when I have enough time and ideas to write about. If I’m lucky, I have posts prepared for a week in advance (I write to more than a dozen of diffferent blogs). If I come to a point when I don’t know what to write, I just wait for that block to pass — the prepared posts are published, though, so from the reader’s perspective nothing changes.

  32. Syed Akram says:

    There are a lot of ways for me to overcome this “blogger block”. I just post some ideas in my blog with the title “How to Find Ideas What to Write on Your Blog Everyday” which you can read it and give comments or maybe add your ideas too.

  33. Vance Sova says:

    Hi Darren,

    At least for me there are two types of writers blocks.

    One is not knowing what to write about, a lack of a subject.

    The second one is knowing which subject to write on and getting stuck somewhere in the middle of writing or even close to the beginning.

    In the first case what helps me is to plant the “find the idea to write on” into my brain and go outside for a walk, a game of tennis or whatever.

    Often the subject pops up within minutes or hours, sometimes it takes till the next morning or it wakes me up in the middle of the night and I feel compelled to write and finish the post right away.

    In the second case it usually takes some research or extra reading. Getting stuck in the middle is, at least for me, usually caused by not knowing enough on the subject.

    Vance

  34. Teresa Berry says:

    Darren the responses here are a library of ideas… I’m going with…. boomark and return to this post for my final answer!
    Nicely Done!

    Teresa

  35. Christine asked if other professions get blocked? Heck, yeah. I have artist friends who sometimes get into a place where they can’t pick up a sketch pad or a brush. I know dog trainer/judges who keep a file of exercises and previous courses against the day when they don’t have the mental energy to design another class or another course. I even know a person who makes jewelry who periodically finds herself without new ideas.
    For me, just forcing the writing – the ‘write something, even if it’s nonsense or junk’ approach – doesn’t seem to work. It’s a lot of heat producing very little light. BUT, putting the writing into a form (your ‘list’ post is a great example, Darren) can make even low-rent writing take a better shape. Maybe the form makes it easier to refine. Maybe focusing on writing in form takes the pressure off generating the content, because the only thing acceptable on the page is something that fits into the form. I don’t know what makes it click, but that works for me.
    The other things that work for me every time:
    - keep a bright ideas notebook; review it when I’m stuck
    - read other bloggers, and make some comments
    - read the news and/or discussion forums relevant to the main subjects of my blogs
    - if nothing original comes to mind after all that reading except wanting to share some of what I’ve read, then I quote and link to news stories, other blogs or a twitter comment. Wrap up the brief post with a what-do-you-think question to my own readers just to get something up on the site. Sometimes just seeing a newly published post and/or the comments it generates sparks me in a new direction.
    - definitely get away from the computer for awhile. Spending 10 minutes training one of my dogs always gives me a new idea for Dog Trainers Log. Cooking something usually inspires a Kitchen Jam post. Doing something offline is sure material for Life Out Loud.
    - try to find some type of relevant post material for your blog that doesn’t involve a lot of creativity, something you can just bang out to get a post online. I put the results of state fair canning competitions into individual blog posts. That’s 50 posts where all I have to do is find the info and links (on the web), format the winners’ lists, and find the state-appropriate illustration. I can bang out one of those posts in a half hour, including the internet search, and it’s a relevant, search-engine friendly post that didn’t require a lot of creativity on my part. When I’m stuck for an idea or for time, it’s a go-to posting solution. And for me, when I see a post go up, that makes writing the next one easier.

  36. MT Harris says:

    I want to thank Darren and everyone who commented here! I’ve entered the world of blogging because of an ebusiness course I’m teaching at this time. So all of the tips and advice shared here is going to come in handy. I’m going to refer the class here as well!

  37. I keep a list of topics I haven’t yet had time to write about. When I run out of inspiration, I return to my list and there’s always something that sparks my imagination again.

    I also have some recurring topics (What I’m Reading, So You Want to be an Innkeeper?, etc.) that provide topics naturally and help me get back in the writing groove.

  38. Ray Cassidy says:

    I’m right in the middle of a prolonged writer’s block, but after acouple of beers and a couple of malt whiskeys I think I might just toddle off to bed.

  39. Alan Furth says:

    Twitting for a while cures my bloggers block — it’s easier to get unstuck 140 characters at a time!

  40. Bill Morgan says:

    I am not a professional blogger so
    1. I write about the things I see every day and over 20 years in the business. My blog is a career site

    http://www.thejobswami.com

    For example, if someone did something stupid in an interview that my be my topic for that day in my blog.
    People came up to me and asked me a question in church, that was a good blog topic when someone asked me if I bring business cards to church.

    2. I create a bunch of titles ahead of time also with a quick blurb so I always have 5-6 things to add.

    3. I have recently met so many bloggers in my niche and we share articles so I’ll never run out of things.

    4. In my LinkedIn and Facebook sites, so many people have topics that are of interest.

    I truthfully don’t know how someone gets writers block but so many ways to plan ahead for that moment.

    Bill Morgan
    The Job Swami Career Advice Site
    http://www.thejobswami.com

  41. Ronblogger says:

    As for me, i always read the success story of succesful bloggers.That really boosts my moral when im stuck with ideas and lack of will and deyermination.By the way,you’re one of many that keeps me on blogging ;-)

  42. Srinivas Rao says:

    One of the things I will do is something I learned from Maxwell Malt’z book psychocybernetics. He says if you give your subconcious mind instructions before you go to sleep it will actually follow those instructions and come up with a solution to a problem you request. In fact when I do this, I wake up in the morning with about 5 ideas for blog posts. And reading this, just gave me my next idea for a post.

  43. Michael McCracken says:

    Everyone works a little differently, so this advice will apply to some. However, for those… it can be invaluable.

    When I think about any kind of writers block, it generally boils down to one of two things: finding an idea, or finding an angle.

    How to find an idea: Add constraints. Don’t even consider huge topics, pare them down. Don’t write about vehicle crossovers or a specific model like the Infinity FX45. Instead, write about the sound separation that the Infinity sound-system’s “audio-stage” provides. There is amazing depth in what appears to be a simple concept.

    How to find an angle: If your dead-set on a topic (or have one assigned to you), half the work is already done (unless the topic has been covered ad-nauseam, or is – boring.) Or… is it? My opinion is that you should be able to take a new (and interesting) angle on anything. I love to use green-beans as an example. You should be able to write an article on how green beans killed, saved, enslaved, or freed large groups of people. Think it’s impossible? Start researching. It’s less important “if” it actually happened (though it probably has), and more important that you find your angle and tear it up.

    Michael McCracken
    @expectationgap (twitter)

  44. krissy knox says:

    My approach to looking at writer’s block is a little different. I’ve come to realize that sometimes when I can’t write, it’s bc I need to examine what’s stopping me. Instead of trying to find a topic to write about, which isn’t hard to do, as there are thousands out there, I look within myself and ask, “WHY am I not able to write?” Answering that question and taking care of the underlying problem is easier than trying to write when I can’t.

    The sooner I ascertain what’s wrong, and then quickly go about fixing it, I can get back to writing. Topics then begin to flow, if I even had a shortage in the first place! And my writing flows also.

    Writing challenges can come from many different sources. Perhaps one may not want to blog and needs to think about why he is procrastinating. Is there a fear of failure? Success? Maybe one does not blog bc they are burntout and needs to consider why, and deal w the burnout so they can get into writing again much more quickly. Or perhaps one has been cooped up for too long, and needs to go out and see offline friends for a few hours or go for a walk in the park. Or maybe he needs to center himself spiritually. After having done so, he will no longer be dry, and having topics to write about and writing will come naturally.

    I guess I’m trying to say that it’s not always the lack of subject matter, or even the writing itself that may prevent one from writing. If you’re not writing, if you’re blocked, then perhaps it’s your body, mind, and spirit’s way of saying you may need to take care of something first…

    krissy knox :)
    connect with me on twitter:
    @iamkrissy

  45. Do anything BUT think about your blog!

    Catching up on other people’s blogs, taking a bicycle ride, or putzin’ around in the yard seem to trigger something in me.

    Who knew my mess of a yard would become a motivation point and a font of worthwhile ideas? ;)

  46. Bob says:

    My Stormhorn.com blog deals with storm chasing and jazz saxophone–an unusual combination, but it gets traffic from both communities. However, each subject has its limitations. So when I find myself at a loss for ideas, I may just go off topic. It’s a big world out there with plenty of other things to write about, and I don’t think it hurts to take my readers for a stroll off the sidewalk every now and then. Keeps things interesting, and invigorates me as well. Just because I might not have something to say about my two areas of focus doesn’t mean I have nothing to say at all. And I can usually find a way to relate whatever I write about to either jazz or weather or both. When your box is empty, look outside it!

  47. Scott says:

    Real brief as I’m on my iTouch. I find it very motivating to surf and read related blogs and forums. I will usually find unrelated info that sparks imagination.

  48. Darren:
    I am a newb to the whole internet marketing scene and thoroughly enjoy the feed from your site. I read it every week day morning.

    I posted a writers block story on Triond. 4 Home remedies that work for me.

    http://writinghood.com/writing/four-home-remedies-for-writers-block/

    Enjoy!!

  49. Ms. Freeman says:

    On days that I can’t write I surf, stumble, digg and subscribe to feeds, tweet and visit my friends on FB. I read many different blogs and I take in things that are happening around me in the real world.

    There are 24 hours in the day and at some point one of those hours will be the magic hour and something will come to mind.
    :)

  50. Ms. Freeman says:

    I went back and read your series covering battling bloggers block, very very useful tips. It is also amazing how much your style has changed and your grammar has improved as well..:)