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3 Varieties of Bloggers Block I’ve Suffered From [And What I Did About Them]

Where do you get ‘stuck’ in your blog writing?

Today – in preparation for my opening keynote for next weeks ProBlogger Training Event – I was reflecting upon some of the obstacles I’ve faced in my blogging over the years.

One of the recurring obstacles that I’ve tackled at different times has been ‘bloggers block’.

Most bloggers face it – the inability to write!

As I pondered the different bouts of bloggers block that I’ve faced I realised that there are actually a number of different types of bloggers block – or rather there are different stages of the blog writing process that I’ve had periods of getting ‘stuck’.

3 Varieties of Bloggers Block I’ve Suffered From [And What I Did About Them]

Here’s 3 types of bloggers block that I’ve suffered (please add yours to the list in comments below):

1. An Ideas Impediment

Two years ago I hit a patch where I found blogging really tough because I kept getting stuck on coming up with ideas of what to write about.

Post topic ideas eluded me at every turn!

I guess I had gotten to a point in the life of my blogs where I’d covered hundreds… no thousands… of topics and was looking for something completely fresh and new to share.

Solution: what ended up snapping me out of this bout of bloggers block was sitting down with a friend to brainstorm together some topics to blog about.

I found that with his encouragement that we quickly came up with a heap of topics/titles for blog posts. Once I got those ideas they just kept on coming!

2. Hitting the Writing Wall

Earlier this year I had a patch where I had plenty of ideas for blogging but found it difficult to get into a regular rhythm of actually writing.

Looking back I think it was partly because I was so busy that I’d gotten out of the practice of writing and had fallen for the trap of doing my writing at the end of the day when I was tired rather than in my golden hours (for me I am at my creative best between 9-11am).

Solution: the solution this bout of bloggers block was again pretty simple. I changed the structure of my week around a little to make more time for blogging and put aside two blog post creation times in my week (Monday and Wednesday mornings) where I switched off Skype, Twitter, Email and my phone and just wrote!

I also decided to mix up some of the places that I blogged to give me a little fresh motivation. It took a few weeks to get back into the groove but the more I did it the better things got!

3. Completion Constipation

A a number of years back I had a serious problem of starting but not completing blog posts. I had a serious backlog of unfinished posts… but I couldn’t get them out!

I’m embarrassed to admit it but at its worst I had 93 half written posts uploaded as drafts here on ProBlogger.

Add to that were the notebooks full of blog post ideas and half written posts in text documents on my computers desktop and you can see I had a problem.

I would get so excited with my new ideas that I’d start writing but halfway through a post I’d either get distracted by another idea or lose interest in what I was writing!

Solution: the solution to this one was pretty logical. I decided to put aside time each week to work on posts that I’d not completed.

At the time I decided to dedicate evenings to this task as in most cases most of the creative work had already been done in the posts and it was just a matter of finishing things off, proof reading and polishing the posts up before scheduling them.

Have You Suffered from Bloggers Block?

Have you suffered from a bout of bloggers block? What variety was it? What did you do about 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. Jon Rhodes says:

    I have struggled with finding ideas of what to write about. To solve this I sometimes visit aggregators like AllTop and look at all the titles of the articles in my niche. I don’t even necessarily read them, but use them as inspiration to write my own article around the same subject.

  2. When I first started I felt a bit scared that I would eventually run out of ideas.

    But as you have shown, it turns out that there’s a limitless amount of posts that can be written!

  3. I suffer from completion constipation most often when writing. I have something written 70% of the way. It takes me the most time to proofread, polish it etc.

  4. Christina says:

    Not yet. I’m still new in blogging. So i have plenty of ideas. Sometimes though i think of what will happen if i have nothing to show anymore. This thought comes to me lately because i’m trying to take blogging more seriously and post everyday. So thank you for the solutions.

  5. Donnie Law says:

    I’m new to this but I find my best writing happens early in the morning with nothing in my stomach but coffee. If I wait until afternoon… forget about it!

  6. Stu Holdren says:

    Completion Constipation is all too familiar to me. I often get rolling and then get to a complex idea within the post and my mind can start to fizzle out (especially if extra research is needed at that point). I’ve found that to avoid that, it’s better to keep writing with whatever flows to you and come back and focus on that hanging point alone on another day.

  7. I suffer from a strand of #1: I find a topic to write about only to discover that another blogger has already written the exact same thing. There are a ton of great bloggers in my field, social media, so it tends to happen a lot.

  8. Ugee says:

    Nice Post Darren! For me, getting ideas is not problem at all, but starting the writing and also making the article long have been my major blocks in recent times.

    I’ve not blogged for long though, there’s still room for improvement :D

  9. Justin says:

    I’ve been struggling with the last two. I either can’t seem to put myself into a mood to write or even force myself to write for that matter. I also have about a dozen or so half or just started posts I couldn’t get done. I have noticed that I get caught up in the multiple tasks I need to accomplish that I end up doing nothing except bouncing back and forth between social media channels and email. Like I’m actually going to miss something after 10 minutes.

    The writers wall sucks and I’m sure it’s partially excuses, I don’t know enough about it to say a lot, but I used to consistently ship a post a week on my blog for over a year. It’s now been two months and I’ve written one post for my blog. Time to just sit down and force myself to get some content up.

  10. I suffered of all these 3 blocks at times. Another one that I still struggle with is if I stop blogging consistently for a while it becomes difficult to get back not track.
    And the trick for this is to set some accountability. I usually announce on social media about the new post coming and then I need to actually get it done and published when I said I would :)

  11. I experienced each Darren at one time. Setting up a specific time to blog makes your life easier. Also, complete each post in 1 setting no matter how long it takes. This establishes the habit of finishing what you started. Super share here.

  12. Melissa says:

    I am lucky to have never had “blogger’s block” Sometimes I have to sit for a few minuntes and think about where to begin, but after that it flows. I write reviews so the topic is always there !

  13. Zenelia says:

    Completion constipation was always a big problem to me and even it is a big problem today too…As quite often I start a post to write but didnt get the proper ending of it…and i just end it halfheartedly ….So i still suffers from it…if anyone has some suggestions please do suggest…

    BTW nice post

    Thanks for sharing

    Keep Posting

  14. Edson Hale says:

    Another bloggers block is no chill-out and continuous hard work without any break. Blogging is also a profession just like other professions. Admitted that most of the pro bloggers don’t take it as profession and call it passion but ultimately they make their living from it. That is why either one admit or not it is a profession. If you work in a profession without any break obviously you would stuck up to create new things. For this bloggers must chill out regularly to re-energize themselves.

  15. Gaurav Heera says:

    writing new blog posts everyday is really a hard work. sometime it’s really difficult to find out new title ideas for our blog. i use professional blogs to find out some great ideas to write on my blog.

  16. David says:

    Hi Darren,
    Nice post. I have also suffered from an array of bloggers’ blocks, including the ones you have mentioned here. However, hard work and determination helped me overcome them every time!

  17. Entreb says:

    Great tips and solutions. When I suffer blogger’s block, I stop writing and start reading. I go around the blogosphere, learn from other bloggers, and get fresh ideas, as well as motivation and inspiration.

  18. Osman says:

    Sometimes i honestly feel writing content is like plowing a field. I just keep getting stuck and want to stop but I always know that if I do my blog will never be successful.

    …Thanks for the tips :)

  19. Dwayne says:

    I have suffered from all three types of bloggers block. It’s weird because most of the time you don’t see it coming. All of a sudden you can’t write or complete your thought. I spoke with friends and searched forums for ideas when I couldn’t think of any. When I couldn’t write or complete a post, I stretched out my posting interval and I took a break. Sometimes, it just takes a small break to come back refreshed and better than ever!

  20. I used to enjoy writing as I knew it was going to benefit me in the long term. Unfortunately as time has passed it has become one of the most annoying tasks in my life, I need to go back to the old way of thinking. Thanks for the advice.

  21. I always have writer’s block, and now when I’m walking, I’m trying to take some photos so that I can include inside my blog. Then I started noticing my surrounds, news, friends, radio and everything else. From there, I started writing about my thoughts.

  22. Jardley says:

    Since I’m an artist that for the majority of the time, posts about her updates, I don’t tend to suffer over blog post blocks. However, as a beginner in stopmotion animation who is both learning how to create puppets and miniature clothes and props, and wanting a video documentary of it that I upload on YouTube, I get blocks on what to create and show because I worry the execution will be boring to viewers. Sometimes I think just watching someone make say a miniature pant, won’t be entertaining. So it’s in the wondering what object will be and how to execute it that I get stuck.

  23. Anna Robeson says:

    I usually have problems writing. I’ve been writing for a very long time, and usually on the same subjects. I always try to provide with original content, or at least something unique, and it can be quite difficult to create a post that I can actually feel proud of.
    I am still pretty much blocked. I will try to use the tricks you have talked about, and hopefully I will get my groove back on.

    Thanks for the write-up!

  24. I run into the problem where I have this grandiose idea of what I’m going to blog about but then when I start to actually try to implement it the will to continue suffers. One of my solutions is to come read about other people running into blocks and get past the feeling like I’m in this all alone stage of self pity. Thank you =)

  25. Christie says:

    I have completion constipation too. My other problem is that I write how I talk and think; which is convoluted and confusing. Instead of 1-2-3-4-5, I write 2-3-1-5-4. Get it? No? My point exactly.

    • Seni says:

      Hi Christie,

      Six words: I SO KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN. I have the same problem of talking in sequence that doesn’t make sense to the general public. Haw. Rereading, continuous rereading of what’s been written (regardless of how boring and tedious it is) helps the writing, reader-friendly, I’ve realised.

      Good luck :)

  26. Seni says:

    I’ve suffered from all three types of blocks. One common solution I would classify an ‘immediate’ cure would be to have a momentary shift in writing focus. This works wonders especially when you have to blog or write for work and got a supervisor with her/his toes tapping. So what I’d do is perhaps take a break from ‘official’ content generation and start working on something less formal, more quirky and upbeat writing on my blog. After publishing that, getting back to ‘official’ content becomes a tad bit easier :)

  27. John Rude says:

    I really like your article. It’s evident that you have a lot knowledge on this topic.

  28. Eva Mendes says:

    I agree with most of your points, but a few need to be discussed further.

  29. Alex Jefery says:

    Great info. I love all the posts, thanks for sharing.

  30. I too have suffered from bloggers block. Sometimes I am writing a post and about 70% way through I tended to go a different direction. For example, if i was talking about mobile marketing and then learned about some new mobile marketing app it would distract me from what I was currently writing about. What I did was any ideas I came up while writing would go on a piece of paper which I could revisit after completing my current post.

    Google trends and alltop have also helped me see what other bloggers are writing about and provided me different ideas for future posts.