Why You Should Always Write About What Inspires You
This post is Day 11 of the 28 Day Blogging Breakthrough Challenge. You can chat about the challenge on social media using the hashtag #BloggingBreakthrough. Click here to view all of the challenge prompts. I'd also like to welcome the lovely Anna from By Her Mirror, who has written today's post. Anna's blog is dreamy and I guarantee she'll inspire you.
Not so long ago, I found myself in the depths of my worst ever blogging rut. It's a situation that most bloggers will be familiar with: I grew more and more reluctant to write and photograph, and became increasingly convinced that I wasn't good enough, creative enough or talented enough to be blogging at all.
The answer was of course a simple one. My concerns about "branding" and "fitting in" meant that I was rushing to hit publish on posts that didn't resonate with me. Instead of being excited to write and share my content, I was left feeling flat and drained, unable to think of a way forward.
If this is where you are now, today's post is just a friendly reminder that we all end up here. Blog for long enough and you are bound to hit a low; it's just part and parcel of being creative. To help get you moving forward, here is my very best advice for finding the posts you love to write.
TAKE A STEP BACK
I ended up not blogging for around 3 months, but this lull ended up being exactly what I needed. Removed from the pressure of sticking to a schedule and meeting readers' expectations, I could clearly see that the problem was not that I was lazy or stupid: I was simply no longer in love with the content I was sharing.
By Her Mirror was a beauty blog at the time, and the step back gave me a chance to realise that beauty posts weren't the ones that satisfied me most. Lifestyle and photography pieces were the ones I was excited to share, and that felt authentically me. I realised that for By Her Mirror, this meant a shift in focus was needed; I said goodbye to beauty content and I haven't looked back.
SHARE POSTS YOU WANT TO READ (AND DITCH THE REST)
It's a simple adage but it's a damn effective one. If a post felt like it was forced, or just not something I'd want to delve into as a morning read, I would move on. When you are in a rut it can feel counter productive to say no to sharing an idea, but it meant that I was left only putting pen to paper for posts I was passionate about.
This decision proved to be the right one when I shared my "Are We Doing Minimalism Wrong?" piece. I wrote it and hit publish, scared that it was too out there to find an audience, but hugely proud to be stepping out on a limb. Fortunately, it connected with a range of people and is still my most read post to this day.
"COVER BANDS DON'T CHANGE THE WORLD"
I love this quote from Todd Henry - it's one that I always come back too if I feel like I'm taking "inspiration" a little too far. Readers look for authentic, original voices, not blogs that simply emulate somebody else. While it can be so easy to follow blog trends and imitate the style or content of those we admire, it will lead us nowhere and certainly won't restore that all-important blogging mojo.
Take the time to find the ideas no one else is really discussing in the way you'd like to see. Maybe even try waving goodbye to an entire category of your blog like I did. Share something that is so you that it makes you feel a little scared... You will see the results, I absolutely promise.
I would love to hear about how you stay in tune with what inspires you - have you ever had to shift in direction? Head to the comments to let us know!