This is a guest post written by Victoria from Butterfly Crafts.
Blogging can be challenging can’t it?
Having to come up with new and creative content on a regular basis to fit whatever posting schedule you keep is hard work, and anyone who says differently quite frankly is lying!
I really enjoy blogging and am quite happy with my twice weekly schedule as that gives me time to be creative but also juggle other requirements on my time [day job and housework I’m looking right at you].
But what happens when the creativity runs out and you sit down at your desk/sofa/cafe/bath to write and there is nothing there? What is a blogger to do when the ideas run out?
This has happened to me a couple of times now and so I thought I would share my seven top tips for when the ideas stop flowing and you want to run and hide.
#1 | Get a change of scenery
You know the saying ‘a change is as good as a rest’? Well that’s just as true when you have a creative block. Take yourself for a walk or a run, go out for the day, or go somewhere you wouldn’t normally go, as you may find new scenery can help spark the ideas.
If that’s not really possible try and switch up where you work or blog from – usually work at your desk? Try the sofa. Usually work at home? Try a coffee shop.
#2 | Try something new
What do you usually blog about? For me its crafts and running a small creative business, so if I get a block it’s good to try and learn a new technique, as not only will it stimulate my brain and my hands, it might lead to a new post idea.
Can you try something similar? Say you blog about knitting or working with yarns, why not try patchwork? Or what if you’re a beauty blogger, try icing cupcakes. Learning a new skill, or even just having a go and failing miserably, is never a bad thing. It might be just what you need to reignite your love for what your true focus is.
#3 | Exercise
Much like a change of scenery, sometimes doing a little exercise can be a great way to clear your mind or focus on something you’re pondering. Exercise releases endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in your body. I like to take a walk but perhaps running is more your thing. If you need to calm your mind then try Pilates or yoga, or the complete opposite and try a boxing class!
#4 | Tackle your to-do list
I’m a list maker. I always have a couple of to-do lists on the go, one for business and blogging, and the other for life-min, both often feel a mile long. Sound familiar?
When I look at my life-min list it can be quite overwhelming, so when I sit down to create or blog, I’m thinking about that letter I need to write or that phone call I need to make. What I find helps is giving myself an allotted amount of time, say a couple of hours, and blitz the list. Laundry goes on, the house gets vacuumed (it’s good exercise!) and emails get sent. Then after the allotted time I can get back to creating with a clear head.
#5 | Research
Are you on top of trends in your subject area? Do you keep up to date with what other bloggers write about?
I am in no way advocating copying ideas from others, but seeing what others are writing about or what the latest trends are can help you think about new blogs for yourself. As a papercrafter, for me I might see that others are writing about stamping techniques so I would think what how I write about this with my own angle.
Read over your old content
You might wonder how reading over content you’ve already written helps you break a block, but it really can. It’s always good to freshen up older posts to keep them evergreen, so reading over older content gives you an opportunity to update any images, check for broken links or add links to relevant posts you’ve since written.
Reading over content you’ve written also refreshes your mind with your writing style or posts you have been really happy with. It can give you a memory back to why you enjoy writing or creating in the first place. Have you written a few similar posts that you could write a ‘round up’ style post for? A simple blog like that might be all you need to break the block and it doesn’t need much thought for fresh content either.
Have a list of random titles
Do ideas come to you at the most unhelpful times? I always get ideas when I’m in the shower as that’s my thinking time. Perhaps for you it might be whilst on a train, playing in the park with your children or queuing up in the supermarket.
It’s really helpful to keep a list of any ideas you have, no matter how small or strange they might be, because one day when you’re having a creative block, you can look at the list and might be inspired by a single word. There are many apps now to keep lists (I simply use the notebook on my phone), or keep a small notebook with you in your bag to jot things down – it’s an excuse for stationery shopping!
A FINAL NOTE
If you find yourself suffering from a creative or blogging block, I hope you might find some of these tips useful. But remember, don’t beat yourself up about it because the more you worry the worse it will become. Be a little gentle with yourself - you’re doing the best you can.
What do you do when you've got a creative or blogging block? Which of the ideas from this list will you be trying out?
I’ve been blogging at Butterfly Crafts Handmade Emporium since early 2015. I love having a space to talk about running a small creative business, sharing my love for crafts and craft tutorials and with a bit of life thrown in for good measure. I also run a small creative business selling handcrafted greetings cards and gifts alongside teaching craft workshops which I just love! I find inspiration for my blog and business through my love of fabrics, haberdashery and papercrafts but also from taking time out in our garden, travelling to new places and baking a cake to share with friends.