Blogger’s Block? Here’s How to Beat it4 min read

Too many of your posts start with an apology for not having been around of late? The joy you first brought to blogging now a distant memory?

Looks like a case of blogger’s block. Don’t worry… there is a cure.

It’s largely a matter of making friends with your creative mind. The reason so many of us find this difficult is that our education has trained us to respond to problems only with linear, rational, conscious thought.

Willpower, discipline, and good old-fashioned work may squeeze another blog post out of you but to produce words effortlessly, to connect with the joy and optimism and inspiration which makes it all worthwhile, to be as good as you can be, you need to know how to nurture abstraction and your hard-working subconscious.

First off, stop focusing on your block and start thinking about establishing flow. Flow is that delectable condition where all we writers have to do is turn up at the page and get ‘em down. Below are nine tried-and-tested methods – four daily practices, five writing practices – for keeping in flow, not just for the next blog post but for the rest of your writing life.

Establishing Flow Part One – Writing Practices

  1. Understand the writing process. Any piece of writing moves through distinct, though not always separate, phases. Delay the actual writing for as long as you can, until you can’t wait to get at it. At a minimum, never sit down to write until you have your beginning, your ending, and your research notes in place.
  2. Change your time frame. A blogger feels like the deadline is always now but this is a false pressure. It’s far more important to write something worthwhile than to post today just for the sake of it. Always give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.
  3. Drop your standardsWherever there is block, there is fear. “I can’t say that.” “What if people laugh?” “This is garbage.” The only way to get beyond that inner voice is to give yourself permission to be bad.
  4. Know when to hold on and when to let go. The thing about the unconscious is that it needs time to percolate some ideas (you know what they say about watched pots). You can’t bully the unconscious into producing on demand and that’s why every writer needs a physical, automatic task to turn to when focused, rational thought is not getting the goods.
  5. Leave a little ink in the well. This one from Hemingway. Don’t finish your day with your writing tasks complete. Stop in the middle of a sentence. Tomorrow, when you sit back down, you will pick up immediately from where you left off, without any time-wasting faffing about or tortuous analysis of what you’re doing and why.

Establishing Flow Part Two – Daily Practices

  1. Consciously fill the well. Too many bloggers, holed up “working” or surfing, are locking themselves away from new experiences, sights and insights — and then they wonder what’s become of their imagination’s sense of play.
  2. Read, read, read. Whatever kind of writing you aspire to do, however long you’ve been writing, however good you think you are, always search out and carefully read other writers that are good at what you aim to do.
  3. Get organized. All good writers have an organizational structure and a discipline that works for them – no matter how chaotic things might appear to others. So, right now, do whatever organizational task you’re currently leaving for later – tidy your desk, set up a filing system that works, write an outline – right now (The more you resist this task, the more you need to do it).
  4. Keep a notebook. Research has shown that creative people are creative because they respect the intuitions, ideas, snags on their attention that pass through all minds while less creative beings let them pass. Creative theorists call it capturing. The simplest, most effective capturing device is pen-and-paper, a notebook but you may prefer to use your phone. Fine, so long as it is something small enough to carry everywhere. Make as many entries as possible each day– ideas, quotes, snatches of overheard dialogue, feelings, description. You won’t use everything but you don’t want to miss anything.

Always remember that your blog is in service to you, not vice versa. Know your intentions and goals for your blog. Frame them within a plan that includes self-care – eating and sleeping well; time with your loved ones; plenty of fun and frolics and a routine that nurtures your creative side – or else you’re almost guaranteed to grind to a halt.


Join the conversation

comment 44 comments
  • saltedcaramel19

    That was a really useful list of points.
    Thank you

    I do some of them already, like carrying a little notebook everywhere

    But it’s very nice for new bloggers to realise that they’re doing something right.

  • Raney Simmon

    Definitely need to follow some of these tips more. I think they’d help me in the long run.

  • Tina

    Thanks for the tips 🙂

  • Mark Tulin

    I purposely tell myself to take a day off from writing. Then the ideas come

  • rashu2015

    Useful tips. Thanks

  • Heyoka Muse

    That was very very helpful. Thank you!!!

  • Cayman

    I believe changing the timeframe is one of the most beneficial things we can do; most of the time we are our own worst critics, especially when it comes to time.

  • iamahorrorfanatic

    Yes! Keeping a notebook really does help! Even if I don’t have a particular story in mind, I jot down small ideas and/or titles that can help me for further development. 😀

  • glenmckenzie(justabitfurther)

    As they say, “timing is everything.” Having a bit of that “old writer’s block” this morning. Thanks for posting.

  • athenaminerva7

    Thanks for the useful list. I will remember to do these things next time I feel uninspired.

  • Kathy Szaters

    Very useful tips! I certainly need to practice establishing flow. Thank you.

  • irinadim

    Great tips! Thank you so much.

  • carolinetuohywriter

    Hi Jordan. I’m creating my own “blogging about blogging” content and during research, I came across your take and there are some really good suggestions in here. Your explanation on “changing my time frame” definitely rings true for me: I ALWAYS create that false pressure and lose sight of why I actually DO blog. I’m putting together a blog about the top ten rules of blogging and I’ll be linking this in my piece. Thanks again.

  • The Dream Girl

    I’m glad I saw this. I was having a creative block with my craft/recipe site and I read this list (“Read, read, read. Whatever kind of writing you aspire to do, however long you’ve been writing, however good you think you are, always search out and carefully read other writers that are good at what you aim to do.”)
    It had me looking around and thinking about the book I’m in the middle of reading and gave me an idea for my next post. I just got it posted a few minutes ago. It’s also one of my longer blogs on that site as well.

    When I have a block with this site, I tend to go into my drafts (I have over 20 drafts started) and work on one of the drafts. When I have an idea, I make it a draft and get a small start on it- then save it for later unless I have time to finish.

  • Chiru

    Once in a month I always go through this phase.. Some day it is like I am completely blank..
    Great tips for the bloggers to comeback…

  • Akarshan Brar

    I agree! Quality matters over quantity !
    Useful tips

  • Tom Burton

    Excellent advice, Jordan. 🙂 Well worth remembering!

  • Frames of Life Blog

    Awesome piece, I always find it difficult to force myself in writing something due to planned schedule. Not all the time inspiration kicks in.

  • Oneiridescent

    Finally, a post that says about the natural flow in contrast to false pressure but Hemingway’s point as in my case has seemed to fail to reinstate the flow where I left for an interruption, due to lack of repeatability of writing inspiration on the particular topic.

  • Jo Stewart

    Some awesome advice there, thank you!

  • Oneiridescent

    Actually, unlike what seems for a writer, if not to a writer, writing is not a product, but a by-product, as an expression of experience.

  • Luna Pratiwi

    Thanks for your advice. It’s so helpful.

  • pastorbrian67

    “The only way to get beyond that inner voice is to give yourself permission to be bad.” I needed to hear that today. I’ve got to move forward in confidence. Thank you!

  • Asha K

    Amazing post…

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