Have you ever felt like singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles?
Sony Records asked her to write a love song. Bareilles wrote,
Head under water…
Blank stares at blank pages.
Like Bareilles, people expect you to meet your publication deadlines. You can’t disappoint your readers who have put such faith in you.
But you have the dreaded syndrome known as Writer’s Block.
An article in the Three Peas Services blog describes waiting in a long line at a Starbucks. An idea for a blog post was forming in the writer’s mind as the line was inching towards the counter. As soon as the barista asked what kind of drink the blogger wanted, the idea went out of her head.
Fortunately, blogger Richard Schulte is here with us in his return engagement to explain how to get over that dreaded malady known as Writer’s Block*. Richard holds an interesting distinction. He is the only guest author to ever appear on MostlyBlogging twice. Richard, take it away!
Brainstorm Fresh, New Ideas for Your Blog!
You’ve blogged, you’ve blogged, you’ve blogged.
One day, you feel all blogged out.
It seems you’ve said everything that you can possibly say.
Now you’re just sitting there, staring hopelessly out the window at nothing in particular, racking your poor old exhausted brain.
How can you produce fresh content when you’re fresh out of ideas?
Maybe I can help a little. I’ve compiled some questions that you as a blogger can ask yourself.
You might be surprised at new angles and horizons that open inside your mind.
Remember: every single subject in this complex world is infinitely interesting.
Here come the questions. Now relax. Get ready to jot down notes.
Jotting down thoughtful notes will stimulate your subconscious, which will make you ponder even more deeply.
In the following questions, where I’ve left a blank, insert the main subject of your blog, whether it’s knitting, movie reviews, painting, auto repair, your cat, hiking in Bulgaria, lasagna, how to select a necktie, Daffy Duck, postapocalyptic poetry, intergalactic yoga, terrible humor . . . whatever your subject matter might happen to be.
37 Questions for Overcoming Writer’s Block
Answer these questions to stir up fresh ideas:
- Why is ___ personally important to you?
- How and when did ___ become important to you?
- Why should ___ be important to others? List reasons.
- What, specifically, have you learned about ___?
- What would you like to learn about ___?
- What unique, possibly unusual opinions have you developed about ___?
- How do they differ from the opinions of others?
- What instructive personal anecdotes or practical tips can you offer concerning ___?
- How might ___ change a person’s life? (For better or worse.)
- In what ways has ___ changed the world? (For better or worse.)
- How would the world be different without ___? How would your own life be different?
- What are some of the best examples of ___? What qualities are important?
- What are a few really bad examples of ___? Why?
- What are some little known facts or secrets concerning ___?
- What funny, laugh-out-loud experiences have you had related to ___?
- What are the historical origins of ___?
- Who are important people in the history of ___? Why are these people fascinating?
- What does the future likely hold when it comes to ___?
- What other subjects are directly or indirectly related to ___?
- What recent news have you heard or read about ___? What is your reaction?
- What are some sources of information on ___ that you recommend?
- Are there upcoming events related to ___?
- What have philosophers, humorists and famous writers said about ___?
- How is ___ viewed in the popular culture?
- Are there urban myths or unfortunate misconceptions about ___?
- What are some of the more notable books, movies, television shows, or works of art that feature __? Which do you love? Which do you hate?
- What products related to __ do you recommend? (Or warn against?)
- What personal hopes or plans do you have concerning ___?
- What crazy, impossible dreams have you indulged about ___?
- What frightens you about ___?
- How has __ brought you and other people together? Has it caused divisions?
- What are your greatest personal successes related to ___? Your biggest disappointments?
- How has being a blogger affected your perception of ___?
- Are there original images, cartoons or infographics you can create pertaining to ___?
- What do you hope to achieve by blogging about ___?
- Why do you enjoy blogging about ___?
- What is the source of your passion?
Whew! Talk about an interrogation!
I’m sure there are oodles of additional questions that you can ask yourself. In the answers you’ll discover ideas and subject matter for intriguing new posts!
When all else fails, and you don’t know what to write, just whip your trusty pen out and go intostream-of-consciousness mode. Scribble down anything that mysteriously pops into the old noggin– no matter how absurd or unrelated.
That primes the pump, stirs up essential juices. (Want to read something about writing without inhibition? Feast your eyes on Ray Bradbury’s great book Zen in the Art of Writing.)
One more thing. Perhaps, while blogging, you can think about how you are changing the world.
We all have the capacity to change it for the better.
If you’d like to read an inspirational short story about how you can actually change the world, check out An Unexpected Sunflower.
Have a creative and very wonderful day!
We are grateful to Richard Schulte for coming to MostlyBlogging to help us overcome writer’s block. 37 ideas is quite thorough. He did an amazing job with his article.
If you’d like to hear all the lyrics to Sara Bareilles’s song which opened this post, listen to her Love Song video. Then, go show Richard some blogging love and visit his site.
Readers, please share, so other struggling writers know about Richard’s ideas for curing Writer’s Block.
Do you have any addition tips for overcoming writer’s block or avoiding it in the first place? I look forward to your views.
*According to MirriamWebster.com, Writer’s Block can be defined as the problem of not being able to think of something to write or proceed with writing.