Lack of inspiration is only a part of the problem.
Most advice on how to have a successful blog boils down to one frequently repeated piece of advice. Post interesting content regularly.
The problem with that is not only do you have to come up with ideas of blog posts to write about all the time, but they also have to be interesting to other people. Okay, so that is only half the problem. The other half is having the time.
If you do not keep up on regular blogging, you can find your blog has gone to sleep and so have you as a blogger. Your blog followers’ interest will wane when there is nothing to follow. You become as forgotten as yesterday’s news.
People are fickle that way. Once you lose them, you can find yourself starting over to create a following all over again.
It can also be harder to dig yourself out of that slump once you are fully entrenched in it than it is to keep writing regular posts.
Everyone finds their inspiration in their own way. A quiet walk in nature, sitting alone enjoying a coffee on a Sunday morning, reading, letting your mind roam on your commute, people watching, these are just a few.
If you do not have the time for that in your busy life, you can find yourself feeling irreparably caught in a dry spell with no end in sight.
When the inspiration does come, it means not losing it, maybe having the chance to write it down before your busy day melts the thought away into a blank mind void. And then you still have to have the time to sit down and write the article, edit it to perfection, and polish it.
If you are like me, and like many other writers, your writing by necessity comes a distant last after everything else in your life.
Bills have to be paid and family and home taken care of. Commitments for work, school, and both immediate and extended family will always push writing time back. By the time you have finished your work day and commute, feeding and chauffeuring your kids to their activities and back, and getting them into bed, you might find yourself lucky enough to have an hour left to make lunches, throw a load of laundry in, and pick up; and maybe even a moment to or two to write.
This can make you feel a tremendous self-imposed stress to do that writing you are missing out having the time for. It is too easy in the rush of life and trying to fit in writing to forget what is important. Never let yourself miss those family moments because you are pushing yourself too hard to do too much.
The most important lesson I ever learned in life I learned from my own toddler. Back then, I was doing the stay at home parent thing. Daycare for two would have cost most than I was making, so we opted for me to stay home. Every time we went to Wal-Mart to shop for groceries, we passed a display of plastic and fabric fake flowers. They were depressingly fake, but every time she would make me stop to smell them. It was not just a memorable moment to be cherished; it was a life lesson. No matter how hurried I felt, there always had to be time to stop and smell the flowers, whether they smell like anything or not.
Take each moment as it comes. As the saying goes, take life one moment at a time. That is the only way to do it when life gets busy. I spend my lunch breaks editing, and with the distractions that is about all I can manage. I try my best to note it down when inspiration hits and gives me an idea. I write in stolen moments. I do what I can to keep up on the major things while, unfortunately, the little things are often left to slide along with the housekeeping.
When I do have a moment (or thought I did) for writing, it may be interrupted and quickly evaporate. My advice: no matter how frustrating you find it to have to try to seize those too often lost moments; do not let it become either a chore or a barrier to your life and family around you.
When your writing is just bland and dry, and inspiration has failed you, you might have to just accept that and cede defeat. This time. One of the lovely things about social media and networking is the very nature of it. It is, for the most part, shareable.
People blog because they want to be noticed. They want followers. They want more visits to their blog. What better way to have that happen than to have followers share their posts?
When the inspiration flows strong, get as much out of that as you can. If you can snap out six or eight witty blog posts and another half a dozen ideas for later, you are on one killer roll! Do not post all those great posts at once, but save them. Spread them out and have some back up posts for those dry spells.
Make your blog more interesting with guest blogs and outside articles. Invite guests to guest blog, have reviews on their books posted, reviews they wrote on other books posted. Even just sharing other bloggers posts on your blog that you enjoyed and found interesting. It is all about driving traffic to both your blog and theirs, and everybody wins.
Distraction is the writer’s curse. Nothing can kill a writer’s mojo like distraction. As a parent, I cannot turn my kids away when they need attention just because I am trying to write or edit. The same goes for your life partner. These are the most important people in your world, and hopefully your biggest fans and supporters.
When I do have time to write, it is often in the chaos of distraction that comes with a small house and no escape. You feel like you are central to everything going on in your house because you are, literally, if you have no other room to escape to. And even if you do have somewhere to go (unfortunately I don’t), if you are like me, they will just follow you there.
It is not easy to write with all the distraction. And you certainly cannot do your best writing. But, at least you are finding that bit of time. If nothing else, you can edit and jot down notes for things to add later. I certainly do not recommend writing under the cacophony of distraction, but busy people sometimes just have to do what they must.
At the moment, I am being distracted by one child (Okay, a “tween”. She hates to be called a child.), who is not yet in bed and has a never-ending need to talk to me, a dog requiring my undivided attention, and a very persistent housefly that apparently does too.
In all seriousness, when you are really stuck for something, you can always take an old blog post and re-write it. You might be amazed at what you learn doing that.
Not only does your writing change, but so does your opinions, feelings, and knowledge. Writing is a flowing creation that is never stagnant. The industry itself is ever-evolving.
Over time and practice, your writing continuously improves. Re-writing an old blog post is a good lesson in that. Re-writing old stories, whether fiction, blog, or other, is like taking a walk down that memory lane to those old photos of your youth. Yeah, you remember those old sick clothes and ridiculous hairstyles you laugh at now.
So dust off that old post or story like an old record and play it again, only better this time.
No matter what gets in your way, lack of inspiration, time, distraction, or anything else, you keep on writing. It’s not what you are, it’s who you are.
You press on because you are a writer. I am writer; hear me roar.
What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?
Watch for book 2 of the McAllister series coming soon at Second Wind Publishing, LLC: The McAllister Farm. The secret behind the bodies is revealed.
Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary
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