By: Lauren Asbell, CMP
Two weeks ago my calendar reminded me that my blog was due soon. I spent the next few days trying to come up with ideas on what to write about. Lots of topics popped into my head:
- The cute new pair of shoes I just bought: sparkly, perfect for the holidays and on SALE.
- This season of The Walking Dead: the best season so far, in my opinion.
- The new issue of Martha Stewart Living: so many great closet organizational tips and tons of new recipes to try for Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, although these topics were fun and exciting (at least to me) they weren’t really the appropriate topics for the Partners blog. The next couple of days were spent feeling sorry for myself that I could not think of any ideas. It’s practically November, my brain is fried and all I want to do is watch football and contemplate if it is too soon to start decorating for Christmas.
To break out of this funk, I decided to ask my friends and family for ideas.
Friends: I love the BuzzFeed articles “I Learned Everything I Need to Know About My Job from Friends, How I Met Your Mother, etc”. Unfortunately, that topic was already done, to near perfection last year. You can read the blog here: https://partnerspreceptors.com/2014/05/23/ill-be-there-for-you-5-things-friends-taught-us-about-association-management/.
Family: Some weren’t sure what it was that I actually did, even though I’ve had the same job for the last 11 years.
I was really starting to stress when I decided to go to the one source that has never failed me, Google. I excitedly searched for “Business Blog Ideas” and quickly realized I was in over my head. In 4 seconds I received 311,000,000 results. Fifty six Ideas for Blog Posts, 100 Practical Ideas for Your Blog, 88 Content Creation Ideas, 1001 Topics. I spent hours combing through links and reading articles, but nothing inspired me. That was it, I was done. I started thinking of ideas on how I could get out of writing the blog. I researched little known diseases that causes a person to be unable to type for a short period of time, I looked up flights to Aruba, I played the lottery (once I realized I couldn’t afford a plane ticket to Aruba). I realized I was in full “fight or flight” mode and I was packing for the flight.
Finally, the night before my blog was due, after staring at a blank screen for what seemed like hours, it finally hit me, I have writers block and that is what I should write about. I starting researching writers block, specifically with bloggers. I came across this article on Huffington Post, which had some great tips. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pam-ferderbar/cure-for-writers-block_b_8308400.html. Three of the tips really stood out to me.
- Write the ending first: To me, the “In Conclusion” part is always the easiest to write. It’s the part that ties everything you wrote together and usually contains the main idea you started with.
- Free writing: Set a time limit (10 or 20 minutes) and just write. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation, just throw out ideas and words. Just let the thoughts flow and see what inspires you.
- Lower your standards: This doesn’t mean that you should write something sub-par, but relieve some of the pressure by reminding yourself that what you write now is not the final draft. Get the main information down and then you can edit and tinker until it is perfect.
I laugh now, thinking back over the weeks of stressing out on what I was going to write, when the topic was there the whole time. At least the next time a blog is due I will have some tips and tricks to help me get past the dreaded writers block.
If you are looking for ideas for blog posts, the LinkedIn article below has some great suggestions.