Writers’ block or as I like to call it, “Writers’ Blogk” (also the name of my next blogging project) is something most bloggers encounter.

Let’s face it. Even though we start blogging believing we’ll never run out of things to say, we do. cure for writers block for bloggers

When that happened to Chase March he published a post titled, “Nothing”.

I like his originality, however I’ll bet the search engines were confused on how to index it.

Today’s Lesson

Many bloggers have a list of topics to write about.

Some fly by the seat of their pants and post when an idea hits.

And still others have a set schedule and feel obligated to post accordingly.

Truth be told, there is no right or wrong way when it comes to a posting schedule. Do what works for you.

That said, let’s get back to the issue of writers’ block.

The Daily Post (at WordPress.com) has come up with a fabulous idea. They will give us ideas for blog posts, free.

It’s as easy as signing up for their daily updates and voilà, each day a new idea arrives in our (email) inbox.

Here’s a few of the ideas they’ve shared thus far:

  1. How do you stay focused?
  2. Write about a topic story you’ve never told
  3. What would you do if you only had an hour to live
  4. What are you looking forward to?
  5. Why did you start your blog?

Although some of the ideas may not pertain to your niche, the ideas make a good stepping stone to another idea.

Take for example #5 – We’ve discussed why we started our blogs, but the question, “How do you stay focused?” would inspire me to write about time management as it pertains to blogging; sharing what I do, and asking you to share your ideas.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

Where does inspiration for your blog posts come from?

Do you ever get writers’ block? If so, how do you get past it?

Care to share?

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gail Gardner and Barbara Swafford. Barbara Swafford said: Come on by & share your thoughts on: "A Cure For Writers' Block" – http://tinyurl.com/4lj8oqq [...]

  2. Dear Barbara:

    Another timely topic which is timeless for bloggers. I go through this bout occasionally but it so happens that there are zillion things happening around that the momentary phase disappears. I guess I analyse a bit too much and hence find myself in no dearth of topics (so far, fingers crossed). I know this can change but I fervently hope that it does not.

    Well, for a curious mind, the sky often is not the limit.

    But I will be definitely interested in reading the comments by fellow bloggers on this topic. It will keep me well-stocked with ideas during a lean blogging phase.

    In anticipation,
    Susan
    Check out Susan Deborah’s awesome post.AcknowledgementsincMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Susan,

      It’s good to hear you don’t lack for topics to write about. I do agree. if we look, we can find inspiration in nearly anything. And like you, I enjoy hearing how other bloggers deal with writers block.

  3. Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, I get my ideas from ordinary every day occurrences. As I get on with my daily life things just pop into my head. I don’t have a plan or a specific niche topic, the idea just happens then when I sit down to write the words just arrive on the paper. It is very odd and I admire people who don’t work like that, who have to put so much more effort into their writing. I do get writer’s block, that’s when topics don’t arrive naturally, then I just leave it til they do!

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy
    Check out Mandy Allen’s awesome post.A New Year BeginsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mandy,

      That’s great advice. When we do get writers block, if we can learn to step away (from the blog), oftentimes that which we’re trying to verbalize comes naturally.

  4. That’s funny Barbara.

    For a while I was tagging my own articles with tags until I found that wordpress had a feature that would do this for me. Now they will tell me what topics I can write automatically. That’s so cool.

    When are they going to write the articles for me so I can take a nap? :)

    Julie
    Check out Julie @ jbulie’s blog’s awesome post.Me!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      Isn’t that great how that works? Anytime we can ease our workload with automation, it gives us more time to concentrate on the important things.

      Sorry, no naps… Keep writing! :)

  5. Hi Barbara – I’ve learned not to panic about block. Inspiration returns, but uses its own timetable. Not the best when you’re writing on assignment, as I frequently do for clients, though. I keep a topics folder and tuck away items from my reading. If I’m truly stuck, out it comes. I clean it out twice a year or so. Some of the subjects I’ve yet to write about are really fascinating, and the folder is packed, so I feel lucky.

    With newsletters (our own and those we do for clients) I first draw the layout in block form and insert the article titles in the blocks. This way I know where there’s a “hole” and can address that with an appropriately sized segment. Often I’m relieved because it isn’t that much. Thinking about deadlines gets me more overwhelmed than actually doing the work.

    The biggest realization I made about block is that its cure usually resides in adjusting your own expectations. :)
    Check out Betsy Wuebker’s awesome post.Comfort Food for Winter BirthdaysMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      I like you idea of keeping a folder of ideas. Like you said, it gives you something to fall back on when the block hits. I’ve tried relying on my memory but sometimes the thoughts are so fleeting, if I don’t write them down, they’re gone.

      And yes. Adjusting our expectations makes a huge difference.

  6. StephenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. Great post. “writer’s blogk” – made me laugh, fabulous line. You are absolutely right about staying focussed. The other thing I find (apart from block) is sometimes too many ideas competing for my writing time. I do a lot of reading – but usually have at least 5 or 6 books on the go at the same time. I guess I just have that sort of curious, inquisitive mind. Take care. Stephen
    Check out Stephen’s awesome post.Who are youMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Stephen,

      That can be maddening when we have more than one thought competing for our attention. When that happens to me, I put all of the ideas into my drafts folder and then when I’m looking for a new topic, pick one and elaborate on it.

      Reading is a wonderful source for inspiration, too.

  7. Ever since I realized that my blog doesn’t need to be “perfect,” I haven’t had a single case of writers’ block! I think it has a lot to do with expectations.
    Check out vered | blogger for hire’s awesome post.Online Friendships SuckMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      That’s true. If we can learn to relax, realize our blog does not have to be perfect and that blogging is not a race, the pressure leaves and opens the door to ideas.

  8. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’ve settled into a posting schedule of Mon/Wed/Fri. This is working well for me right now. I have a variety of post topics, and Monday is always a quote, so I have 2 days to fill with either creative writing or whatever is on my mind at the moment. Do I worry that I’ll come up empty? Yes. Would it be end of the world? No. It does keep me focused to have a schedule, and I enjoy the challenge and discipline of keeping it. There are a number of online sources of inspiration if I’m feeling blank. There are times when I say, tomorrow’s Wednesday, and I’ve got nothing! It’s OK, and I usually get something.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      That’s a great idea to have one day dedicated to a specific type of post – like your quotes on Mondays. Like you said, it keeps you focused and disciplined.

      Like you, I do best if I have some sort of schedule. For this blog I try to post about every fourth day.

  9. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    I’m still in the “having lots of ideas” phase.
    The big problem in this phase is deciding which idea to settle for.

    I still get ideas from…
    Other blogs.
    Books.
    Films.
    Television.
    And sometimes an idea just appears… as if by magic.

    Having said that, it is still a giant leap from idea to post.
    Ther’s an old saying when writing a speech…

    “There are no well written speeches.
    Only well rewritten speeches.”

    The same holds true for blog posts.
    Check out Keith Davis’s awesome post.Chocolat…My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Keith,

      I LOVE the quote you shared about speeches. I agree. It holds true for blog posts, too.

      That’s a good point about how to decide what to post when. I know when I look at my drafts/ideas, some “feel” like they’re ready to be released to the world (that sounds kinda woo-woo :) ), whereas others need to marinate a little longer.

  10. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for the reference and link!

    I’m surprised at the response my “Nothing” post has received. I had my doubts about publishing that one. Of course, it’s always fun to try something new and unconventional. That is how we can stay fresh and focused.

    I don’t find prompts to be that useful. Instead I write about issues and topics that are of interest to me. I think like a writer and can be inspired by a small event in my day, a news item, another blog post, something I’ve read, overheard, or talked about.

    Inspiration is all around us.

    I’ve also started sharing my collection of autographs and comic book paraphernalia. I think it is great to see bloggers sharing their passions and interests. That is what I try to do.

    I hope you have a great week Barbara!
    Check out Chase March’s awesome post.Alan Davis AutographMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Chase,

      Your “Nothing” post is one I will always remember. :)

      I agree. If we look, anything can become an inspiration. I like you idea of sharing your collections too. Chances are, if you like them, you’re bound to find other like minded people who feel the same. Plus, by sharing what you like, your readers learn more about you.

  11. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    For me, I’ll be sitting there minding my own business and a title will fly into my head. I’ll build a post around that title most of the time.

    And then sometimes I do it the normal way…

    George
    Check out George Angus’s awesome post.The Short Book of Short ShortsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      Isn’t that great when those ideas just show up? It’s magical. And I don’t know about you, but those are usually the easiest posts to write, as well. Must be our muse talking to us, hey?

  12. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I have tons of bumph with ideas, and have typed up loads of ideas .. a goal in the coming months to turn these into posts -so I’m ready and can get my schedule up and running – and can chuck the rest out.

    My trouble is .. as with the Guide Book – I was going to write about the book itself and the adverts therein (will do) – but then I wanted to know more about the company – and that took me back a mere 300 years .. lots of ideas in there!!

    So really I have no shortage of ideas – it’s brain to fingers that’s needed! I don’t do the graveyard shift! Perhaps I should do one – that might solve loads of things ..

    Ideas do come when we least expect it .. the mind is a wonderful thing .. cheers Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Food- Food- Glorious food and memories and- and Part 1 !My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      By the sound of it, you’ll never run out of ideas. But like you said, we need those ideas to go from brain to fingers and sometimes that’s the hardest part.

  13. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!
    I have a set schedule of once a week and for the last year or so that’s been the plan. As for writer’s block, never had it! My monkey mind is all over the place. I have an idea notebook I either write blurbs to blog about or toss in stuff I’ve printed or found in the newspapers. It’s jammed. The morphing into health topics from what was originally motivational/inspirational has cost me a few followers but I’m ok with that. A writers gotta do what a writers heart/soul says. When you are in alignment with your purpose, stuff just flows – and thank God for that!
    Hugs
    suZen
    Check out suzen’s awesome post.Eating Raw – Its a Good Thing!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      That’s true. When we’re aligned with our heart, words do flow easier. All the more reason to blog about that which we’re passionate about even though it may cost us readers (for awhile).

      ((hugs)) back at you.

  14. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara — Excellent timing as I’ve been struggling a bit with writing. I get it done, but it not coming to me with it’s usual flow. I’m having to work a bit, which isn’t bad. I just love, however, when the words just pour out, almost by themselves and I kind of miss that feeling.

    How I deal with writer’s block is that I usually keep a list of ideas in a folder. Usually I can pull something together from that list. Another thing I do is find opportunities while visiting other sites. My latest post is based on a project I learned about at another person’s site. When this works, I like it because I can also give links to people.

    Sometimes, I just take time off. After all, this is supposed be something I enjoy and have fun with. When it steps over into work and is dragging at me, that’s a sign that I may need a break:~)
    Check out Sara’s awesome post.Children of the HolocaustMy Profile

  15. LOL @ that “Nothing” post! :)

    I have a fashion blog so I don’t know how those ideas are supposed to relate to my niche. But when I do run out of things to write about, I usually just go visit some of my favorite blogs and check to see what they’re writing about! Fashion news sites are also a great source of ideas, but when it’s a slow news day, they can run out too.

  16. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sara,

    I think you have the right idea. When writer’s block hits us, it is a good idea to just step back, take time away from the blog, do something else we enjoy or just relax. I find it’s when I’m trying too hard writer’s block hits the worse.

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  18. David SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Good question, Barbara. My way of avoiding writer’s block is idea overload. I’m always looking for ideas for blog articles. I keep an ideas file on the computer. When I’m away from the computer, I use a 3×5 notepad. Any event or thought with potential gets written down, even if it’s ridiculous. When I don’t have enough articles in progress, I work on the ideas file. Any idea that grows to more than a paragraph gets moved to my plots and outlines file. Larger than that and it becomes the first draft of an article.

    The one place I can get blocked is with sticky articles. You know what I mean. Articles that just won’t come together no matter how much they’re rewritten. My solution is to wipe out everything except the title and write it again. If I get stuck a second time, I toss it and move on to another article. Thanks for the post.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you David,

      It sounds like your idea file is HUGE!. I like your idea of using a handwritten method when you’re away from the computer. Too often, an idea can be a passing thought and if we don’t take the time to write it down, it’s gone,

      Yes. I do know what you mean about sticky articles. I find if they get to be too hard to put together, tossing them out is the only choice.

  19. JeanneNo Gravatar says:

    Hmmph. I guess I’ve gone from one extreme to the other, Barbara — starting out blogging every blessed day because I read somewhere that I should do that — and it was even fun for a little while . . . then I relaxed and took it more in stride, eased up a bit (which is OK because this isn’t a money thing for me), then blam, a brick wall of sudden disinterest with nothing to say. But here I am again, and off again, then back again. So maybe MY blogging is just for me, what the heck! Maybe for me it’s just thinking out loud. Right now, I have absolutely NO IDEA why I do this, LOL, and who cares – not me – but at least I’m at it once a week, and maybe I’ll get my groove back.
    Anyway it’s nice to be here again, I’ve missed the interaction. Thanks for all your good input and ideas . . . :)
    Check out Jeanne’s awesome post.Tired of WinterMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Jeanne,

      It’s good to see you again. That is one good thing about blogging; we don’t have to have a set schedule and like you said, we can leave it and come back to it whenever we want. For those who are trying to make money at it, that system may not work so well, but if you’re blogging for the fun of it, I say “do what works for you.” No pressure.

      Having said that, I’m happy to see you’re back at it. :)

  20. I keep my handy, miniature scribbler ever near. Plus I carry an even smaller one in my purse. Amazing how those hot jottings can lose their sizzle with a bit of time. I find time is a natural sifting process for “boring”.

    I can’t figure out how to switch the site I want to feature so I’ll put it in here. Forgive me, please, if this double-bills, Barbara.
    http://souldipper.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/red-leather-coat/
    Check out Amy@ Soul Dipper’s awesome post.Transformation TalkMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Amy,

      That’s true. The ideas we once thought would be so great, can end up being quite the opposite. I don’t know about you, but for me, when an idea hits it works best if I can write out (type) the complete thought, otherwise I forget where I was going with it.

      No problem on the “double billing”. I like how you’re giving us a choice. :)

  21. AnnaNo Gravatar says:

    In fact such situation as ‘writer’s blogk’ (as you called it – by the way, very funny and … smart) does happen to me. At first, when blogging was work for me – writing was a problem but now when I got real pleasure – that;s fun and topics come from life.
    If it’s not enough I visit google and look at what other bloggers write about. Sometimes it helps me understand what other people want to discuss.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Anna,

      That’s a fabulous idea to see what other bloggers are discussing. Oftentimes one of their ideas can ignite an idea for us. What I like to do when that happens is link to their post to let them know they inspired one for me. It becomes a win-win.

  22. [...] A Cure For Writers’ Block (bloggingwithoutablog.com) [...]

  23. [...] A Cure For Writers’ Block (bloggingwithoutablog.com) [...]

  24. [...] A Cure For Writers’ Block (bloggingwithoutablog.com) [...]

  25. GeoNo Gravatar says:

    Nice ideas. I always try and have a list of ideas for posts in the future, that way working on one idea leads to a few more added to the list. Also if I feel out of ideas or words don’t flow easily, I go for a walk or a drive in the country side. Trying to slow down and not think too much often results having fresh ideas being planted.