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We all have days when the words escape us, we feel uninspired, tired or just plain unmotivated to post to our blogs.

On those days, bloggers either don’t publish a post, or they dig through their drafts and quickly do an edit.

Today’s Lesson

Last week I was intrigued by the title of one of Chase March’s posts. It was titled “Nothing”.

I clicked on the post (from my reader), and sure enough, except for the title, the page was blank.

My first thought was, “hmmm, this is an interesting concept”

And my second thought was, “how would the search engines index this page?”

Being a loyal reader of Chase’s blog, I stared at that blank screen thinking “how can I leave a comment on this?”

After several minutes of contemplation, I wrote:

Hi Chase,

I sit here and wonder how I can respond to “nothing”, and realize it leaves my options open.

I’ve had days when my mind felt closed to creativity, however, I never thought of posting a blank screen.

For your originality, I salute you.

Today’s Assignment

A trip to Chase’s blog post is a good exercise in creativity. See it here. Let your creativity run wild, and leave him a comment based on how the blank page inspired you.

What do you do on days when you feel you have nothing to share?

Have you ever thought of posting a blank screen?


Photo Credit: oskay’s photostream

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  1. Tom BNo Gravatar says:

    I have always been a fan of all kind of stupid creative ideas like this. But when nothing comes to mind, why push it? I think by trying to hard we block our creativity.

    Tom Bs last blog post..Random blogging tips: be timeless

  2. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Tom B,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    Trying too hard can easily block our creativity, but often staring at a blank piece of paper (or screen), and letting our thoughts wonder, can give our creativity a jump start.

  3. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, Barbara, you just made my day! Thanks.

    When I posted “Nothing,” I knew it said a few things. But I wasn’t sure that it would get any response. I have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction it has received.

    When it comes to writer’s block, I think that there is really no such thing. Creativity comes in waves. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it’s not. You can fight it because you always have the power to put something on the paper or the screen.

    When being creative, you never really know what you are doing and sometimes you don’t even know what you have when you are done. The mystery of the muse is something we may never truly discover. But it doesn’t stop me for trying. I think that is why I love writing so much.

  4. I wish I had thought of the “nothing” post, but at the same time I don’t know if I would have actually posted it. I think Chase has developed an audience who appreciates his quirkiness, so it was well received when he did it. For others, it might be riskier. Personally, I would like to try posts like that, but I’m not sure if my readers would like it. Maybe I can try it out as a guest post!

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..Can One Country Really Be Superior To Another?

  5. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve had many days like this when I have nothing to write about…But I always try to muster enough cretive juices to write. I always tell my students that when you have nothing to write about, write about why you have nothing to write about.

    I am firm believer that the ones who succeed in their field are the ones who still produce when producing is next to impossibility.

    The show must go on!

    Chriss last blog post..How I Fund My Retirement: 5 Easy Ways

  6. Barbara LingNo Gravatar says:

    When I’m uninspired, I simply retweet to my bedroom and give myself permission to take a break.

    Once I’ve stopped my mind from proactively trying to be brilliant, I find that said brilliance comes shyly knocking on my door and barreling me over. 🙂 And thus a blog post gets born.

    Data points,

    Barbara

    Barbara Lings last blog post..21 Days to a more profitable blog – Day 11! Craft a post about niche lust

  7. VeredNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, I love your blog. You make me THINK. I like that.

    I started blogging three months ago and so far I have more ideas than I can put down in writing. I’m sure I will have writers’ block in the future though. I think that when you have nothing to say, you shouldn’t post. I never felt pressured to post every single day and in fact, I don’t, because it would be too time-consuming and interfere with other areas of my life.

    Vereds last blog post..The Sleazy Ads of Google Adsense

  8. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Is that called Not Blogging with a Blog? 🙂

    There is a book out there somewhere called, “What men Know about Women” (or something like that). When you open it up the pages are blank! 🙂 🙂

    Jennifers last blog post..What Can Death Teach Us about Life?

  9. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Chase,

    You’re welcome.

    When we love to write, it’s in our blood. The mystery of the muse is truly fascinating.

    Hi Hunter,

    Maybe you can ask Darren or Steve Pavlina if they will accept a “nothing” guest post from you. 😆 Can you imagine their reaction? “Here’s my guest post….”

    Hi Chris,

    I like that assignment you give your students. “write about why you have nothing to write about”. That’s a great idea.

    Hi Barbara Ling,

    🙂 Retweeting is sometimes a good thing. I love when brilliance comes knocking.

    Hi Vered,

    Thank you for the kind words.

    It’s great when we have tons of ideas to pull from, isn’t it?

    I used to feel I should post every day, but then set up a schedule of 5 posts a week (less holidays). Blogging and all that comes with it can be extremely time consuming, and getting overwhelmed by that can easily stunt creativity.

    Hi Jennifer,

    That’s funny…Not Blogging With A Blog. 😆

    And the book…did they actually sell it? 🙂

  10. Tim BrownsonNo Gravatar says:

    That reminds me of an early Monty Python book. There were lots of ads as you moved from front to back saying things like:

    Coming Soon Page 78
    Page 78 Is Imminent
    Don’t Forget Page 78

    On the actual page there was just a huge Page 78 in big black letters and nothing else. Then afterwards there were reviews like:

    Page 78: What A Disappointment
    The Shambles of Page 78
    Page 78: Well I liked It!

    I have absolutely no idea where I’m going with this so I think I’ll quit whilst I’m ahead.

    Tim Brownsons last blog post..Stress Is A Myth – Part 2

  11. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    The book… I think I heard it was very popular. 🙂

    Jennifers last blog post..What Can Death Teach Us about Life?

  12. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Tim,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    The author of the Monty Python book came up with a very original idea. Then to read the reviews, that’s even funnier.

    BTW: I just read your “Stress Is A Myth – Part 2” post. What an interesting concept.

    Hi Jennifer,

    I guess that might make a good coffee table book, and conversation piece. 😆

  13. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, I bet the blank pages would keep people talking for hours. 🙂

    Jennifers last blog post..What Can Death Teach Us about Life?

  14. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    nope. i probably would never post an empty post. if anything i might write something quick like “my day sucked” (can i say that) and often times people respond…from what i’ve seen on other blogs.

    Naturals last blog post..Something Quirky, Something Old, Something Blue

  15. Barbara –

    For nothing, I have to say nothing. 🙂
    BTW, No thing is also a beautiful thing of the creator.

    Shilpan | successsoul.coms last blog post..10 Super Creative Uses of Everyday Things that You Already Have

  16. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    Yes, you can say that. 🙂

    Hi Shilpan,

    Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  17. Like Hunter, I’d like to try a post like that one day, but for the moment a “nothing” post probably wouldn’t work as well for me. Maybe one day.

    I always have things to share, I just have days I don’t feel like sharing it 😉

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  18. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    That’s funny, “I always have things to share, I just have days I don’t feel like sharing it” I’ll have to remember that line. 🙂

  19. Man, I’d love to have thought of that when I couldn’t think of making a post. Seems like a clever idea to get away with not writing a real post 😉

    Still, that’s pretty original.

    Blogging Tips And Trickss last blog post..An Easy Free Backlink With Your Site’s Favicon

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Blogging Tips And Tricks,

    I thought it was ingenious. It might not work on on types of blogs, but it sure did on Chase’s.

  21. Interesting post Barbara!

    When I can’t think of anything to post, I go for a walk. Or I look up a quote, find one that inspires me, and that triggers a post idea. Or I take a photo and ask myself what the image has to do with my blog.

    Ideas are everywhere, all around us. What does a chair have to do with blogging? What does a drifting cloud have to do with blogging? Etc. We just need to ask the right questions and nudge the idea awake.

    Mark – Creative Journey Cafes last blog post..7 Power Questions All Creators Should Ask

  22. Dr.CasonNo Gravatar says:

    I wrote this on Chase’s blog post.

    “Like this cup, you are full of your opinions and speculations. If you do not first empty your cup, how can you taste my cup of tea.”

    When we have writer’s block, we must empty our cup. And when that doesn’t work I search for a photo that captures my mood.

    Dr.Casons last blog post..Banana and Peach Smoothie

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Mark,

    As I was writing this it reminded me of the post you did about how simple things like doing laundry can be inspiring. Walks are good too. Getting closer to nature is always a great way to get in touch with our creative side.

    Hi Dr. Cason,

    The words you shared with Chase are very poetic. Do I sense a bit of an “artist” in the doctor?

    BTW: I like your avatar. I’m guessing it’s from your Flickr gallery. I checked out your beautiful family photos and the ones of Guam.

  24. Nothingness is where the greatest ideas come from. I think Einstein said something to the effect that the greatest ideas come from no where. It’s when you can let yourself relax and be open to infinite possibility that true beauty can emerge.

    Great post! Really made me think about my own creativity.

    Karl Staib – Your Work Happiness Matterss last blog post..Mini Sabbaticals Should Be Mandatory

  25. […] at Blogging Without a Blog posts about how to Be Inspired by Nothing. It’s a short post, but it hints the core of simplicity: that when we get down to nothing, […]

  26. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you for the kind words, Karl, and welcome to Bwab.

    Relaxing our minds does open them to creative ideas, doesn’t it. Einstein would probably be one of our greatest mentors.

  27. Dr.CasonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara-

    I should have clarified the quote. It’s actually from Bruce Lee regarding the Zen philosophy of emptying your cup. But I’ve always wanted to be a little less scientific and more “free”!! 🙂

    Thanks for visiting my site. It’s an honor.

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dr. Cason,

    Thanks for clarifying. With practice, feeling more free is possible.

    You’re welcome. I enjoyed the visits to your site. I have you in my reader, so I’ll be back again soon. 🙂

  29. I think the DADA blog as art concept is interesting once in a while!

    Darren Daz Coxs last blog post..Social responsibility in the arts?

  30. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara: I wouldn’t write a controversial post on purpose just to get a reaction, but if there’s something I think needs to be said, I would, even if it means departing from the norm. Whenever you do or say something different you have to be willing to put up with the comments of those who don’t agree with you. That being said, you can disagree with a post without telling the writer to “go die”. Sometimes you don’t even realize that what you wrote is controversial until you start reading the comments.

  31. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Marelisa,

    It’s okay that you left a comment on the wrong post, but you do bring up a good point about leaving a comment, not realizing it’s controversial.

    BTW: I see your comment on the next post, so I’ll continue with my reply there.

  32. […] This new blog author found me. He showed up in the comment section of my “Be Inspired By Nothing” post. […]