We’re about to give away some of our best creative tips. Are you paying attention? These tips could save your blog, especially if you’ve fallen victim to what we call “blogging block.”
It’s like writers’ block, but worse because you need to blog to create credibility, to grow your business and increase your bottom line. You need to write. Instead, you stare at a blank document or posting page, shake your head and think, “I’ve got nothing.”
You know, of course, that you do have something. You’re an expert in your field. You just have to tap into that expertise and get yourself moving. So here’s how to use a little philosophy, a little process and a little thought to cut through the barbed wire you’ve strung around your brain.
Wherever You Are, There You Are
Maybe you’re using your desktop computer in your office. Maybe you’re on the couch, on your laptop. Maybe you’re sitting in Starbucks, sipping a latte and hoping to get inspiration from the local hipsters. It doesn’t matter. Look at your surroundings and pay close attention. What are you tasting? What do you smell? What do you hear? Any good conversations going on? Give yourself five to ten minutes to jot it all down. There. Now you’re present. And the neat thing is, once you’re present, you’ll probably stop worrying so much about that block.
Whatever Happened, Happened
Now think back to your week. Isolate a single day. Maybe Monday pops into your head because it was the most trying day of the week. You’d just returned from a lovely weekend, you sat down, you checked your email and BAM. Reality – 157 emails to answer. Ugh, right? Wrong. Each email holds an idea that you can use for your blog. Unusual customer request? Good. What was it? Complaint? Even better. Get that on paper or screen, whatever works for you. You don’t have to remember the exact wording or the time you checked it or anything related to that email. Just take the main ideas.
Learn What You Learned
It’s not redundant. Think about the example, that one email. What did you take away from it? Perhaps the customer complaint came from a negative experience because of the way one of your employees handled a phone call. Awesome. Isolate that idea. Or was the complaint about a process that got bungled? If it was, write that down. Now ask yourself, “What did I learn from this complaint?” Dig deep – the answer really is there. Don’t worry about using full sentences, proper grammar or other mechanics. Right now, you’re just acknowledging the lessons.
Write What’s Wrong, Write What’s Right
If you’ve reached this step, you’re doing great. Here’s why. You can take that customer service complaint and really describe it now. You can give us the scenario, the nitty gritty of what happened and how. You can talk about why the customer was right and what you did wrong. Maybe you didn’t handle the situation right away. Maybe you didn’t provide your employee enough training. Okay, good. How did it affect your business? Get it down. Now talk about solutions. These are your thoughts as a professional. They mean something. They have value. And guess what? You’ve got plenty to start organizing into paragraphs.
Weed the Metaphorical Garden
Here’s where you really get down on the ground and separate the lettuce from the dandelions. Start pulling anything that has nothing to do with the main idea, the scenario, the lesson learned and the solution. Toss out ideas that won’t resonate with your audience. If you have to go back to the start and pick a different email or incident, so be it. At least you’re warmed up, and hopefully, you’re remembering how much insight you really do have to offer. Now give yourself a group hug and a chug of latte, even if it’s room temp by now. You’ve busted through the barbed wire fence and planted a garden worth tending to.
The best thing about this process is that you probably have experienced hundreds of potential ideas within just one hour of your workday. And you’ve processed your experiences, sometimes without even realizing it. You want to know how this blog was written? It was the result of thinking about the blank page and what kind of insight could be shared based on what was learned from experiencing it.
So there you have it – one philosophical, creative process that we use to kill blogging block.
Note, we said one. You didn’t think we’d give away all our secrets, did you? If you want more ideas or you just want All Things Writing to blog for you, let us know. We’ll package a solution that makes sense for your business. Let us align your content with success.
All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.