Apr 15, 13
Let me guess…
You’re staring at the blank screen. Your brain is fried. You can feel a headache coming on.
You know you should be writing, but…
You can’t do this anymore. Your muse is gone. Your well of inspiration is empty. Finished. Stone-dry.
You’re not just bored or tired. No, no. This is far worse:
You try to stop your mind wandering off. You try to stop being distracted by your long to-do-list. You try to write, but you feel like everything you do manage to jot down is… well… terrible.
You know you have to keep going, but how? How can you get back into your writing groove?
You need to have some fun.
Not take a break, not go for walk, not get some sleep. All of that is fine and good for a simple case of boredom, but the real cause of writer’s block is you’re holding on too tight.
You need to loosen up. You need to go a little crazy. You need to let the goofy side of you out for a little while and get your creative juices flowing again.
Here are 27 wacky ways to get you started:
Apr 03, 13
Have you ever gotten an email from a reader who said your writing changed their life?
How about other bloggers? Are they still talking about a particular post years after you published it?
Or is it the opposite?
Visitors just seem to come and go, never commenting, never linking, never sharing, just quickly scanning your posts and then moving on, forgetting about you forever.
If that’s the boat you’re in, I certainly sympathize, but brace yourself, because what I’m about to say will be painful:
You’re not trying hard enough.
Yes, I know those are impossibly high standards. Yes, I know it takes everyone time to learn their craft. Yes, I know there are only a few dozen bloggers in the world who can answer yes to both of those questions.
But if you’ve been blogging for a year or two, and you still can’t answer yes to either of them, then Houston, we have a problem.
Fortunately, it’s a problem we can fix. Let’s start by going back to where it all started.
Mar 20, 13
Did you know Google can make your blog disappear from its search results?
One day, you’re getting a nice little trickle of traffic to a few of your posts. No, it’s nothing major, but it grows with every new post you publish, and you can see Google becoming a major source of traffic for you in the future.
But then it stops.
Poof, every single post and page of your blog disappears from Google. No warning, no alarm bells, nothing. You’re just gone, like you never even existed.
And the worst part?
You don’t even know why. It just feels like the biggest, baddest bully on the Internet decided to knock the crap out of you, leaving you whimpering and bleeding, wondering what on earth you did wrong.
It happens all the time. I know, because it happened to me.
Mar 06, 13
Wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do to get people to pay attention to your blog was to climb into a cardboard box and play with some string?
It works for cats. Collectively, the cat videos on YouTube are more popular than… well… everything.
And it’s totally not fair, right?
Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours writing a thoughtful post, only to get ignored because everyone is too busy watching a cat play the keyboard. And yet, it happens all the time.
Is it wrong to want to actually teach people something? Is all that hard work creating educational content just a waste of time?
Well, I don’t think so. If I did, I wouldn’t be writing this post.
At the same time though, I believe all the cat videos are trying to teach us a very important lesson:
Southern Gentleman (John Worsham): “It was a bullet, wasn’t it?”
Forrest: “A bullet?”
Southern Gentleman: “That jumped up and bit you.”
Forrest: “Oh. Yes, sir. Bit me directly in the but-tocks.”
One moment, you’re checking your email or surfing the web or browsing through the aisles of Barnes & Noble, minding your own business, doing nobody any harm, and that’s when it happens…
You read something that jumps up and bites you in the buttocks.
It’s so beautifully written, so painfully true, you can’t help feeling like you just got shot. No, it’s not a physical wound, but you can feel the ideas kicking around inside you, and you know somehow that they’ll stay with you for a very long time.
Maybe you even wonder how you can write like that yourself. So few can.
With blogging in particular, most writing is pitiful, full of shallow ideas and poorly told stories. The posts are hardly memorable, much less capable of making readers feel like they just took a physical blow.
The good news is Forrest Gump is here to help. Here are some of the best lines from the movie, along with advice on exactly how you can up your game:
Feb 10, 13
Now, now, now. Don’t even try to pretend it isn’t true.
Let me guess…
You spend hours on Twitter and Facebook “working,” only to wonder later if you really accomplished anything.
You comment on the blogs of bigwig bloggers, telling yourself you’re “networking,” nevermind that none of those comments actually lead to anything.
You have a growing collection of books and courses promising to teach you all the secrets in the universe, but they sit in that “to be read” folder collecting dust.
In the back of your mind, you know you can do better. Technically, you even know what to do.
But something inside you refuses to let you, and every day you struggle with whether or not you should just give up or find some other shortcut.
You know how I know this?
Because I’m you.
Feb 05, 13
Happens to the best of us, you know.
We’ve all been told to let the words flow loose and easy and free, but instead, we stiffen up like a British banker before his annual rectal exam.
It feels horrible too. Instead of enjoying writing like we’re supposed to, we end up gritting our teeth through the entire experience, knowing something just ain’t right but feeling so uncomfortable that we can’t help sounding like a robot.
The good news is that deliverance is at hand. Like any good friend, I hereby pronounce myself ready to pry said stick out of your posterior, curing you of robotitus once and for all.
Let us begin.