One of the hardest things about committing to write a regular blog is when the creative juices run dry. There are several reasons you can get writer’s block, but the most soul-destroying probably has to be complete failure to think of a topic. One of the very worst things you can do is navel-gaze in front of your computer whilst metaphorically banging your head on the desk, so here is my patented list of inspirational day to day activities that will not only inspire and fit neatly into your life, but may even improve your standard of living…if you can be arsed.
1 – prep food. There’s something about mindless and repetitive activity that leaves your brain free to wander and preparing food is excellent, hey – it needs to be done anyway, right? So peel some veg, stir a risotto, grate that cheese. If nothing else, you can write about how delicious your dinner was.
2 – Go for a walk. Fresh air is soothing and invigorating in equal measure, especially at this time of year. Green vistas are scientifically proven to be good for the brain and your mood, as is the increase of blood flow if you can work up to a decent pace (not always possible if you’re dragging the smalls with you). A change of scenery will head off frustration and may lead to kernels of inspiration spiralling through your frontal cortex. You’ll have material for photographs, can muse on the changing of seasons, time, weather (as a Brit this is practically obligatory from time to time) and may exchange greetings with someone interesting. It also saves you from being cocooned in the house with bored, irritable and irritating children. Take them with and wear them out, leave them behind and get some peace – both good options!
3 – Read some other blogs. Yes, it may infuriate and depress you that these bloggers are all merrily writing away and you’re, well, not, but often you’ll happen upon a nugget of something you can enlarge into a post of your own. My post on co-sleeping evolved that way if memory serves me correctly.
4 – Go get a hug from someone. Read a book, eat a chocolate. Whatever it takes to get the happy juices flowing. Don’t get drunk, unless you want to drunk-blog. Which can be amusing for readers, but not always the best idea for the blogger!
5 – Go watch a sad film, read old diaries, contemplate lost loves. Do whatever it takes to get really really, country-music blue and see what rises to the surface. Again, don’t mix with alcohol unless you want to be embarrassingly open or, possibly, completely incoherent.
6 – Get involved. Go find a committee meeting, a volunteer group, charity, special interests group, academic social group – anything where you’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone, forced to think about new stuff and talk to new people. It’ll make you a more rounded person, even if you don’t get any blogging material out of it.
7 – Set yourself a challenge. Whether it’s a physical challenge like C25k, a mental challenge like completing an adult learning course, a lifestyle challenge like taking a photograph every week or cooking a new recipe every week using the same ingredient – whatever rocks your boat really. Write about why you’re doing it, write about your progress, write about what you learned – that’s three posts right there, and maybe even more if you get inspired.
8 – Join a blog hop. Especially if you can find one on a topic close to your heart. Sometimes narrowing the field can actually help – when you have an enormous blank page of *anything* to write about it can be overwhelming and you just shut down. I got so much written during National Breastfeeding Week when I was set a series of topics on the subject of breastfeeding and only had to choose how to approach each one. I’d highly recommend this approach.