If you’re the sort of person who makes a living out of using your imagination and creativity, then you know that losing the inspiration and the drive to write can sometimes feel like the beginning of the end.
It’s like death in slow motion, like drowning in a sea full of sharks, like being left home alone in the middle of a snowstorm. It’s definitely not the most fun time of your life, and it’s scary as hell.
And then sometimes it just feels like shite’s hitting the fan and interrupting your creative mojo. Either way the end result is you’re feeling about as uninspired as duck muck.
But you know what?
I’ve learned that there are ways you can waste your time doing things that actually end up being pretty damn important. Keep reading my friend and all will be revealed.
All you need to get over that pesky dry spell is a dash of creativity and a pinch of patience. Really!
Side Note: And of course when all else fails, you can just say F**k You to all that is grim in your life. That strategy comes highly recommended by many, including yours truly!
And the good news is that changing your attitude towards moments like these can really take the edge off and help you focus on other, more productive things.
Listen, call it writer’s block or whatever you want, but I’m sure you’ve hit moments like this in your blogging career… who hasn’t? It can be downright disheartening.
You so want to write something, anything, but your addled brain can come up with absolutely nothing to offer your readers. There’s possibly the faintest eensiest shadow of an idea forming at the back of your mind that could be a winner.
But let’s face it, you’re simply too tired or too lazy or too jaded to tease it out from hiding. Much less turn it into a full-blown article to captivate and wow your audience. (For shame!)
So here’s the deal-io.
Your creative juices might have run dry for the time being (mayhap they feel deader than a doornail) but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop working and just sulk the day away. There are lots more things that you can do with your so-called free time than procrastinate and get stuck in the Twitter/Email/Facebook/Stats loop. (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about here either.)
To dig your brain out of the rut, here are a few mojo sparking (and rather fun if I do say so myself!) suggestions you can get started on right now. No really… as in right. Now. Got it?
Option 1- Treat Yourself to Some “Me” Time
Oh yes, your being in a rut in terms of writing brilliant works of art doesn’t mean that you have to let go of yourself completely. Things like this happen for a reason, and unless you smarten up and try to make the best of the situation, you will spend the entire time doing nada. (Which is totally bad for the self esteem by the way.) And you’ll often find yourself in the sort of rut you’re in because you’re not taking proper care of you.
So, why not try to pamper yourself for a change? Go to the spa, make an appointment with your hairdresser (whom incidentally you haven’t seen in NINE FRACKEN MONTHS!), get yourself a manicure.
Shop, eat out, go see a movie. Do whatever makes you feel good, and relive the good ol’ days of when you used to have f-u-n (you know, before works suddenly hijacked your life?).
Breaks like these don’t happen on a daily basis (well, usually at any rate!) so take advantage of the spare time—Iron Man isn’t the only person on earth who needs to recharge his batteries every once in a while.
Option 2- Give Your Website or Blog a Makeover
Fine, you’ve run out of ideas for writing new copy and articles or blog posts. But there’s still work for you to do, if you know what I mean. Maybe you’ve stopped writing because you find the current state of your web site a little too unflattering or uninspiring.
So go ahead and launch into a bit of spring cleaning online. You can maybe choose a new template or design, organize your archives, update the profiles of your many social media accounts, do a bit of Twitter housekeeping or hell… play with the fonts on your blog.
Or if you’re like me, do a bit of restructuring of your site navigation, and work on revamping your newsletter delivery! (Still a work in progress I might add.)
Whatever you need to do, give yourself license to do it. Often times giving your site a spankin’ new look will keep you busy until you feel ready enough to write again.
And who knows, maybe the change will be the catalyst that’ll kick-start your creative machinery. Score one for the productivity team!
Option 3- Get Cozy with the Competition
Every blogger worth his salt knows that he isn’t the only one in cyberspace who has ideas worth listening to and reading. That’s why it’s always important for you to check out what your competitors—correction, co-bloggers—are doing in their little corner’s of the web-world.
All you have to do is type in the URL of other blogs that tackle the same topics you write about and voila! You can gain insight into new concepts, ideas and perspectives that you might have missed out on and find oodles of inspiration. You can even pick up article ideas for future use.
BUT hold your horses there speedy.
A mild disclaimer for you folks that… ahem… tend to take ideas a bit too literally.
I’m not saying that you should copy stuff from other people’s blogs. Really, plagiarism bites and besides… how lame is that? What I’m pointing out is that sometimes you need some “fresh air” to loosen you up and help you gain new knowledge along the way.
Reading what other people have to say about things you feel strongly about will give you a clearer picture of new perspectives you might not have considered. Remember, the world is a melting pot of ideas.
All you have to do is stir gently and let it simmer.
Option 4- Spend Quality Time with Your Family
This here is an especially difficult task for work-at-home parents like me. People get the impression that just because you are self-employed, you get to spend more time with your friends and loved ones. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case.
The truth is that neither freelance professionals nor career professionals get to see as much of their families as perhaps they’d like. And really, at times it’s even worse for the work-at-home people to try and balance work and family, because there’s tons of stuff to be done and only two hands and one brain to do it all.
Until you’ve got this whole entrepreneur thing nailed down, and have learned to leverage your time and talents appropriately for the maximum amount of gain… the sad fact is you can often feel like you live and breathe work. And free time is rarely “free”. Luckily we’re all usually in this gig because we love doing it, so work doesn’t really feel like “work” for the most part.
So, my prescription for you is that while you’re still trapped in the throes of writer’s block, grab at the chance to play ball with your kids and help them with their homework. Cook them delicious meals made from scratch or take a weekend trip somewhere nice. Whatever floats your boat, just do it and enjoy it. Your kids will thank you.
Option 5- Assess Your Performance
Breaks in the business are few and far between, and when you chance upon one, you know it’s high time for you to have a sit down and compare your progress against your strategic and evil little plan. (You know… the one I’m always saying you need to have?)
Knowing exactly where you are and where you’re headed gives you not just a sense of direction, but also a feeling of accomplishment and achieved excellence. You can take a moment to feel proud of all you’ve accomplished thus far, and note any places that may need a bit of improvement.
Ask yourself if there’s any strategy changes you need to implement to get to your goal faster. There might be some obstacles that you have to overcome, or some roadblocks that you haven’t yet figured a way around.
And now is the time for you to look for viable solutions. Don’t waste your time sitting on your thumbs, just waiting for your creative juices to start pumping. Instead, use the unexpected reprieve to do something wildly productive and/or enjoyable with your day. Before you know it, you just might find yourself suddenly feeling inspired.