Oh, the white empty space. Staring at your computer screen. Is there anything worse? I’m sure this happens to all of us, the organized or disorganized. “What should I write about?” How can you avoid the nightmare of trying to come up with a great idea for your next post at a moment’s notice?
1. Write down ideas immediately
I know you’ve heard and read this tip so many times. But it’s still the best tip for this kind of situation out there. As soon as an idea pops into your head, no matter where you are, write it down. Bostjan and Michele Linn suggest an Evernote app. I still use Post-its. They’re all over my desk even next to my bed. Whenever I went to bed, I seemed to relax so much I was suddenly coming up with many ideas I had been working hard to get them during the busy day. Just before falling asleep, in the dark, I seem to be most creative. There’s now a pencil and lots of Post-its nearby. In my backpack that I carry everywhere, there’s a pencil attached to a notebook. When I read, hear, or see something and come up with an idea I write it down immediately. It helps tremendously.
2. Let yourself be inspired
Whatever the topic of your personal/business blog is, don’t focus on it too narrowly. Anything can inspire you. Think of analogies; how a problem from a different field that isn’t even closely related to yours can nevertheless be similar to what you’re writing about. For example, my post on sustainable blogging was inspired by articles I read on sustainable economy.
3. Don’t be glued to your working desk
Get away from the computer. Write somewhere else. Shut down the computer and go to your favorite café or if it’s nice outside go to a park and start writing.
My computer, for example is my typewriter, TV, radio, I read books, newspapers, and magazines on my computer, I communicate with clients, friends and family via my computer (do we really need phones anymore?). One day I realized I was creatively paralyzed by sitting at the same spot all day (save when sleeping and exercising and hanging out with friends). Sometimes we forget that laptops can work anywhere and are easy to carry around and use them wherever we want to.
4. Type a few words
Open the Word document and just type something. It doesn’t matter what. Let me tell you an embarrassing story. Once I blindly typed “ass” on the white empty Word doc. For some reason I immediately got an idea what to write about. An innocent word typed by accident triggers something in my head. A block seems to end when you start making words on a page.
5. Just walk away
Let’s be honest, sometimes you just can’t do it. Nobody’s cheerful or motivated or awake all the time. Instead torturing yourself, just don’t do it. The world won’t stop. Your readers won’t get mad or leave you if from time to time you just don’t do it. I know, it sounds blasphemous. Would a proprietor close his store because his workers don’t feel like working that day? Let’s not compare apples and oranges.
However, this can happen very rarely, don’t make it a habit. It’s reserved for when you really really can’t do it. On the other hand, you may easily avoid such a situation if you follow guidelines on editorial calendars.
What is your cure for not staring at a white empty page? Please help us all in the comments below.