For about 4 months, or so, surrounding my Dad’s sickness and death – I was in the blog dumps. For the first time since this blog was born in January 2004. It was a combination of things, but even as those things faded, I still found myself in the dumps. I just couldn’t get motivated to write. Now, for me? That meant instead of twice a day I was posting once every few days, which isn’t a huge deal in blog land. But for me? I felt like I had become the World’s Suckiest Blogger. I told Marilyn that I totally knew where she was coming from when she talked about her own blog flakiness. We’ve all been there, right? It’s just part of the cycle of a blog. Just like the river it has it’s eb and it’s flow.
(Hee. Love the overly-dramatic blog metaphors.)
I thought I’d share with you guys some of the ways I revived my blogself in case you find your blog in the same place. Of course, I’m no professional on blog advice, but these are a few things that worked for me.
- Don’t write. (What? Seems contradictory?) For one night, instead of writing…cruise blogs. Start with a familiar one and start linking to others from there. Read entries everywhere you go. Click through links in the comments of the blog (because that will take you to other active bloggers) and try to choose ones you don’t normally read. Seeing new blogs, no matter how off-topic they are from your own, will open your mind to new blog topics. This will inspire many topics for your own blog, I guarantee it. Even if that topic is, “Why I Don’t Blog About _______.”
- Continue the conversation on your own blog! I started emailing myself links from blog entries or articles around the web that I thought would give me good blog topics. Example? I emailed myself Marilyn’s entry linked above. Sometimes you read something and feel like you could respond with more than just a comment – but you don’t have time at that moment. Email it to yourself. Then, when you do have time, it will be there waiting in your inbox.
- Carry a notebook around. Or maybe a piece of paper. Something small so that when that idea pops in your head throughout the day, you can jot it down. Sometimes, just the fact that we have something to document an idea with, aids in the idea being born. It will have you looking at things with wider eyes, scanning your experience for blog ideas. I’ve been amazed at how many more interesting things I observe now that the back of my mind is waiting for blog material. For example: There are THREE fire hydrants on my street between my house and the end of the road. About .8 miles. THREE. And I never noticed them before. WEIRD. Look on your street today…how many do you see?
- Dig through your archives. Just sit down one afternoon and dig through some of your older entries. You’ll be amazed how inspiring it is because you’ll be reminded that it’s important you write. You’ll need those words later. Either to make you laugh. Or to make you cry. Or maybe just to make you wonder, “What in the hell was I thinking?”
- Remember…unless you’re really trying to make money…this should always be simply: FUN. If it’s stressing you out maybe you need a break. If it’s not bringing you joy, why do you do it? There’s nothing that says you HAVE to do it. Some of the best relationships I’ve made blogging are with someone who no longer blogs. They don’t disappear, they just stopped blogging. No big deal. But remember, if you stop or take a break, backup your blog. You might want to start back and you don’t want to lose all of that hard work. The world would be a smaller place without entries documenting our stupid moments don’t you think?