Whether you’re doing it for a living or simply recording life events in your virtual diary, blogging can be challenging: either you don’t know how to begin your entry, or you’re running out of topics. Fret no further, though! Having been a blogger (for 7 years now! I can’t believe it either. I also cannot believe how and what I wrote before) myself, I’ve come up with these tricks to help those who are new to blogging overcome writing’s “dry spell.”
1. Meditate through reading.
Reading for about thirty minutes before I begin writing for a blog prepares me effectively. This helps me gear my mindset towards writing about the blog topic, or give me ideas on what to talk about (if there’s no topic yet, or the client doesn’t have an editorial calendar). If you’re blogging for a company, reading their past blog posts can help you identify their approach, tone, and style. If you’re blogging for yourself, try reading any of your previously written entries–it may sound narcissistic, but it refreshes your brain and reinforces the writing vibes and style in you, since you’re reading text that you actually wrote before. You can also take this opportunity to explore facts surrounding your topic. This helps you test your claims and guesses about a problem that you may want to tackle, too.
2. Pick the right music.
This depends on your preference, actually–it’s not only about knowing which music will give you the energy to write but testing if would really write well with sound blasting from your speakers. Have you always performed better at your exams when you review your notes while listening to music? If your answer is yes, then it’s more likely that music can help you write, too. Give yourself time to experiment with different genres and songs that could motivate you.
If you want to know which musical piece sent me on a crazy writing spree, it has to be the Factorium aria entitled, “Largo al factotum”, which was from Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” I listen only to Roberto Servile’s majestic rendition:
3. Let words fly on paper as freely as birds.
You’ve read a lot about the topic and you have your playlist ready (or mix-tape. Maybe Winamp. Am I really behind now just because I don’t prefer Spotify?). What’s next, you may ask?
Of course, that incomprehensible string of words is definitely hard to read, but what it only means to convey is that you should begin writing your first draft with no worries about committing any kind of grammatical or factual errors. It is, after all, your first draft. You can edit it soon, but not now. Don’t constrain your thoughts. Don’t think of the logical flow yet. Just write about the topic you want to discuss.
4. Avoid mishaps.
Once you have a draft of your blog post, go over through it very carefully by reading it several times.
First reading: Did everything you wrote make sense? Organize the logical flow, right from the introduction down to the conclusion. Don’t mind the typos at the moment. Opinionated pieces tarnish one’s image if a dangerous statement slipped from the editor’s eyes, so watch out for your claims and assertions. While we can’t be 100% objective (a blog post is usually intended to reflect a business or a person’s knowledge anyway), you need to know if you’re leaning towards the right end of subjectivity.
Second reading: Now that you’ve eliminated what you don’t want to say, ensure that you’ve clearly communicated your intended message. If your blog is set to public, ask yourself if the language you’ve used is something that your target audience will understand. Diction matters–you can think about changing the words you’ve previously used for clarity’s sake.
Third reading: This is where the finishing touches go. Unleash the spelling sorcerer and grammar beast in you. Proofread to your heart’s content!
Whatever your blogging platform is nowadays, I’m pretty sure there’s a preview button that you can click to see what your blog post will actually look like. Not only does it satisfy me to see my written piece displayed but it also allows me to spot mistakes that I would’ve missed when my post was still on the editor window (mostly because I was too excited to keep an eye out for errors).
5. Rinse (Sleep) and Repeat.
Publish your blog post, and give yourself a well-deserved rest before launching into another writing task. Your body gets tired after miles of running or jogging, and so does your brain after writing a 500-5,000 word blog post. A well-deserved sleep rewards you with newfound energy to keep blogging. Even though I am not a person who sticks to rigid routines, I find that keeping some habits enables me to stay on track of my blogging schedule and writing tasks.
These tricks have always done wonders for me, but I cannot totally guarantee you it can yield success for your case. There are lots of other things that could factor in your writing process that were not included in this post, but take that as an opportunity to construct and reshape your writing flow! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Writers have done crazy things. Maybe all you need is a cotton candy dipped in coke to set fiery flame to your blog.