Broccoli Slaw Spring Rolls and Beating Bloggers Block

I think its that time of the week. Stuff bloggers dont talk about.

And actually, some do address it when it happens to them. Bloggers block.

You’ve been there. You sit down, ready to write the next killer blog post, only to have your mind go totally blank (or you end up with your face on the keyboard like Mr. Teddy). Then, your brain clutters up with fluffy thoughts of melted chocolate, lust-inducing facebook messages, puppies, and unicorns. (Or is that just me?)

Even if you don’t blog, you know the agony and frustration of losing the words you want to write.

Its awful because I often get flashbacks to those day’s where I had to churn out papers in college. I mean, its MY blog! It should not feel like a mandatory credit I need fulfill!

Anyhow, I thought I’d dispense some advice for beating bloggers block. I’m no expert, but I’ve realized I’ve blogged nearly everyday since I started. Here’s what I can offer:

1) Yep, Lower your Standards: I know, that sounds awful, but blogs (well, most blogs) aren’t novels, so don’t start a post by worrying about being perfect, insightful, original, or even grammatically correct. Begin with a shitty first draft. Let yourself write a big stinking pile of poo. Good writing, like good design, is a process of iteration and editing.

2) Get by with a little help from your friends: Blogging doesn’t have to be a solitary journey. Run headlines or ideas by your friends, and ask what they think. Chances are, they’ll point out new ideas and angles you’ve missed. For example sometimes, Sophia and I will run some ideas by one another. She’s a blogger that has a similar theme to mine plus, shes wise and hilarious.

3) Mix it up: Change up your standard format. I think the reason I’ve blogged nearly daily is that I have no format! The only format I retain is that I just blab in the beginning and have some sort of recipe. But there a bunch of different types of blog posts you can try out. A rant, review, an interview, a list (we all know I abuse that one…), a satire, an open letter, etc. I love that how one day, I’ll write something gut wrenching about recovery or my dad’s health, and the next I’ll talk about Tuna Helper!

4) Piggy-back: If you see something written on another blog and you want to expand or maybe give your take on it, go for it! Give the blogger credit though. I’m beyond flattered when I get a pinback! Seriously, I take those as bigger compliments than, “You food looks SO yummy!” or “Your so gorgeous” (which is debatable).

5) Read Comments: I have yet to know a blogger that doesn’t read their comments, even if they get hundreds. I personally love insightful comments (even when you think your writing a novel). It shows that you read what I wrote and that it sparked your brain. And often, the comments are great places for ideas for future posts.

6) Write about someone other than yourself: maybe interview a reader (NOT a blogger) or maybe about a certain blogger that inspired you. I hate to say it, but sometimes, I get bored of blogs because its very “me, me, me” which is interesting, but it can get a little dull after a while. Yes, most blogs are a mostly about the bloger publishing it, but sometimes its cool to maybe talk about someone else.

7) NPR and Podcasts: Never underestimate the power of podcasts or NPR to get your mind going. I listen to podcasts when I’m driving, which can be a risky thing if I’m constantly compelled to jot down notes about what I’m hearing. I think I compose especially good blog posts when I totally disagree with a podcaster and formulate a detailed response to their points. (PS, I suggest “Fresh Air” with Teri Gross, “This American Life” with Ira Glass, or “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”. all are great radio and podcasts.)

8) Don’t Force It: Who says you have to blog non-stop or even every day? Hit up a yoga class, go to the movies, take a vacation, and spend time with your loved ones. After all, doing real meaningful things is what inspired you to blog in the first place. If you don’t blog today, the world doesn’t end. To be honest, I get relieved when bloggers don’t post constantly because when I have the time to do my blog reading, I’m not feeling totally lost and like I have heaps of posts to catch up on.

Do you ever suffer from bloggers block? How do you deal?

So to stick with my “format” here’s today’s recipe!

I remember making spring rolls in my Garde Manger (I don’t feel like explaining what “Garde Manger” means, so just click on the link) class in culinary school. I was stationed near a girl that was originally from Vietnam and she made my rolls look like something three year olds play with. Today at work, I was working solo so mine didn’t look like crap because there wasn’t some pristine, 100% asian springroll nearby. Here’s what I used (you can add or subtract any of the ingredients! thats the beauty of spring rolls…very versatile!):

Rehydrate the rice paper wrappers in water. You dont want to let them soak for too long (over a few minuets) because they are prone to rip. Pour some hoisin sauce over the broccoli slaw in a separate bowl and set aside. Peel your cucumber (I like using a peeler to get nice, thin curls). Place down your shrimp in the center, then the slaw, and top with your cucumber. Fold over the top of the filling, turn in the corners, and roll it up to seal. Stand next to someone who’s not Vietnamese and they might look semi decent….

38 thoughts on “Broccoli Slaw Spring Rolls and Beating Bloggers Block

    • thats one of the reasons I love your blog jolene! I feel like none of them are “blah” and I feel like you write when you feel like writing and not when you feel pressured.

  1. I don’t really get blogger’s block, but unlike you, and many other bloggers, I don’t blog daily. If I did, I think I would get sick of myself. I used to blog daily, but that was when I was on break due to my ED and had nothing better to do, and also blogging WAS my “therapy” if that makes sense. 🙂

    I freaking LOVE it when a blogger writes about someone else. It’s such a refreshing break. I also totally adore novel comments, so long as it’s not spam. Because it proves that my post may have inspired some thoughts out of a reader, and that always is a good thing.

    Here’s another tip: bring your camera everywhere…and take random, humdrum pics of your daily life. Sometimes they may inspire an interesting topic that enters your daily process of thoughts.

    p.s. You mean “PINGback,” right? 😉

  2. I feel that taking pictures begets seeing more in every day life, and blogging begets more thoughtful conversations and discussions in real life (for me). I guess I don’t have a format either- some days I feel like writing a “story” about a memory, some days I want to gush about some stupid pair of earrings (see today, for example haha) and some days I just have something on my mind. I’ll stop blogging if I stop having crap to get out of my head, but until then I can’t stop!

    Wow, um, I guess I posted a blog on your comment section.

    And your “gorgeousness” is not debatable, its fact.

    Now I’m done. Oh, except I had that brocolli slaw today and I love it. It’s so good in stir fry dinners. Mmmmmm.

  3. Welp, don’t have anything insightful to add because I don’t have a blog (tried that and failed…twice). All of your concerns factored into my writing and ultimately made me not want to commit. But I do have to tell you that your pictures look extra luverly today!

    • As much as I appreciate blogging, blogs are like babies and they can get on your nerves. And I’m obviously and awful parent. I love it when readers comment though, because I know bloggers through their blogs, but I never get to hear about the readers much!

  4. i love the slaw rolls! NICE!

    writers block? no…i have diarrhea of the mouth and have to limit my blabbering! lol

    however…i the things i want to blabber about vs. what others may find interesting…that’s where i have to really dig deep and always remind myself of the big picture!

  5. I get bloggers block all the time, thats when I just get out of the house or go for a walk. I also love reading other comments on blogs. Lots of inspiration out there. But sometimes, you just need a good funny silly post, right? We can’t take ourselves too seriously all the time, thats just boring.

  6. What do you think about bloggers who post a few times a day? In a way I think it’s great because I can check in whenever and find a new post! But I don’t think I could ever do it myself!

    Cold salad rolls like this are one of my ultime favourite foods!!!

  7. Love using the broccoli slaw for rolls. You did just remind me that I’m out of hoisin….I’m pretty good about not getting writer’s/blogger’s block. Now, sometimes I think my posts might be boring, but I had no trouble writing them LOL. And I totally agree on piggy-backing off another blogger pal’s awesome post (just give ’em credit).

  8. I am definitely guilty of just posting rambles for the sake of posting something. Or lists (like I did yesterday… oops). I am SO much busier than I was when I first started blogging, so I’ve changed from posting twice a day, every day to being okay with going days (or even a week) without posting. I think when I don’t stress about it I put better content out anyway.

  9. i think the most important thing I learned was not to FORCE blogging. I used to blog every single day and felt guilty if I didn’t but really sometimes I didn’t have much of anything to say! I prefer quality over quantity when it comes to my blogging these days 🙂

  10. Gosh, I love this! We need to remember who we are blogging for at the end of the day. Numero uno, that’s who. And that means letting ourselves off the hook when it comes to things like post content, readership, etc. You’re right, you can’t force it! Sometimes it’s better to just blog the gobbledygook that’s floating in our heads.

  11. I only blog a couple of days a week now so I don’t usually get writer’s block anymore. Thats my tip I guess!

    And you are gorgeous – it is not debatable.

  12. Haha! I should have certainly seen that earlier! I had the same problem today. I followed a slightly different approach. I deferred responsibility to the readers by asking them what they would like to read today. Hope it works! 🙂

  13. hahaha.. that photo cracks me up. and your tips are good ones! i definitely think the reason i never get blogger’s block is because my standards are already so low…

  14. oh make me spring rollsssssssssss!!! i’ve been having a mayj to the maximus craving for them and they’re just too hard to make! bahh.

    i’m having bloggers block or just bloggers exhaustion from work to write a post haha

  15. Great tips! Yes there are days when Lori and I cannot think of anything to talk about, we are not the best writers to begin with, so when we really do not know what to talk about we are in trouble. We usually then keep the post short and with lots of pics 🙂

  16. Thanks for these tips, as I am indeed a blogger noob. I haven’t struggled *yet.* Still trying to find my groove, but I’ll get there. #1 from what I can tell will be my biggest struggle. I think I spend way too much time trying to ‘perfect’ my writing, but that’s only because I try so hard to write like I think and am in real life. I try to show *me* and *my style* and *my personality*. I didn’t really realize how HARD that can be. I can write work emails all day long, very BLAH and generic. However, when it comes to trying to show *me* with a picture and paragraph a day, it’s a little challenging, but I’m REALLY enjoying it. Does any of that even make sense? lol Anyway, thanks… 🙂

  17. That picture is freakin hilarious!

    I do get “blogger’s block” sometimes. And I think it definetly shows when bloggers publish something when they aren’t in the mood or don’t have any inspiration.

  18. Mmm.. I love shrimp. It’s probably my favourite protein ever… which is saying a lot because I am quite the carnivore 😉

    I hate blogger’s block… I obviously haven’t had it recently because I haven’t been blogging, but I have been having an intense urge to start up again 🙂 Perhaps in a few more weeks I will be back to the grind. (Or perhaps I will be sitting at my desk with a bottle of Captain Morgan? Haha)

  19. I do get writer’s block a lot and in the beginning of my blogging path, I used to think I have to blog I was supposed to keep updating it so people know what I’ve been doing..and of course it became tedious and stressful..I don’t want that.

    So now I just blog whenever I have something to share or some ideas.

    Love your tips btw. 🙂

  20. “Lowering your standards” – that one is key, I think, because doing so will get you into doing something AT ALL.

    I’m happy that I don’t suffer from writer’s blockade. I know writer’s blockade very well, but so far I didn’t have it so far when it comes to blogging. I rather suffer from lack of time. (If I had more time, I probably would start to suffer from writer’s blockade. ;)) Usually, I have between 10 and 20 drafts going that wait to be finished, and if I have an uncreative day, I’ll just finish one of them and post it. So yay for the draft function! 😀

  21. Oh, and I need to make those slaw rolls! I also love that you put cucumber tagliatelle into your salad. 🙂

  22. when I first started thinking about writing a blog, I was so nervous because I thought I’d never have anything of value to say. Then, my husband suggested I write more to get myself out a funk. I just decided to go for it, and whatever happened happened. I dont’ think most of my posts are outrageous insightful, or even interesting, but they keep me going and that’s all that matters.

    Although, I totally admit to getting super stoked when I get a comment 🙂

  23. This was such a helpful post. Given that I just started writing my own healthy living blog, I probably need all the tips I can get;) I especially love that you emphasize not fretting about blogging each day in and out…I’ve learned that gets VERY time consuming sometimes! Also love your comment about pingback, I love giving credit to other bloggers because I know if they did the same for me I’d love ’em even more!

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