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….