Writer’s block can be really shit – especially when your ultimate escape route is writing. My blog is easily one of the most enjoyable things in my life – it is definitely one of the things I care about the most. The complete and utter freedom of having total control of the content, the vision and the future is something I thrive of and somewhere I go to to escape. Having the words unable to come is my idea of a literal hell.
I had about three posts to write for the next couple of weeks. With an essay deadline prancing around my shoulder and another hangover day (swear I’m not an alcoholic, just a student who has partied too much recently), it was the perfect day to smash out some blog posts.
A hangover doesn’t perhaps sound the best day to write a blog post and you might be reading this thinking well, obviously you couldn’t string a sentence together you muppet, but I’m usually surprisingly more productive blog-wise on a hangover day. I don’t know what it is, the self-loathing and rock bottom body image day due to the hangover gets my creative juices flowing.
But usually I do just fine. Except for last Wednesday. Last Wednesday sucked. I typed up about half a page of content for about ten different post ideas – adding Pages document after Pages document to my Drafts folder. Nothing seemed to work, I was getting halfway through and not feeling it. This happened over and over again. I was getting more and more frustrated about not being able to put a post together. I was getting more and more annoyed at myself. I’m a writer, why can’t I write?
Any type of creative block is rubbish. I’ve felt so out of sorts with Instagram recently – I want to share more style content as I adore clothes and styling but hate the way I look on camera and struggled with time/people to take photos with. I’m losing followers like there is no tomorrow (ten today yippee) and I found myself wondering if I should just pack it all in. Will my content ever stand out? Is there a point to me creating amongst the sea of amazing people who also create? Should I just shut up and get on with something, be that quitting or continuing to blog?
I just kept spiralling. If I can’t write today, will I be able to write tomorrow? Why can’t I write today? What is wrong with me? This one problem with the day – not being able to put pen to paper (or finger to key) – set me on a downward spiral. I began picking wholes in my current content, in the ideas I had the I hadn’t even thought about writing, about upcoming projects, about my Instagram, about blogger friendships.
Anyone who does things creatively will know what I’m talking about. It is the worst. And I’m writing this post up for you on Thursday, the following day. I woke up (still feeling a bit rubbish but not creatively). I finished a book review, replied to some emails, ticked some things off on my blog planner and sat down to write this whilst watching the Joe Sugg True Geordie podcast. And I got past the first ten sentences. I got past two paragraphs. And I finished the post.
So I wanted to chat about what I did yesterday when I finally admitted to myself that I was going through a bit of writer’s block. Because I did do some things (after I had a cry) and I think it did make a difference.
Read/Watch Your Favourites
I am not saying go and find a post your favourite blogger has written and imitate, not that at all. But one of the things I do when I’m feeling completely uninspired and lost is to read and watch my favourite creators. I flicked through the blogs of Charlotte, Chloe, Hannah, Sam and Allie. I watched haul after haul by Grace Victory. I watched a shameless amount of vlogs by Joe Sugg to completely switch off.
Doing this reminds me of why I love this industry and online world in the first place. I get a tonne of style inspiration, lifestyle inspiration, food inspiration, read thought-provoking pieces and feel closer to people I only know through their voice online. It does wonders for me – I feel inspired, positive and reminded about why I want to be a part of all of this.
Turn Off The Technology & Go Old School
I’m the worst for absentmindedly typing into Notes app or using the Pages. I type a few lines and then press delete. I think it is important to step away from technology when you can’t get the words out as anything you do force out is too easy to delete. I get stuck in a cycle of typing a sentence into Pages and then pressing the backspace. And repeat, repeat, repeat.
To avoid this, paper is your best pal. I always plan my blogging in a notebook. I love flicking through pages of previous ideas and inspirations. Writing lists or just going freehand, scribbling down anything that pops into my head. This makes me feel a lot lighter, calmer and positive as I’m not aggressively typing on my keys and instead slowed down by the pace of my pen.
Forget About It For The Rest Of The Day
Sometimes, it’s best to just walk away. Fire up Netflix and watch Friends or The Breakfast Club. Listen to Spotify for a bit, tuning in and out of the music. Read a book and lose yourself in someone else’s story. Go outside and take a walk – avoid the online world and having another half-arsed attempt at that.
I find completely escaping is sometimes the best path to take. You might feel like you are giving up or not trying hard enough. This is the hardest thing to do – walk away from a bad day. I woke up this morning feeling a bit better and managed to write this out. I felt a bit fresher and when I came back to it – I was looking at it from a new perspective.
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[photos by Claire]
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