“What is written without effort is in generally read without pleasure.” Samuel Johnson
Before photography, blogging or writing professionally, I was a journaler–a storyteller. Even then, I would struggle with writer’s block on occasion. When life is tumultuous (or extraordinary), it seems there is plenty to write about. Words just pour out, virtually writing themselves. And other times, on regular days, I may sit and stare blankly at my keyboard. One of my personal goals this year is to write more often and share more of me on my own blog, and to make time to do so. So, where does inspiration come from when I am struggling these days? How do I overcome writer’s block? Here are a few resources/activities I have found helpful.
1. I am a habitual bookmarker. Whenever I see something that catches my eye – decor, a DIY idea or a kids treat, I save it. Today, I rely on Pinterest to do most of my bookmarking. It is a visual catalog that keeps all of your finds in “boards.” Basically, it’s a giant storyboard (that will suck you in for hours!)
2. Thumb through old magazines for inspiration. I still love a few of my tattered issues of Blueprint and Organic Style.
3. Browse your favorite bloggers. What’s trending? What’s new? I ask myself what I can add to the conversation.
4. Quotes. I am a quote lover. I have books of them, prints of them, website links to them. A quote is a wonderful way to start a post (ahem, see above) and can kick off your writing (or pull it together).
5. Freeblogging (hee hee). Remember the creative writing exercise from middle school where you just write anything that comes to mind — even if it is nonsensical? Works with blogging too. While it won’t be your article, it can free up your mind/creativity and perhaps give you direction.
6. Your kids – if you are a mama, you have endless inspiration in your kids. What is happening in their lives and how are they handling it. How are YOU handling it? What is something they said recently that made you belly laugh? Share a photo and use it as a prompt.
7. Set a timer and start. Choose a favorite topic and then write what comes to mind in a 10-minute period.
8. Choose the photo first. Then write your article around it.
9. Outline first. When I was writing for a PR client, I produced 7 “mini magazines” each year. The feature articles were often the toughest to write, so I often broke it down into small, manageable chunks. This works great with blogging too. Get the outline in place and then fill in the content.
10. For you photographers (like me), get out there and shoot for yourself on occasion. Not only is it a great blogging prompt (you need fewer words with pictures!) it unleashes your artistic creativity as well. Some of my favorite images have come from sessions like these-including the leading photo for this article.
If you are a blogger would you include the link to your blog below? And, if you have one, a tip for how you write when the words don’t come easily.
Co-editor Stephanie Beaty is a blessed mama of three children and military spouse. After a 10-year career as a professional writer/PR pro she began Lifeography, a modern child + family portrait studio where she focuses on capturing relationships and connections. Although her growing family currently resides in Virginia Beach, Va., home is wherever the Navy sends them. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.