It happens to all of us.
At some point in our bloggy lives, we grab a steaming cup of coffee, nestle down in front of our laptop, pop on some indie tune that gets our head boppin', and we try and write a blog post. An awesomeTASTIC, attention-grabbing, goosebump-inducing blog post. But when we hit those keyboard keys, rubbish spews out all over the screen.
You know you've had one of those days. Heck, I bet you've had entire weeks of 'em.
We spend another hour typing up rubbish that no one is going to want to read. Check our Twitter feed. Type a few more meaningless sentences. Log on to Pinterest and see what friends have been pinning today.
But here's the thing.
Beautiful, life-altering ideas don't birth from our brains when we're staring at a blank white computer screen.
Amazing epiphany's don't come to us while we're aimlessly scrolling through our Twitter stream.
We have to change the game a little. In order to get the ideas flowing, we have to give our minds the jump start they're craving. So, here are a few things that have worked for me over the years:
Leave the house
When you blog or work from home, it can be hard to muster the motivation to, you know, go outside. Grab your coat and head out. Anywhere. Go for a walk, go shopping, visit a friend, go to an art gallery... do something that will take your mind off blogging and work. Most importantly, don't look at your phone. Don't check your emails, your Twitter feed or any of it. This is you time.
Change your setting
Instead of blogging from the same desk in the same room every day, take your laptop and shift your butt to your favorite coffee house. The sweet aroma of coffee, the natter of friends and the bustle of customers will get your creative juices flowing. A latte doesn't hurt, too.
Talk to someone
Talking to someone about your ideas and your goals can really help clear your mind. They can tell you which of your ideas is genius and which is total baloney.
Go back to your old school or your old workplace. Let your mind go back in time and sift through memories. Looking back on fond (and not-so-fond) events in your life sometimes unfolds ideas in your mind.
Let us never underestimate the power of Tumblr and Pinterest. Search for users that post things on the subject you blog about, and gain some post ideas from that. Note that you should never copy someone elses post! If you've seen an interesting idea on Pinterest, click through to the source and make sure your post won't resemble theirs. Put your own spin on things.
Sometimes, when I really feel like my brain has emptied itself of good ideas, I like to switch off and do nothing. Go and watch some TV, play Bubble Mania on my iPad, phone a friend... We all need a break sometimes.
Go through your emails
I have a separate email account that I set up so I could subscribe to dozens of newsletters from my favorite bloggers. Each day, that inbox is filled with about 25 bulk emails containing biz advice, blogging advice, DIY tutorials and other fun stuff. When I really can't think of blog post ideas, I like to settle down with my iPad and read through newsletters. The amount of inspiration I get from doing that alone is unexplainable. (Here are some of my favourite newsletters: Tara Gentile, Erika Napoletano and Maria Forleo. While you're at it, sign up to mine too! ;) )
If you're a fashion blogger, go and buy a fashion magazine. Same goes if you're a business/craft/gardening blogger- go to your local supermarket and buy a magazine on your subject. I did it the other day. I bought a magazine called 'Millie Makes' and boy was I inspired by the time I'd finished reading. I had a whole page full of ideas that stemmed from articles in there.
Can you relate to this problem? What helped you feel inspired again? I'd love to know in the comments!