If blogging was once one of your favorite creative outlets and you feel stuck in a rut, here are some questions that I have asked myself in the past and tips for how to get through it and back to being an inspired blogger.
So the most obvious question to ask is “why did you stop?” But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I would most likely get the response, “I got too busy” or “it no longer felt like a priority.” Or even more likely, “I haven’t been inspired lately.” Life happens and sometimes we lose our inspiration or lack the time to do it the way we want to. Whatever the reason for the blogging rut, I believe that understanding ourselves and our feelings can help us move past our little struggles.
So let’s jump in and explore why you’re in a blogging rut and see if we can get you over it ASAP.
Was it getting too serious?
There are so many “blogging rules” these days. If you’re getting overwhelmed by them, ignore them. It’s a blog at the end of the day, friends. Stop taking it and yourself so seriously. People care about the authentic you and they probably stick around your blog because they find you interesting. Don’t forget about that. It’s good to step back sometimes and realize that blogging is meant to be a fun outlet, not a chore.
If you’re thinking, “yeah, but I want to make a living as a blogger.” Then, I say to you, do the best job in the way you want to. What is the point in becoming successful and having your “dream job” if you’re not doing it the way you want to.
If you’re working hard and you’re authentic, you can make things happen for you. Yes, the blogging advice can be helpful but at the end of the day, rules are meant to be broken and great things have come from people who decided to do things differently.
If you’re struggling, by all means, look for advice online. But do so while keeping your values in mind. Don’t change the core of what you want to do and where you want to go. Get a clear vision and then make your own damn rules.
Are you still interested in the topic of your blog?
So, speaking of blogging “rules” one of the most common ones that I see these days is that you should only blog about one main topic (with a few subcategories) so that you can have a specific audience. And they’re not wrong- having a defined target market is ideal. Like I said before, don’t feel like you need to follow this rule. If you’re just getting back into blogging, blog about whatever the hell you want- even if it has little to do with your current blog content. And if you feel so inclined, start a new blog. Sometimes starting over is what you need.
Before starting over, I’d ask myself, “if I start a new blog, will I just run out of steam again?” You probably don’t want to waste money on domain names and templates if you’re just going to get bored after a month or two. So be real with yourself and figure out if the topic is what is setting you back.
If you’re afraid that you aren’t passionate enough about anything, ask yourself instead if you’re still curious about it. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how passion is overrated in her book, Big Magic. If you’re curious about subject, it’s worth exploring those. We don’t need to be passionate about it. If you are, that’s fantastic. But it’s okay not to be too. There’s a lot of hype around having a passion, but not having one doesn’t mean that you can’t still have an excellent blog about it.
When you feel the urge to blog, do you do it?
I find that sometimes I might want to do something, but if I’m out of the habit of doing it, I won’t. I get distracted or find some silly reason that I shouldn’t do it. It’s not that I don’t want to, but it tends to get put lower on my priorities after I’ve neglected it for a while. Getting back on track is difficult, but once you start doing it again, it becomes a habit again like usual in no time.
How often do you think about it?
When I’m on a blogging roll, I think about ideas constantly: on my way to work, at the grocery store, people watching, etc. It’s like the flip of a switch though and sometimes I won’t think about blogging for weeks. No inspiration hits me and I feel more closed off to the world. Sometimes you have to force yourself to actively think about your blog and content you want to write about. It helps me to get out my notebook and make a list of ideas even when nothing is coming to my head. During that time, maybe 1 out of 50 ideas I come up with is one that I’m interested in writing in that moment, but going through that process helps me to open myself back up to inspiration.
What are you doing instead?
What are you doing instead of blogging? What is taking up your time? Is it productive? Do you have new creative outlets? Maybe your blogging fire is out in this season of your life. Maybe you’ve found better (for you) ways to spend your time. That’s perfectly fine. Your blog will still be there waiting for you when you’re ready.
What did you love about blogging?
Did you love the community? Writing? Social media? Maybe you can do something different to make your blog involve more of what you love and less of what you don’t. You could start a YouTube channel instead if you don’t enjoy actually writing. You could work on your social media accounts if you just want to talk to other bloggers. You can still do what you love and it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be blogging. Keep an open mind and think about what it is that you really liked and miss about blogging.
Were you being authentic?
Online it can be easy to not be yourself. We see successful bloggers and sometimes we like them so much that we lose our own voice. Or we’re too afraid to be ourselves. While you’re writing, try to think about how you’d have a conversation with a friend. It might make the process more fun to you and feel more authentic. It takes awhile to find your voice, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit of time to get there.
How can you implement this into your routine again? Where can you find the time in your schedule?
Okay so you’ve decided that you do want to start blogging again, now what? Make sure that you can make the time for it. Schedule it and make it important in your life again. If things got a little hectic recently, pencil in an hour a week to get a blog post or two up. Just slowly integrate yourself back into the world of blogging. Participate in a chat or take some photos while you’re out. It doesn’t have to be a sudden change. Though I will say, when I immerse myself back into something full-swing, that’s the easiest way for me to make it stick. Going slowly may work for some, and for others, you might want to go all the way with it. Get to know what works best for you and do that thing.
Have you been in a blogging rut lately? Let us know your own tips in the comments!