Nothing To Blog About: Leave, Quit, Stop

Filed as Features on May 12, 2009 4:34 am

Nothing to blog about article series logoThat’s right. Leave. Get out of here. If you got nothing to say to the world through your blog, leave, quit, stop. Get away from your desk, your computer, your office, your home, your life. Go away.

Not forever, just long enough to clear your head and mind and find your creative juices again.

As part of this new series called Nothing to Blog About, we’re looking at the various ways your blogging creativity can be temporarily dried up and plugged up, and how to break the dam. My first recommendation is for you to leave your blog for a vacation.

When I travel, leaving the “regular life” behind, I’m often besieged with blog ideas. Most of them don’t see the light of day, but they do see my Article Idea notebook, stuffed with scraps of paper, napkins, sticky notes, business cards, and whatever was available to jot down an idea or thought.

There is something about exposure to the “new” and “different” that seems to energize the brain. There are stories everywhere. So leave behind your normal day and get out, even if it is for a walk around a new block.

There are stories everywhere – even under rocks

There are stories everywhere. The problem is not the number of stories, or even finding them. The struggle is finding a story you can relate back to your blog.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if they relate. Sometimes the mental games we play with story ideas is enough to stimulate the brain into blogging.

Bored with blogging over a year ago, I took my motor home between speaking gigs, hoping the adventure would help clear my head and make me more receptive to new ideas. I looked for stories everywhere, in everyone I met and everything I saw. I challenged things, I asked questions, both verbally and mentally.

Motor home at Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington State, Olympic Mountains - photograph by Lorelle VanFossenI asked myself about why this road was built. Who was it built for? Who maintained the road I drove on? What lead someone to say, “Let’s build a road here!” and not over there? Why are the shops and malls here along the road? Why pick this out of the way place to put an outlet mall? Why not put it in the heart of a city where more people could visit and spend money instead of relying upon tourists and travelers to make your outlet mall a destination? How has moving stores beyond the bounds of the concentrated population centers changed the landscape of our country? For that matter, how has the automobile, and the motor home I’m driving, changed how we live and travel and where we decide to live and travel to?

The creative juices began to flow and ideas for new angles to talk about the worn out subject of blogging began to tickle the back of my head. A visit with one of my best friends led me to an idea to start podcasting on , interviewing people about their blogging tips and WordPress. To get started, I sat down with my friend, Jo, and asked her about blogging as the digital recorder caught our ever word.

And received a shocker. Jo didn’t know how to talk blogging.

All the years I’ve been blogging, she hasn’t got a clue. I even gave her a blog! She doesn’t consciously read blogs, and has no idea what to do with the blog I set up for her. While she reads my blogs once in a while, and listened politely when I talked blog, she had no idea what I was talking about. She’d just smile and be supportive, as a best friend should.

We didn’t have the jargon, a common language to talk when it came to my work. She didn’t understand terms like social media, Twitter, SEO, black hat, spam, splog, or scraper. Copyright is text found inside a book that reminds you to not photocopy it’s pages and sell them, not an part of her day to day experience and fight to protect what is hers.

Instead of being motivated to teach her and others more basics of blogging, I was depressed and frustrated. If I couldn’t get through to her after all these years, what the hell was I doing with my own work and life. A few hours later, called me and literally kicked my ass.

The end result was the inspired and classic post, “10 Really Rad Righteous Blogging Tips” by my alter-evil, Lorraine. Done as a form of April Fool’s Joke on Christmas Day, unbelievably this post has become a great example of what not to do as well as examples of what people are really doing with their blogs.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but it begins by leaving home. I had to leave the cocoon of my bloggy world where everyone speaks the same language, to discover I still had something relevant to say and contribute to the world of blogging.

So quit. Not forever, just long enough to walk away and find your bloggy spirit again. Then come back, recharged and revitalized, ready to blog again.

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  1. By Tracy posted on May 12, 2009 at 8:28 am
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    When I can’t think of anything. I run around reading and commenting on other blogs like this one :D

    Reply

  2. By ian in hamburg posted on May 12, 2009 at 9:21 am
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    Those with nothing to say are now all on Twitter.

    Reply

  3. By John Hoff - WpBlogHost posted on May 13, 2009 at 7:17 am
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    Sometimes it’s hard to get out and travel. I find daily walks also help this process. While I walk the neighborhood I look around at the houses, observe the foreclosures and what could be done with them, and just let my mind wonder.

    Helps to clear the mind for at least a while . . . that is until my 3 year old and 1 year old decide again daddy is their play toy.

    @ian in hamburg – yeah I second that one!

    Reply

  4. By Jordan posted on May 14, 2009 at 4:38 am
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    I drift back and forth on this one. There are times where I am on the brink of quitting then I get a flood of ideas that I can’t post fast enough.

    A road trip is in order.

    Reply

  5. By Alfred posted on September 10, 2009 at 7:30 am
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    Hello i’m Alfred in Bali…wow…nice post…very inspiring for me as a newbie and blogging…thank u very much…yeah that’s right, we can find idea everywhere…thank you so much…Lorelle

    Reply

  6. By Jamie Allsop posted on September 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm
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    Thanks for the interesting post. When I am unable to think of anything to blog about I will have a look around other peoples blogs, do a bit of research or just take a break from blogging.

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  7. By Tempo dulu posted on November 17, 2009 at 10:18 am
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    there’s too much rubbish out there, so if u don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t say it!

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  8. By Motorverzekering posted on November 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm
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    I took a road trip a while ago when I was out of inspiration. Tip: take some good friends and a couple of crates filled with energy drink with you and you’ll do fine!

    Reply

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