Writer’s Block

Finding your voice is just about the most important thing you can do as a blogger, and that means doing two important things: first, identifying your overall theme and, second, deciding upon your approach as a commentator. If you get these two things right, you will never have to contend with the problem of ‘writer’s block’.

Writing is a bit like breathing in that, there will be periods when you have to breath in order that you can then breath out. When we are faced with, what is commonly known as writer’s block, it is simply a symptom of the fact that we are really ready to breath in when we are asking ourselves to breath out. This is as close an analogy to the process of blogging that I can imagine. Blogging is all about producing output and, the key to being able to do that effectively, staying with our analogy, is to have access to a good supply of ‘air’.

If you resolve to be an observer and a commentator, then your supply of subject material – your air supply – will never actually dry up. Your air supply is literally endless when you choose to comment on what is going on in the world, on the web, in your life, in the news or whatever else interests you, and by using this approach, therefore, you can completely avoid the problem of writer’s block.

One of the first tasks you face as a blogger, then, is to decide upon your source of input; the material upon which you will comment. Having identified the subject, you can get a steady stream of latest news upon which to comment by using the Google alerts system. Setting up an alert is a simple matter. Just go to this page … Google Alerts

Fill out the simple form, confirm your email address and that’s all there is to it. If you choose to be notified about blog updates, you can find interesting subjects that are currently being discussed online. You can visit those blogs and, often, take part in the online conversation leaving useful blog comments. You can also reference useful blog posts as you, in turn, comment upon the ideas raised by them. This may get you noticed by other bloggers and may also get you some return links if your content is good.

There are many other ways you can stay in the know about your chosen subject, of course, including the following:

  • Visiting Relevant Forums
  • Subscribing to Related Newsletters
  • Reading Books within Your Niche
  • Networking with Like-Minded People
  • Google Gadgets

Probably, most of the above things will make complete sense, but it is possible you may not have come across Google Gadgets yet. There are two types of gadgets: gadgets you can put on your desktop and gadgets you can put on your webpage. Both types of gadget are great ways of coming up with ideas for blogging. The desktop gadget has a feature that automatically displays posts from blogs you visit via RSS feed. The website gadget has plenty of sticky content, on a whole multitude of topics, that is also constantly changing.

Many of the above activities are things you will probably wish to do anyway, if you are truly interested in the theme you have chosen for your blog, and they all make perfect source material for your observations and comments. Ideally, you should link to the post – whether it is a forum post, blog post or whatever – that sparked your interest. It is good practice and it is possible that other bloggers will do the same thing with your posts i.e. they will find them and comment on them too if they are good quality.

When you have worked out how you will acquire your input, all you then need to do is to think about the subjects, within your field, that really grab your interest. Provided you can write reasonably well, your blog will quite naturally get more and more interest over the course of time as other bloggers begin to see your site as providing a useful and worthwhile perspective on current issues. That’s why you should always write for human beings and not worry too much about search engines. It is a much better traffic-generation technique in the long run and is also far more fun.

So, there you have it, a simple suggestion for acquiring a never-ending stream of content upon which to base your insightful observations and comments. Working in this way, your blog will enhance the overall online discussion around your chosen topic and you can sleep well at night knowing that you are adding something worthwhile to the web – your voice.

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