Overcoming Writer’s Block Through Community And Conversation

Trust There’s a great beginner’s guide on Brazen Careerist, sprinkled with blogging tips for career blogs, but these tips can apply to anyone who’s blogging.  A winning tip by Andy Drish gives some motivation for relationship and community building for your career blog. Again, these tips can apply to anyone. What about the motivation to keep blogging, especially during writer’s block? Everyone has a unique way to get around this. Here’s one I like to use: my blog community.

Hello World

When I take advantage of speaking opportunities, I get a lot of questions about beating writer’s block. I let people in on a little secret: my community helps a lot with that. You see, I can get over writer’s block very quickly when I go through my comments, Twitter and Facebook replies, or links back to my articles. Sometimes I also just call people or schedule a time to talk. Not only does it strength my relationships, but in return I get some awesome blog ideas! It’s so easy for our ideas to go stale when we only hear ourselves. Plain and simple, we need feedback. Simply looking through your comments helps. But there’s a bigger picture. If you don’t have comments, then how about starting with a conversation first. Join this conversation in the comments, or write up a post about ways you’re beating writer’s block.

Reflection

Before you move on , tell me what ways have you overcome writer’s block. Any “aha!” moments you’d like to share?

How To Empower and Inspire Your Content Using Posterous

posterous Posterous is my new crack. Twitter used to be, but it’s more like weed now. Not as strong, but you’re used to it. Posterous gets into my mind. It taps into my soul in a way that regular blogging hasn’t been able to do in a long time. With Posterous, I feel more relaxed about writing, not just blogging. I feel less pressured to blog and empowered to simply write. I enjoy the posts I put on Posterous and I leave it open for comments and interpretation rather than filling it to the brim with my insights. In doing all of this, I’ve discovered that Posterous opens a little creative door that I wasn’t previously aware of. So much inspiration flows through me when I use Posterous. Even better, I just don’t care what happens with the content when it hits Posterous and spreads to Twitter and Facebook. Yet, it doesn’t stop me from sending great content I find across the web to my Posterous site. I could easily send it here to SheGeeks, but it’s not the same, nor do I feel it’s what you would expect from me. You’re free to let me know your thoughts on that by visiting my Posterous site. After writing using Posterous, I feel more empowered to blog here. I feel more relaxed and more encouraged about the content that I write for SheGeeks. Posterous is my new creative launching pad. I can do just about anything there without worrying about mistakes, engagement, or traffic. All the rules fall to the side and all that I learn from Posterous, I do my best to bring here to SheGeeks. chat
  • Are you a Posterous user? How about Tumblr?
  • How do these services empower you? Better yet, when was the last time a service empowered you?

Effortlessly Stay Active In Social Media

effortlessly
It seems hard making time for social media in some circles. When you hear about it, it begins to seem like another 9-5 on the outside because we just don’t have the time. The amount of information being produced is rising and coming out faster than you can blink these days. It can make social media seem overwhelming. How do they expect you to stay active in that and get your work done? Easy. Here are a few tips that I’d recommend doing to stay active without spending and enormous amount of time using social media:

Scheduling Future Posts

- Use your blog’s editor such as Windows Live Writer or Twitter clients such as Hootsuite, to schedule anything from blog posts to links for Twitter. - Use Twitter scheduling tools to announce upcoming announcements and promotions. - Benefit: Stop lagging behind the press and your competitors! - Benefit: More free time for other important works.

Post Everywhere Services

- These services are a God-send when used the right way, instead of for spamming communities. “Post everywhere” services are popping up all of over web. These services allow you to publish any of your content to your social profiles and social networks. - Pixelpipe, Ping.fm, and Posterous (my pose)are great examples of post everywhere services. - Benefit: You can stop going to each individual site now. - Benefit: Mobile support across multiple mobile platforms! chat
  • How are you effortlessly staying active in social media?
  • What other tools would you recommend?
Image credit: CC BY 2.0

How To Motivate Yourself To Blog Without Looking At Your Computer

Bored This is a timeless question, that even experienced bloggers have to come back and revisit, myself included. And for the past month, I’ve done so extensively. It has been one of the most frustrating processes for me and I’m sure I’ll still struggle with it after writing this.

First I’d like to note that I see now that I was the only getting in the way of myself and I looked exactly like the image the the left a lot. I had a million excuses and quite frankly, no passion or clear reason to blog on any given day. Some may say money, but as I noted last year, I don’t do this for the money. Money is not as motivating as you would think. Here are other ways I grew my motivation to finally sat down and write:

Conversations

mobile phone I called everyone! Friends, mentors, those I’ve previously worked with, new connections and old. Get your community involved! My support system is stronger now more than ever and increasing everyday. Sometimes you just need to open your mouth and clearly state the problem to address it. It’s not rocket science, but we’re so used to talking to ourselves sometimes that the banter becomes repetitive. Ideas go stale.

Conversations set the mood. They’re meant to inspire you. So go be inspired and pick up a phone or Skype if your minutes are running low! I don’t recommend using Twitter or Facebook to accomplish this. You need a direct connection to the source of inspiration. The phone or Skype is as close as you’ll get if you can’t see them in person.

Reading or…

…or any hobby will do. I love to read. I have a personal goal of reading 100 books of year. So far I’m on book 17. It doesn’t matter in the end if I reach this goal. The goal just helps me to keep picking up a book, which are another source of inspiration. Comics are great too. I’m not sure if TV will help you or serve as an even bigger distraction, so be careful with that one unless you’re going to watch an inspiring movie.

Spirituality/Meditation

The process has brought me a lot closer to my never ending quest to have a better relationship with God. However, meditation and daily spiritual cleansing really helped with my focus, concentration, and endurance. You don’t have to be religious to accomplish this. Take a yoga class or listen to motivational podcasts. In the end, my spirit was raised and my mind was placed in a more positive state. This helped to but my thoughts and actions in alignment.

Write About Something Else

blog I have a thousand notes I’ve taken on podcasts, videoblogs, web articles, and books that don’t pertain to technology or anything I do for a living. I’ve been reading the The Leviathan by Hobbes, Midnight by Sistah Soulja, The Prince, The Alchemist, and tons more books at my local Barnes and Nobles. I can write outside of my environment, away from  a desk and laptopn where my stress was focused the most. I had a pen and a notebook to take all of my notes. I didn’t worry about blogging. I just wrote!

 

Get Outside Of Your Element!

After all was said and done, these things made me feel good and sometimes, that was all I really needed in order to reconnect with my passions. They also placed outside of my natural element and that was a refreshing experience that I’m now sharing with you. So tell me, what motivates you to blog?

The Repetition of The Blogosphere

blog For the past week, a lot of my Twitter followers have noted that I’ve been M.I.A. (missing in action). And I have. To be honest, I’ve gotten a little bored with socializing online. That’s not to say I’m tired of talking to my friends online. I touched basis with Cyndy (a.k.a. the other Louis Gray) just last night. Last week, I had not one but two conversations with my sexy-man/partner in crime Chris Miller. However, all of these conversations took place offline.

Let me state beforehand that I find this post a little difficult to write. How can you elaborate on a sentence that explains it all: I’m sick of socializing online! It’s not the entire online social experience that I’m sick of though. It’s different elements that are starting to either bore me or annoy me.

This post was inspired by Is Social Over-Hyped?

      

      

Repetitive Conversations

A friend of mine once asked my why I kept posting about the same service over and over (Twitter was that service). I told her because there were various aspects of the service that I felt were unexplored that I could add some input to……and I needed something to post about. However, her question has been haunting me lately because our little bubble of web 2.0, silicon valley, and social media can get pretty repetitive.

I couldn’t write about a different service because there was nothing out that was of interest to me. On the other hand, there weren’t many meaningful discussions to contribute to either. Either I had nothing to say about the subject, or what I was thinking had already been said. There’s no point in rehashing a point just for the sake of saying something different. This is how I’ve been feeling lately.

       

Reading & Blogging Became A Chore

I’ve let my unread articles in Google Reader stack up to ridiculous amounts for the past few weeks. I’m sick of reading. It’s becoming a chore that I’d rather put off for various reason.

  • There’s nothing new of interest.
  • The conversations are all the same.
  • I don’t feel like searching for new content.

I think I may be discovering that I’m one of those people that doesn’t like a lot of order. I like things to switch up every now and again. However, the section of the blogosphere that I’m interested in has a hit a plateau and in turn, so has my blogging. Once again, it’s all too repetitive to the point of tedium.

     

Plateau in Innovation and Creation

All the latest sites and services are all the same to me. Clones. Clones that do one feature better than the original. Clones that don’t have any of the features that the original has. Clones that are playing catch-up and clones that should have never seen the light of day because the original was a dumb idea to begin with. There’s nothing to talk about because there really isn’t any “real”" news. Innovation is at an all time low and we’re all suckers for it because something is better than nothing. Well, screw that!

     

A Hiatus on the Horizon?

No, I won’t be taking a hiatus. I still love this too much. However, content from SheGeeks will be on the slow side. I refuse to post just for the sake of posting. I want to add something new, if not original to the conversation. I want to discuss something different, something exciting, something….moving. That’s how FriendFeed and Twitter were when I first discovered them: exciting and moving. Where are the services, theories, and concepts that can accomplish that same feeling, while being of interest to me?