I Got Nothing

I got nothing

I have writer’s block.

I felt it coming on when summer hit and just thought it was our out-of-school schedule. When I realized the new hours wasn’t my problem, I decided to re-work a few old posts I wrote when no one but five of my closest Facebook friends were reading my blog. I mean, I was still writing something, right?

That didn’t work to kick in my creative juices. I needed to be challenged. I signed up for the 31 Days to Become a Better Blogger program with the cool folks at Yeah Write. Between last week’s vacation and my workload, I’ve done my best to keep up with the daily challenges. I didn’t do a good job with the writing exercises but I did get advice to generate more blog traffic and some ideas for blog posts.

From the exercises, I actually started three different posts. I wanted to join in and add to the link list with the other members. All three sit with their scribbled notes in my blogging book. Guess that’s why they call it a block.

Enough already

I researched writer’s block on my favorite search engine Pinterest and found a few ideas to help me out. One suggestion was to write in a different place. I spend most of my day holed up in my office by myself so I scheduled some time to get away from my desk.

I hid in a back booth of my favorite lunchtime salad restaurant. I spread out my blogging books and brought a couple of pens. I knew I could sit back there undisturbed for a couple of hours.

Getting out helped a bit. I wrote this post while I enjoyed my Outrageous Orange Tossed Salad with Cashews. Of course being away from the office clicked on another habit of people watching. So I would write and watch, write and watch and then watch some more. Do you know how many people go to lunch with their friends and look at their phones the entire time? And there are just way too many cute babies who come to the salad place with their mommy.

It felt good to be writing again but this blog isn’t helping my business. This writer’s block has affected my new work project. For my regular readers, remember last summer when I wrote all 12 weeks for my online class Social Media with Strategy? I tweaked it a few times but most of the writing happened when my son Jake was out on summer break.

My big project for this summer is a workbook that goes along with the online class exercises and gives small business owners even more detailed information to help them plan their marketing strategy. I had such high hopes for my writing this summer because I really rocked it out last year. I was getting up early to write every day plus I added in additional writing hours into my day.

So far, I’ve done a ton of research but writing … not so much. OK here’s the truth. I’ve written nothing. Zero. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I’m frustrated that all I have at this point is a blank word document.

I have three more weeks before the after school pick up schedule kicks back in. I’m at a loss. I’ve stopped trying to force the writing and just continued with the research. The launch date is set for the end of September and what do I have to show?

I got nothing.


Photo credit: Overcoming Writer’s Block

42 thoughts on “I Got Nothing

  1. I battled writer’s block by grabbed a pencil and some lined paper on a clipboard and heading out onto the front porch. The internet and dust bunnies were too distracting inside. Sounds like you tried the change of venue though. Rats! How about chocolate?

  2. Sorry you are having a rough go. Have you had this in the past? If so, how did you get over it. As you know, there are many theories.
    Anyway, you can say that you got over your block, at least momentarily. After all, you wrote this post.
    Good luck.

    • I’ve had it in spurts but not for as long as this. The getting out has been helpful for a few posts om this site and one post on my business site. The problem is the writing for the workbook. I’m working with other people on this project and they’re going to be waiting on me for the writing.

      It’s just frustrating – this was my slow time and pretty soon, work is going to get busy again. I just wish I could figure this out. Meeting with a friend on friday to talk t0o her about this.

      • It sounds like the pressure is building because you have put yourself on a deadline. Believe me, I understand that. Anyway, is it a hard deadline or self-created. Maybe the others involved in the project can prod you along.

      • It’s a deadline I created but it was based on my schedule. I wanted to launch this before my busy workshop season kicked in (I usually do 4 workshops in the Fall but they asked me to do two more) and now I can see that’s not going to happen. I’m predicting that you’ll see a few more posts from me about me losing my mind about getting everything done 🙂

      • Is it possible its not happening because you don’t have the material for it?
        Glad you have the extra workshops.
        Maybe, it’s an omen to put this element off or slow it down.

      • I’m pretty much done with the research and I just have to tie it all in together. And start writing it.

        Yeah the extra classes are great but that adds to my workload as I now have to create the presentations to these workshops. It’s certainly a sign … I just wish it was a sign that would help me start writing.

      • Yeah, I see that point but the workbook will take awhile to generate serious income (by then I’ll be on to the next product). I’m more concerned with my time and what I’ll be able to get done.

    • I KNOW! And it’s frustrating because it’s not just the personal blog here but stuff for work. I’m meeting with a friend on Friday to see if we can talk through this and come up with some ideas.

    • I sat down to write and all I could think about was that I couldn’t figure out what to write. And bam .. a blog post was born.
      Hope you enjoyed your time off last week and got a lot done around the house.

  3. it’ll happen. just step away and do stuff and stop thinking about it. it is the worst, though. sometimes, you need a break. you’ll find inspiration again. sometimes when you’re trying too hard and looking too hard, it becomes hard.

    • I’ve been working on the research part and have started the roughest of rough drafts with just notes, links and parts of articles that I like. I’m no where even near editing stage.

      I’m also working on the website pages and that’s been a help to give me some ideas. I know it’ll come, except I have a feeling it’ll come at the same time my busy time at work hits.

  4. I think this talk with your friend will help – just like talking something out helps me learn or remember it better, it can also help you think of new ideas or see things from a different perspective that might lead to new writing material!

    • My friend is struggling with writer’s block for her work project too — that’s why we’re getting together this week! I agree with what you said, sometimes you need to talk about things out loud to work it out.

  5. Oh, I hate that. I don’t have any great advice or anything else. It just sucks. In roller derby, when people are feeling pre-game jitters, I find a good slap in the face is helpful. I give them out, and sometimes I take them. I don’t know that it will help in this scenario, since writers block and fear are distinct, but you could always try it.

  6. I’m not that as experienced as a writer as most people, but I’ve found that the more I write about “writers block”, the more I’m able to get out of it. At least you’re writing about something and who knows, you might come up with something intriguing while writing about writers block. I would love to read an entry about the types of people you saw at this lunch place, or an entry about how communication is dwindling because we all look at our phones when we’re out with friends. You’ve got ideas right in front of you, it’s just a matter of running away with them!

    • It’s funny how that works. I told myself I was going to write and all I could think about was this writers block so I found myself writing about that. Funny, you mentioned the people at the lunch place. I’m a habitual people watcher so I’m always watching how people interact. I’ve written about how people use their phones all the time for my business blog. In one post, I wrote about a bunch of 20-something girls who were on their phones the whole time. I wrote about how they probably FB messaging each other ‘how’s your salad?’ and ‘are you going to eat those fries?’

      And nice to meet you – my son’s name is Jake so it’s always cool for me to meet another Jake 🙂

  7. I was MIA pretty much mid-June through mid-July because of many factors, some external, some internal. And then, this week Ka-Bam! I’ve plowed through almost all of the yw 31dbbb exercises in three days. I needed a mental break from the sort of self-analysis that comes with personal blogging and, by taking it, I am refreshed and ready to go again.

    I’ve also noticed that when I do something with a whole bunch of physical exertion, my brain starts writing to keep out of the way of my exercising body. So I mentally blog when I’m exercising or scraping paint or something totally unrelated to actual words as humanly possible.

    • I’ve done a crappy job of 31dbbb. I’m keeping all the links so I can go back to it when I get a better handle on things.

      How funny — I mentally blog too when I’m doing something. I’ve written the best blog posts when I walk my dog. Don’t you wish someone could write this stuff down when we’re having these great thoughts in our heads?

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