I broke the rules.
When I consult clients on blogging for business, one of the first ‘rules’ is to post on a regular basis. I also suggest that if they are going to experience a particularly busy time or if they are going on vacation to write posts in advance and schedule them to publish during that time. Clearly I failed to follow my own advice.
It’s not that I don’t believe strongly in those things, and over the past four years I’ve followed them. So what happened this time?
Writer’s block? Burnout? A creative hiccup?
All of the above.
Except I didn’t want to admit it.
You see, writing has always been a passion of mine. In fact, I’ve had a love affair with writing since 4th grade when I penned my own version of a Nancy Drew mystery. Over the years when everything else in my life was out of balance, stressful or just plain horrible, I could always turn to writing as my therapy.I never pictured a point where I’d ever find myself struggling to write. My writing may not be worthy of a best-selling novel, but it made me happy. Especially when the words I shared on my blogs helped or resonated with others.
Until March of this year.
Maybe I spread myself too thin, writing here, at Girly Girl Geek, Blog for Profit, Home Office Warrior, My Boomer Community and assorted guest posts. But I loved writing for each and every one, enjoying the fact that they all allowed me to write from a slightly different perspective.
But starting in March I found myself procrastinating on my blog posts. Even though I had ideas galore, putting those ideas into a written blog post was almost painful. What used to take me a matter of an hour or two was now taking me days to complete. Granted, I was in the enviable position of having my business grow as well as being involved in Start Blogging Today, but I’d been busy before and never lost sight of my muse.
By the end of June it was painfully obvious that I was experiencing some sort of block, burn out or both. And for someone who’s bread and butter (not to mention marketing) is all tied into blogging, it left me feeling almost ashamed.
I kept telling myself that I’d ‘catch up’ while on my two week vacation to Maine. I pictured myself sitting on the beach with my netbook, typing up dozens of posts, maybe even work on another e-book. But three days into my vacation my netbook mocked me , making it clear that it wasn’t just my busy business that was keeping my muse away.
So rather than try to force the words to flow from my fingers, I decided that maybe it just made more sense to actually take a vacation from writing. My Kindle replaced my netbook on the beach and I read rather than wrote. I didn’t even read business books. Nope, pure fiction and nothing from the NY Times Bestsellers list either. Mindless, fun fiction.
At the end of the first book I was thankful for Whispernet and the fact that I could get the next book in the series immediately. Ahh, had I only had that when I was a teenager as I read the Chronicles of the Deryni.
And that’s when it happened. I connected the dots and came up with the solution to my problem. I’d forgotten the reason I’d always been drawn to write.
Because I loved to read.
But starting and running my business made me feel like everything I read had to somehow contribute to my business goals. I hadn’t picked up a fiction book in over a year until that day on the beach.
That’s not to say relaxing on the beach and losing myself in a book has solved all of my writing problems. But it’s getting better every day. I’m once again jotting down post ideas several times a day.
So what does this all mean to you? That it’s ok to break the ‘blogging rules’ sometimes.
In fact, sometimes it’s just what you need.