[AoB] Who Else is Struggling to Come Up With Ideas for Blog Posts?

Writer’s block.

The most dreaded words in all existence by creatives.

Also known as creative bankruptcy, writer’s block is all about a single four-letter word. One that we rarely even want to mention.

It’s an “F word” that is frowned upon by people from all areas of life. And this word is keeping you from writing, editing, formatting, and publishing your next blog post.

Solitude and Creative Expression

“Solitude or working alone can help a creative person develop and refine their work, but it is certainly not the only way to nourish creative projects,” so states Douglas Eby in his new book. Well, to each his own. Some creatives prefer isolation while others seem to strive amidst a collective. Both environs serve a purpose. It depends, I think, on how you’re wired.

Many artists acknowledge the value of academies such as Juilliard, and less formal artist retreats and workshops, like Idyllwild. Others give credit to formal education at a university’s marketing and communications school or a structured curriculum at, say, the International Center for Studies in Creativity.

Eby points out that much of the writing and advice on creative expression and enhancing creativity focuses on the inner journey of the individual. Furthermore, creating happens in a social context, and often depends on inspiration and support from others, on finding an audience, and getting financing from publishers and producers.

Perhaps, I say, but not always…

[irevuo] The Inspiration Myth

Kurt Vonnegut would wake up at 5:30 a.m. work until 8 a.m., eat breakfast, and then work a couple more hours.

J.M. Coetzee, the 2003 Nobel Prize Laureate, supposedly spends at least one hour at his desk, every morning, without fail.

Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4 a.m. and writes for 5 or so hours. Every single day.

Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers of the past century, would work each night from 11 p.m. until early in the morning.

Maya Angelou used to write every morning from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

One of the most prevalent myths is that to do creative work, one must feel inspired. It’s not true.

We can always work, whether we feel inspired or not.

It’s all about developing a routine.

It Begins with Me

My environment as a child never lacked any of the basic needs.  We had lean times, but I slept in a bed at night. I was sheltered from weather.  At 14, I ran away and learned a little about what it means to be homeless — but only a little.  I was more uncomfortable than I had ever been in my life, but help was everywhere.  After a week, I returned home.

Twenty or so years later, I learned about homelessness again…

[AoB] 90 Super Easy Tips That Will Turn Even a Novice Blogger into an Expert

It’s not pleasant being the new guy. There’s always a bit of discomfort, a bit of friction when starting something new.

And the truth is that, most times, the advice that is out there on the web is kind of confusing.

Which advice do you follow?

That’s why I am going to offer you some real simple tips. Ninety of them.

Super easy. Super cool. Super useful. Especially if you’re a novice, struggling with readers, with staying consistent, with everything.

[irevuo] How to Fall in and Out of Love With Your Muse

You will want to create something of your own. You will want to do what you can, with whatever’s at your disposal at that moment. Right there, right then. If you have to write your story on a piece of napkin, so be it. If you have to sketch on your phone, fine.

When you find your muse, you will feel yourself becoming addicted to the promise of doing work you hope could last forever.

[AoB] 99 Percent of Bloggers Aren’t Aware of This Simple Rule

There’s this fascinating story about Pablo Picasso being able to produce a work of art in a few minutes.

Apparently, a woman once asked Picasso (who was either at a café or in a market) to do a drawing for her.

Picasso did what she asked, and then demanded some ridiculously high amount of money. Let’s say ten thousand dollars.

Of course, the woman protested, “But it only took you a couple of minutes to draw this.”

The old master corrected her, “It took me thirty years to learn how to draw this in a couple of minutes.”

Or so the story goes.

I’d like to use this story as a framework to discuss an often overlooked aspect of content creation.

It’s not just the skill, but also how that skill is perceived by others.

Blogging success is not just about years and years of practice, but about having an audience that’s aware of all those years of practice.

Let’s talk about the concept of social proof and how you can best use it to your advantage.

[AoB] Can You Still Make It as a Blogger in 2021?

On the 22th of April, 2012, I signed up for a WordPress.com account. The same day I wrote and published my first blog post.

I didn’t know how to write an article, what a headline was, or how to properly format a blog post. I didn’t know who my ideal reader was, I wasn’t sure of my niche or main topic, I didn’t have any social media accounts, and I didn’t have any money.

It took me a month to purchase my first domain name, and for a long time that was the only money I invested in my blog.

I didn’t know how to write an introduction, how to make my content engaging, or how to add value to my readers. In fact, I didn’t even know about many of the principles of blogging I learned along the way.

All I knew was that I needed an audience. And I just wanted to blog. And I knew that I wouldn’t give up, no matter what.

[AoB] The Zen Concept That Made Me Fall in Love With Blogging Again

Two and a half years ago I was just about ready to quit blogging.

First, because I thought there was nothing new to learn. I knew it all, I had reached the top of the mountain, and there was nowhere else to go from there.

Second, because I didn’t get much pleasure out of writing articles anymore. It was not challenging me anymore.

It was a rough time for me, considering that my income was a direct result of my ability to consistently produce new content.

I believe that…

What I wrote about me earlier…

My parent used to tell me when I was a kid – about 5 years old – that I had come to this world without clothes (naked), without teeth, and without the ability to speak …

At the beginning, I used to laugh at this …

I know myself very well… I just opened my eyes someday to find myself there: My body, my teeth, … I have my clothes… I can walk and speak …