The Dreaded Blogger’s Block (And How You Can Deal With It!)
It’s my pleasure to have been accepted as a member of the SL Blogger Support team, so I thought I would write my first post about that most hideous affliction which strikes all Second Life bloggers from time to time..I’m talking of course about the dreaded BLOGGERS BLOCK.
As a recent post over on my own blog indicated, it sucks. Big style. The Second Life blogosphere continues to grow exponentially, and each day there seems to be a new blogger coming into the fold. This is a GOOD thing, rather than something to be feared or envied, but it can become easy to feel inadequate when you’re trying to write a blog-post, or take some pictures, and it just won’t work for you but the new kid on the block seems to be having a fine ol’ time! There’s nothing more frustrating than writing the same sentence over and over again and finding that it doesn’t quite sound right, or using your favourite Windlight in a picture and it turns out looking absolutely bobbins.
The first thing to do in these situations is to walk away from Second Life for a while. Yes, I am serious!
Go and have a cup of tea, wander outdoors for a stroll, and take in some fresh air and chill. It is NOT the end of the world if sometimes your words don’t flow the way that you want them to, and I’m pretty sure no-one has ever died in real life because a scheduled Second Life blog-post wasn’t published on time, so stop beating yourself up about it! I cannot emphasise this point enough, but perspective is all. Even the most organised of people suffer from a lack of blogspiration and whisper it, but I’m sure even uber-bloggers like Strawberry Singh have become frustrated by a sudden lack of blogging prowess from time to time!
Something that I always say to peers who are suffering from epic blog stress is to bear in mind that REAL LIFE ALWAYS TAKES PRIORITY. Although for many of us Second Life can often be our whole world (and I’m as guilty of feeling like that as the next avatar!), it’s important to understand that our virtual environment has to come secondary to our real-life obligations. It’s easy to get wrapped up in Second Life drama too; add some real life pressure into the mix and something has to give.
I confess I have been lacking myself on the blogging front in the past few months, but that’s due to the real life pressure of my career, and managing health issues too. That said, I enjoy my blogging time immensely and it’s something that should be pleasurable rather than feared or considered a burden. In fact, I would say that if your blog ever feels like that, then that really is a sign that you need to take a break. It could be days, weeks or even MONTHS, but remember it’s YOUR blog, so YOU set the agenda. If you want to update once a day, or just once a week then that’s fine. Although sticking to a regular blogging schedule is very important, your readers will understand if this isn’t always possible (especially if you write a post explaining the reasons why to them!)
But what about the days when you really need to scratch that Blogging itch yet you just don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions that you may like to use to get your blogging juices flowing in the right, or should that be ‘write’, direction!
- You can’t go wrong with a good-old ‘Look Of The Day’ post, so check out some blogs for some inspiration and go shopping. If you see a particular piece featured on a lot of blogs and feeds then it’s clearly creating some buzz, so write about why you think that is, and try to feature it in a different way to your blogging peers.
- Write about an item IN-DEPTH: Don’t just write something like “Hey, check out this amazing new skirt that Pixicat have released!” Write about WHY you like the skirt. What makes it a must-have Second Life item? Write about the textures used and all the little details. Did you find any issues when attempting to fit the item to your avatar? Have you found any particularly amazing accessories to wear with it? I’ve noticed that many blogs these days barely even have a précis about the content that they feature in their accompanying post. I’ve always taken the time to write (one of the reasons why my blog posts aren’t as frequent as some..oopsy!) but I’ve found this is the right approach for me, and it always gets a good designer response. There is a difference between wearing Second Life clothing and really appreciating it and it’s been my experience that designers are always grateful when their work is properly acknowledged.
- There are always so many events in-world at any one time that you’re never short of inspiration for somewhere new to shop. Instead of listing who is participating at an event though, try writing about the layout of the event itself. Is it beautifully constructed, making it a pleasure to visit? Or is the layout confusing? Are you finding it takes a long time to rez , or has it been the ultimate shopping experience that you have ever had in-world? Write about why people should, or shouldn’t go to this event, or how it could be improved for the next round.
- Thoughts and Feelings: How does Second Life make you feel? What is the number one issue that you’re experiencing in-world right now? What’s causing the biggest buzz? What is the one thing you would change about Second Life if you could, or the one thing that keeps you coming back for more? Check out the forums, such as SLU, and social media outlets like Plurk for ideas.
- Destinations Guide: Many of us don’t give this guide the time of day, which is a shame because it can actually be an incredibly useful resource. It can be so easy to get stuck in a rut, visiting the same old places in-world. (It’s funny how our avatars tend to follow the same patterns of behaviour in Second Life, as they do in real life- there’s an idea for an article!) Pick somewhere at random and visit. Use it to test out some Windlight settings for your photos, or see what kinds of people you encounter there. The possibilities really are endless, once you get into the right frame of mind to discover them!
These ideas are of course the ‘tip’ of the iceberg because there really is inspiration everywhere you look in our metaverse. Spy a cracking avatar? Take a picture and feature that person on your blog along with a brief interview. Have a favourite designer? Ask if you can feature them on your blog. Why not even ask fellow bloggers what makes them tick too? Sharing is caring after all, and there are some great lessons to be learned from your fellow Second Life bloggers, you only have to ask.
Last but not least, look to the internet for inspiration. There’s a lot to be gained from reviewing blogs dedicated to the art of blogging, and something I’ve recently found to be incredibly useful are the vast array of Pinterest boards that offer hints and tips. My latest discovery are printable Blogging planners that offer ample space for you to write and record ideas for future posts, what a neat trick huh?
I hope these ideas have got your juices flowing and help you to beat the dreaded Blogger’s Block. In fact I must confess I’ve found writing this post to be really therapeutic and now I cannot wait to TP in-world and fins something cool to write about!
If you’ve found this article helpful please let us know in the comments below, and why not share your hints and tips with your fellow blogging buddies here at SL Blogger Support, we’d love to hear from you!