Overcoming blog writers block: top tips from other bloggers

I’m in the process of updating some training on blog writing and so asked my Twitter followers for their top tips and how they approach writing a post.

Here’s what they came up with:

  • Think about using The Pomodoro Technique® (structured time keeping for activities) here’s an example post using it. – @abigailH
  • ‘Think about where else it might get re-produced write with a specific audience in mind.’ – @AdamVincenzini
  • ‘Use a local/offline editor — on the Mac, MarsEdit is king.’ – @nevali
  • ‘If I can nail the title, the rest of the post just writes itself. The title describes “what?” and the post fulfils “so what?”‘ – @helenduffett
  • ‘Don’t be afraid to amend or add to a blog post after it has been published as a story evolves or new facts emerge .’ – @jonworth
  • ‘Do it somewhere different from other work. I often write posts with my laptop on the kitchen counter (with coffee).’ – @stray_and_ruby
  • ‘Really, really keep most posts under 300 words. Always look at the word count, so you know how much you write.’ – @gregorymarler
  • ‘People love reading about themselves, so write about people.My concert reviews of visiting USchoirs are widely read.’ – @timothywriting
  • ‘Find your voice.’ – @dickyadams

And mine?

I try to think about what might be useful or entertaining to others and I occasionally use this blog to think aloud. Presuming that you’ve already decided roughly on a topic or have an idea these tips might also help:

  • Write your post as an email to yourself
  • Explain your idea for a post to someone else, thinking about the main thing you’re trying to say, then write it down
  • Don’t worry about writing from the top, start in the middle and then fill in as you go
  • Think about how you would explain something to someone else
  • Just go for it, then edit
  • Have a person in mind that you’re writing to

UPDATE 20.45, 16/06/2011
I think I’ve been caught out…
Nicholas Toller Tweets
Nicholas Toller second Tweet

Prioritising email

I’ve recently been trying to clean up my inbox and make it more efficient and less full of interesting but none-the-less not high priority newsletters. This has meant a process of unsubscribing and analysing what’s really useful. So today I read with joy via Jemima Kiss over on the Guadian’s PDA blog a new development from Google: Gmail Priority Inbox.

“‘Priority inbox’ learns from your email usage patterns and begins to prioritise messages that it thinks you’ll be most likely to read. Your inbox is divided into three sections: important and unread, starred and everything else.”

Here’s the explanatory video:

It’s not reached my inbox yet, but I will be testing it out as soon as it does.