Are You in a Blogging Rut?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 Stef dela Cruz, MD 0 Comments

If you keep procrastinating, telling yourself you can blog tomorrow but you never get to doing it despite the fact that you’re not busy, it’s time to admit it: Yes. You are in a blogging rut.

blogging rut

A blogging rut is something you don’t want to be in if blogging and writing are your bread and butter. If you ask me, I’ve written – what, three, five? – blog posts and articles in the past 30 days.

I’ve been battling all sorts of symptoms, from abdominal pain to migraine auras, and all these are keeping me from work. Don’t get me wrong; I love writing and blogging. I wake up everyday, excited to check my email, looking forward to writing a short blog post before I start writing articles for the publications I contribute to.

I feel very lucky (and very, very grateful) that fate conspired to make me listen to the one calling that will give me happiness and fulfillment. So, why just five articles in almost a month?

You’re probably in a rut when you keep taking selfies… in the kitchen.

Could it be that I’m in a rut? Maybe. And if you are, don’t stop reading just yet.

Why Bloggers Find Themselves in a Rut

I don’t think there’s a textbook that deals specifically with how to handle a blogging rut. Although it does borrow the same characteristics as just about any other type of rut, a blogging rut is unique because of the following reasons.

  • Bloggers are more prone to being in a rut because they live a mostly sedentary lifestyle. If you blog day in and out, you spend way too much time in front of your computer. And don’t assume that going to events is enough of an “exercise”. No, it’s not.
  • When you blog, you have access to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As much as we all enjoy the bits of gossip we get from our social networks, spending more than a few minutes on Facebook or Instagram does take its toll. I don’t care how happy or optimistic you are; Facebook still has the potential of bumming you out, as discussed in Huffington Post.
  • The blogosphere can be mean and unforgiving. In an era where your mistakes can be immortalized online, you will be judged – and you might not like the verdict. Every single step you make as a blogger is visible to everyone, especially if you’re the type to share openly with your readers and followers. Tell me that’s not stressful and I’ll tell you you’re lying.
  • Bloggers who don’t mix it up will soon get bored. Any person who has to keep doing something over and over will soon find himself bored silly. Routines make us feel secure – but relying too much on routines make our days dull and our nights miserable.
  • People who blog a lot are more prone to health risks. This is the reason I haven’t been blogging often enough lately. Bloggers, unfortunately, are especially prone to diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle, as I mentioned in this write-up.

If you find yourself in a blogging rut, you’re not alone. Even your friends suffer from the occasional I-don’t-feel-like-blogging mood swing. But there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t stay in that rut too long!

In a Blogging Rut: 5 Tips on How to Get “Unstuck”

If you’re in a blogging rut, it’s time to take things up a notch. Whenever you’re in a rut, change is good. Here are five of my personal suggestions on how to get out of a blogging rut. I treid to make them very specific and doable. That way, you have no excuse not to do them!

Blogging Rut Tip #1:
Find an exercise buddy.

Don’t say you can’t; of the many Facebook friends you have, there’s at least one who loves to jog or go to the gym. Don’t make it easy for you to say, “I can always do it tomorrow – no harm, no foul.”

Did someone say… exercise?!?

Find someone who has actually found her exercise groove – and latch on to her like a leech! Ask her to come fetch you when she works out. Tell her to charge you money if you don’t come with her, whatever the reason. Let’s see if you still find yourself inventing an alibi not to work out!

Blogging Rut Tip #2:
Blog outdoors.

Let me guess: You’ve taken a photo of your “work station” and are quite proud that you use multiple screens and computers, yes? If you have a cozy nook at home where you blog, it might be getting old.

blogging group
You can even teach others how to blog – that should keep the ball rolling!

Bring your trusty laptop with you and head over to a coffee place you’ve never been to before. I don’t care if you have to pay for WiFi. It’s worth it if it gets you out of that rut!

Blogging Rut Tip #3:
Use another laptop.

Your old one is making you feel complacent. Find a laptop that doesn’t have the same photo editing program you use. Borrow your loved one’s laptop – yes, that one without a Windows Live Writer installed – and you will find yourself frustrated enough to actually start writing and blogging again!

death stare
Just make sure you borrow from someone who’s willing to lend – unlike my brother here.

If there’s only one laptop where you live, that’s even better. It means you have to head out to borrow a laptop elsewhere – the fresh air will do you a world of good.

Blogging Rut Tip #4:
Follow a really good blogger.

I’m talking about a blogger you actually envy. It can be someone who keeps getting new sponsors effortlessly. It may be a blogger who keeps getting awards. I don’t care if you hate that blogger. Follow him on your social networks and every good news you read on his timeline will fuel your fire!

If you can’t think of any blogger you envy, feel free to follow me. Hihi!

Remember: Jealousy is not necessarily wrong. It is what you do with your jealousy that may be wrong (or right, in this case). Turn something that feels negative into something positive!

Blogging Rut Tip #5:
Admit that right now, you’re not in good shape as a blogger.

If you don’t acknowledge that you need help, you might never get it. Say it to yourself: I’m in a rut.

blogger in a rut
Admit it: You’re overworked and underpaid! There, don’t you feel better?

Then, follow up with, “But I know better than to stay in it!” You have no idea how empowering the truth can be!

Bloggers in a Rut, Unite!

Yes, you’re in a blogging rut. But there is so much you can do to get yourself out of it! I hope my five tips on how to get out of a rut do help you in one way or another.

If you’re frequently on Twitter, do give me a shout-out. I’m looking forward to following more people who will make my Twitter feed more interesting. Connecting with fellow bloggers, after all, keeps us from being in a blogging rut!

Tag me (@stefdelacruzmd) and don’t hesitate to tell me a thing or two about yourself!

And if you have friends who seem to be blogging less than usual, they might be in a blogging rut, too! Do them a little favor; share this with them. Hopefully, it gives them the nudge they need. And if you have any other tips on how to get “unstuck”, do leave notes here via a comment or two. I will definitely appreciate it!

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!