Blogstipated!

Blogstipated (\ˈblȯg-stə-ˌpā-təd\): The state of being unable to start or complete a blog post despite desire to do so; often accompanied by intense frustration and/or despair; common remedies include writing a meta post about the experience of blogstipation or a post completely unrelated to the regular theme of the blog.

Yep, I’ve been blogstipated.

And I’ve definitely been experiencing the accompanying frustration. Because I feel like there is a post waiting to be written, but I can’t see it yet.

At the encouragement of my writer friend, Kyeli, I’m trying to remedy the situation with a bit of a meta post. Well, I guess it’s also partly an “unrelated” post, because I’m sharing this little pun I threw out on Twitter today, which led to Kyeli’s encouragement.

In search of blog fiber…

I know I’m not the only one who’s blogstipated. So I started wondering about finding bloglaxatives…or blaxatives.

The meta post is a good one to try.

But sometimes just knowing it’s a post can be too much pressure. So if the thought of a meta post or a silly, off-topic post is too much, what about a journaling exercise? One that you never have to show anybody. One that you could burn afterward, if that helps you feel less pressured. Just something to get your pen (or fingers) moving.

So I came up with a few questions. These are the ones I’d ask if someone came to me with a case of blogstipation. Just to see what happens.

I’ve included my own answers.

What would you write about if you didn’t care what people would think or you weren’t trying to make it fit with the rest of your blog? Or weren’t trying to follow any blogging rules?

Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll sound too pushy. Or even too cheery (or – blech – coachy). But if I really weren’t worried about it, I’d probably write…

…a really encouraging post letting people know I believe in them.
…a ranty post that people don’t have to keep doing work that makes them miserable.
…more about the ways I can help people.
…stuff that has no real point, but would allow me to connect with people more.
…more often, because I wasn’t so damn worried about the point.

Describe how your blogstipation feels. Do you feel it emotionally? Physically?

Mostly I feel it emotionally. It’s Urgency again, but instead of “hurry up or you’ll go broke,” it’s “hurry up and write something or all your readers will forget you and find another blog to read.” So it feels anxious. Which means the physical stuff feels like adrenaline.

But it also feels like something is trying to come out (my inner 8-year old is giggling, while my inner fussbudget is apologizing profusely for the unfortunate imagery).

Like there’s a blog post right there, but it’s too foggy for me to grab on to it.

What will happen if you don’t write a post today?

It will just keep getting harder and harder to write one. But it’s tied to all the other stuff that’s been going on – the insomnia and fatigue – so it’s a symbol of all the work I want to do but can’t seem to get done.

At the same time, I can see that, in reality, nothing will happen if I don’t write a post today. Today, tomorrow, next week…it won’t make a huge difference in the end.

What does your blogstipation want you to know?

It’s okay. Things are shifting. Be patient. Your body needs you to take care of it. The blog will be here.

What do you wish God (or someone) would say to you – about your blogstipation or anything else?

That the desires I have to help lots of people in deep, meaningful, radical ways will happen. That I won’t die before I figure out how to do what I want to do. That the world won’t end before it happens. That it’s happening already, even if it doesn’t always look or feel like it.

How about you?

Want to play along by answering these questions? You can answer in the comments, or on your own blog (be sure to comment with a link to your post so we can find it). Or, if you answered privately, which questions were the most enlightening? What question did you wish I had asked?

Also, if you have a favorite blaxative, please share, so we can all add them to our medicine chests.

As always, no advices, please! Blogging is challenging enough without throwing shoulds around.

12 thoughts on “Blogstipated!

  1. Patty K

    Yay you for posting!

    I *love* this question: “What would you write about if you didn’t care what people would think or you weren’t trying to make it fit with the rest of your blog? Or weren’t trying to follow any blogging rules?”

    I think that’s at the heart of it for me. What I really *want* to write about vs. what I think I *should* write about. Which was never a problem before I built up a certain amount of traffic. Now I worry about losing some of my 37 subscribers.

    What works best for me?
    ~ Writing about what’s “alive” for me in the moment
    ~ Forgetting about the aforementioned rules

    These tend to be the posts that I write the fastest and with the most ease. They’re also usually the scariest to click the “publish” button on….and they get the best reader response.

    And for some reason, I always forget that.
    .-= Patty K´s last blog ..I want to change the world You =-.

  2. Mike Reeves-McMillan

    I’m not blogstipated as such. The posts are just – squishy and not well-formed.

    (Sorry.)

    I’m doing epic guest-posting at the moment, and I just learned an important lesson: Outline before you pitch. Otherwise you can promise a post on X, and then when you try to write about X it keeps turning into posts on Y and Z, which you wouldn’t know without having started to write. And the blog I’m writing for isn’t really about Y or Z. But I already said I’d do a post on X, and the blog owner was so enthusiastic about it that I feel I have to.

    If I didn’t care what people thought and wasn’t trying to make it fit my topic, I’d rant about supplements (which I think are almost always a huge waste of money, and sometimes actually dangerous). I probably will do this someday regardless.

    Favourite blaxative: Eat a lot of blog fruit and veg. (That is, read blogs with high nutritional value.)
    .-= Mike Reeves-McMillan´s last blog ..Help Me Find Personal Development Caviar =-.

  3. David

    What if I have the opposite problem? As in bloggorhea?

    I have a bunch of drafts of posts ready to publish. I wonder what happens if people get sick of hearing from me (my feed goes out to my email subscribers). Are they already sick of hearing from me? The mind reels.

    Every now and then I do get blogstipated. My favorite blaxative is social media because I can always find ideas of stuff to write about. But I do have to be careful about dosage or I will get.. well. We’re right back at the beginning now, aren’t we?

    1. Shannon

      This is more where I’m at too, but I shifted so rapidly from not posting and not having many ideas to having 15 drafts working… I think I made myself nauseated.

      Thankfully that’s passing. I tend to swing between the two., so my challenge this year has been to get more… regular.

      (sorry.)

      The best remedy for me has been getting conscious about not worrying too much about it. When I sort out other areas of my life, the more frequent posting comes back naturally.
      .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Age Before Beauty! =-.

  4. Kyeli

    Yay for writing! And writing! Writing and writing!

    (Also, it thrills me no end to be your “writer friend”. xoxo!)

    I love these questions. I’m going to write on my answers to them, myself. Thank you! You helped me here, too.
    .-= Kyeli´s last blog ..Engaging eCourses =-.

  5. David Cohen

    I was just visiting the land of blogstipation the other night. I wish I had stumbled on this post post first!

    My solution was just to start and see if my fingers could figure something out if I just let them bang on the keys for a while (sort of an infinite number of monkeys approach). Oddly, the doodle that went with it came much easier. :)

    I’m going to have to hang onto these questions as idea-kindling.
    .-= David Cohen´s last blog ..The wrong post – I made myself write =-.

  6. Michelle Russell

    LOL, Victoria–and here I thought I waas the only one who thinks of the inability to write in this metaphorical way. Because yeah, that’s what writer’s, erm, *block* feels like to me, and I’ve always equated the feeling of finally getting a piece of writing finished and OUT with…*ahem. * Well, there you have it. Anyway, good to see I’m ion good company.

    And…blaxatives!!! :o)

    Probably my most effective blaxative is to start writing as if it’s an email to a friend, or a post on a private online community I belong to. (Some people suggest actually opening up a blank email and typing straight into it, then mailing it to yourself, but the busyness of the screen distracts me.)

    Lately I’ve done the really conterintuitive thing of just sitting down and forcing myself to write post after post after post. After a week I had eight of them, and I felt (again, forgive the analogy but you did start it) . . . looser. Normally I’ve been deliberately trying not to force myself (it was my modus operandi for far too long), but sometimes you just get the intuitive hit that it’s time to stretch a bit, you know? Anyway, it worked for me *this* time. But I also know I’m prone to blogstipation…

  7. Victoria Post author

    First of all, let me just say that I am happier than I probably should be that you all are joining me in the constipation jokes. As I was writing this post, toward the end it seemed like every sentence was some sort of poo-related euphemism, and I wound up censoring myself. Ha!

    @Patty – I’ve experienced the same thing – the posts that are easiest to write are the scariest to publish AND get the best response. I really need to work on the “forgetting the rules” part.

    @Mike – Ooh…interesting that your blaxative of choice is reading other good blogs. Lately I’ve had such low capacity that reading other blogs has fallen to the bottom of the pile…maybe I need to make a point of changing that.

    @Mr. Pants & Shannon – I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a twinge of blogorrhea-envy. On the other hand, I worry about the “bothering people” thing at times, so I get where you’re coming from. Would guest posting be a good way for you to channel your blogorrhea? You know, so you can share your writing with a different audience?

    @Kyeli – I think you just hit on my favorite blaxative – finding ways to help other people by working through my own stuff. I like to figure out how to move from the stuck phase to the helpful phase more quickly, though. :)

    @Cindy – Haha! Thank you, m’dear!

    @David C – Infinite number of monkeys approach! I love it.

    @Michelle – Wow. Eight posts? Holy crap! (Sorry…) I’ll have to try the email-to-a-friend approach. I think my reaction to that approach (hello, resistance) shows I’ve got some rules I’m trying to follow. “How can an email to a friend possibly have anything to do with a blog post?!?” Yay for more blaxatives in the medicine chest!

  8. Shannon

    You’re right, I should look more seriously at writing some guest posts… I think the idea of it gives me a massive inferiority complex for some reason. Which means I should really look into it :D
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Age Before Beauty! =-.

  9. Pam

    Oh Gods I know that feeling…
    For me, its the feeling of really really wanting to connect with people, feeling i have something to say, but knowing (or feeling) that no one cares. I don’t have a point, I’m not in the blogging thing to earn a living, I’m in it to find other people who might read and say “hey, she’s cool, she’s like me”… i just need human connection. I get blogstipated when I think that no one cares, when I worry that I’m just stupid and annoying and everything I say is pointless…
    Being encouraged, being NOTICED is the best blaxitive…
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..One Less Item Everyday- Resistance… what is it good for =-.

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