If you're struggling to write a review:
Have you been staring at a blank screen for what seems like hours, trying and failing to sum up the most amazing book? I often get that, and it's irritating. All you want to do is tell people how brilliant and enthralling this book is, but the words won't come. Or, if they do, you know for a fact that they're not doing it justice. When this happens, I persevere, but if the review still isn't getting written, I go with one of two options...
- In bullet points, list what you thought about the book. It can be rough, terrible, riddled with spelling mistakes and completely unpublishable. That's fine. You're not going to publish it like this. Sometimes I find that it helps to list your thoughts and then use them as a foundation. Craft some sentences around them. Then, before you know it, you'll have a whole blog post. It's a lot easier than diving right in at the deep end.
- If that doesn't work, it's helpful to change the format of the blog post. You don't have to have the book cover in the corner, with other information to the side. You don't have to put the synopsis in a neat little box, with your review underneath in paragraphs. No. Scrap that. Your wordless brain is telling you it's time for a change. How about '10 Reasons You Need to Read ____?' or reviewing the book in GIFs instead of words? You could draw your review or make an infographic. These are brilliant because the whole point of them is to be concise, so there's no stressing over a word count. Boom.
If you're struggling with ideas and motivation:
Have you not even got to the stage of actually trying to write a blog post? Are you still at the stage of no motivation to even think of an idea? This time, there are three options:
- Ask people. It's that simple. Friends, family, readers of your blog, followers on Twitter. Ask them what they want you to blog about. They might suggest something you'd never have considered. Alternatively, read your favourite blogs and see what people are talking about. Is anything in particular 'trending' in the community? Anything you can write a response to? Anything you can discuss? You might not even publish this blog post in the end, but it'll get the words flowing.
- If your blog doesn't have a niche, consider having one. Being a niche blogger doesn't mean you have to blog about one topic all the time. It just means that it makes up the majority of your content. I'm a book blogger, but I don't stick to books. I post about my life, mental health, college, blogging, what I've been up to and what I'm enthused about. The great thing about a niche is that it gives you a focus. I could have no ideas for blog posts, but it's okay, because all I have to do to get one written is to read a book. And then I'll have a review to write. It's the same with beauty blogs. No ideas? Get yourself a product and write about it. (Hey, it's a good excuse to go shopping.)
- If none of that works, try doing a tag. You can either make one yourself or answer one that is already making the rounds in the blogosphere. I find that just having a blog post like this written gives you the motivation to carry on and write another. As they say, the first step is often the hardest.
Hopefully these are useful! What are your top tips for when words literally fail you?