3 Simple Secrets to Reducing Your Blogging Stress

By Daniel Scocco

This is a guest post by Karl Staib.

Thoughts, creativity, and writing should flow freely and without tension. As I was writing an article a few months ago I noticed the strain in my stomach, neck, and jaw. I was straining to get the thoughts out. As if tensing my muscles would actually help me focus or even create something helpful to my readers.

My writing was strained because I was uptight through the process. The tension was creating pain and I knew that I needed to fix the way I wrote my blogs. I ignored it in the past because I thought it was normal, sprinting through my thoughts until I began to stumble, hoping that after the first push of energy was over I would have something concrete to work with. And even when I ended up with a minor headache it was okay because I accomplished the work I set out to do. This cycle couldn’t continue and I needed a system.

1. Outline, Outline, Outline

Writing was usually a chase for me. I would chase after the perfect sentences. A lot of times I would only have a flicker of a thought and begin writing — no planning, just bulldozing ahead, hoping it would all come out into something readable. Now I write a small outline to make sure I know where I’m going with the topic. The outline has reduced my tension because I can see the larger picture. When I get stuck, I check my outline and find myself getting back on track with minimal stress.

You may be a seasoned blogger that laughs at the idea of writing an outline, but if you are good at writing articles it’s because you lay out everything in your head. You may not physically write out an outline, but you probably do in your head. That’s what is important. You have a starting point, an argument that brings people to your side, and a conclusion that ties a neat bow on everything, leaving your audience wanting just a little more.

2. Watch How Your Body Reacts When Frustrated

The first thing I did when I couldn’t figure out how to flush out an idea was tense my stomach. I was building an internal wall instead of a bridge to my next thought. I would get upset because the process wasn’t smooth and I would tense my muscles in my neck and jaw, which caused tension headaches. When I would strain my stomach, my first reaction was to strain my neck and press my fingers on to my eyes. I’ve watched countless co-workers do this because they had stopped relaxing as they were working. My body was telling me I wasn’t acting with intelligence.

As one or any of these indications ping your consciousness you should instantly slow down and breathe into your stomach. Deep breathing usually helps me let go of my frustration. If that doesn’t work I take a break and come back to the article after I have cleared my head. This usually allows me to take a fresh perspective that helps me communicate my message with more clarity.

Your body reacts differently than your favorite bloggers or your friends. If these ideas don’t work for you then try a technique that may work for you. Maybe push-ups or a glass of herbal tea, but regardless of what techniques you use, you need to release your frustration quickly, so you can get back to writing that great post that your readers will love. A blogger that works happy can be felt by the reader.

3. Redirecting Your Thoughts

Sometimes we can let go of frustration, but we still can’t write. We try to push out ideas that just aren’t there. This tension needs to be replaced with a smarter habit. So I use the boomerang effect. When I hit a wall and the flow of thoughts are heading away from my goal of a cohesive piece I redirect my thoughts back to my subject. You can do this by asking yourself the simple question, “Where do I really want this to go?” If you are becoming confused and don’t know what you want to say then go back to your outline and your first paragraph and get a grasp or your original intent. Delete all the stuff that doesn’t fit in with your initial idea. Don’t try to make it fit, just delete it and get back to the core topic. By redirecting your thoughts toward your original idea you’ll create a more coherent piece of work.

Many times you’ll begin writing with just an idea and your keyboard, and hope for the best. If you do this your message is probably going to come out fractured. Always have a plan, and if you get frustrated just let the feelings go and come back to the reason you began the piece. Never be afraid to just scrap what you have and rewrite your game plan because you’ll end up with a better message than if you try to salvage a wreck of a blog.

This three step process will work with any writing project, so if you are writing a history paper or a magazine article then give it a try. You’ll notice that writing is much more enjoyable when you stop letting tension dictate how you operate during your creative process.

What is your favorite stress relief when you get frustrated?

Karl Staib writes about unlocking and kicking open the door to working happy at his own blog: Work Happy Now! If you enjoyed this article, you can also subscribe to his RSS feed.



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38 Responses to “3 Simple Secrets to Reducing Your Blogging Stress”

  • Annette @ Social Media Tips

    It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by the stress caused from attempting to blog. I recently experienced writer’s block due to the pressure of feeling like I have to write a blog post at least three or four times a week. I haven’t tried mind mapping but it sounds like a good way to get started again.

  • Alex Newell

    Preparation is one key to writing although I do not do Outlining because it seems too prescriptive and rigid.

    I like using mind maps.

    Mostly I like to relax to allow the thoughts, words, feelings out. If I can allow it and simplify it I get a good piece. If I am impatient and force the pace, well it becomes rigid and does not flow.

  • Cinefresh

    Well written… easy to understand and easy to follow.. will give a try on your suggestions… thanks 4 sharing..

  • Conrad

    I liked this!

    Going to make sure to implement this. Otherwise the bad feeling that gets generated just gets worse and worse and eventually I don’t write anything.

    Thanks!

  • pureelite

    Thats great and some very good tips. Most of them i had already been putting into practice. They do work too, you shouldnt need to get stressed over a blog. Its not worth it.

  • Webdesigncompany

    Nice Article, Thank you.

  • kevin milton

    Hi
    I got away from writing for a long time when life and adulthood got in the way.Now that I am back into writing, it’s like starting over especially your information is very useful.Thank you.

  • Alex Griffin

    Thank you for these tips. They really help a lot. Keeping notes of ideas and outline them before writing is really a stress relief.

  • Maikeru76

    Thanks for the tips…I might replace a few of my subscribed blogs to have this as THE primary RSS feed about blogging…

    This is a great help for me as a “word mercenary” c”,

    Thanks!

  • Susan

    Great article! I think as a blogger, one of the things that stresses me is not being able to come up with topics or ideas to write about when I actually sit down to write. I wrote a post to address this issue.

  • Deb

    Pencil with eraser and a clean sheet of paper, glass of tea and 2 am. That has been my inspiration and love of writing since my teens whether it was a journal or a term paper or some story I got in my head. I got away from writing for a long time when life and adulthood got in the way.
    Now that I am back into writing, it’s like starting over especially trying to convert to typing and sitting upright. That combined with finding time during the day that has that same illuminating quality as night has been a struggle. My posts tend to get hurried and lazy and I don’t send the best message I could.
    I thank you for these tips.

  • wande

    Great tips

  • SEO India

    Hi, its great article. Great 3 tips to relax and enjoy blogging…

  • tkada.com

    The stress management is most enough to control a persons tension. Three steps has been find interesting thanks for sharing info…

  • digitalBSE

    Nice article!
    A nice and long shower usually does the trick for me 🙂
    The problem is that it’s hard to write down all the nice ideas I have during the shower… 😉

  • John from WeHaveContact

    Nice article, I’m definitely guilty of #1. I prefer to write from the hip, so to speak, as I find that the thoughts are genuine and don’t seem manufactures.

    However, the downside is just what you described: there can be a lack of continuity and added stress when attempting to make it all fit together.

    I outline now, but it’s extremely skeletal – just enough to keep me on track and let the ideas flow! 🙂

  • Toxane

    Thank you for these tips. They really help a lot. Keeping notes of ideas and outline them before writing is really a stress relief.

  • Karla

    Hi, Karl, very helpful post!

    I used to think one doesn’t need an outline when one blogs, but am finding these days that it helps me focus my writing. The worst times are when I sit in front of my laptop and will the words to come because they refuse to–stubborn they are. I find, though, that the leads and ideas come to me when I am doing something repetitive and mechanical–like washing the dishes, walking, or in the office cleaning up my email marketing list. It helps a lot that I have a journal and a pen within arm’s reach. It gets me excited to run home and type it out. 🙂

  • Linda F

    One thing I do when “stuck” is to save what I’ve done to a draft, and make a note to go back to it later.

    Often, I’ve found that I didn’t like the direction the post was going, and, many times, ended up deleting it. Which, given the clues my unconscious mind was sending my way, was a GOOD thing.

  • Miguel Cangueiro

    I just shut down the computer and go swim for a bit or just get in the the car go to some place different…

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Karl, my pleasure, you have a lot of interesting things to share, so keep it up.

  • web design company

    Great article. Like your points about paying attention to how your body responds.

  • Karl Staib – Your Work Happiness Matters

    It is really cool to see words that I have written on someone else’s blog. The joy is simply electrifying. It’s why I became a blogger.

    Thank you Daniel for letting me guest post. You have some amazing readers who have already visited my blog and left comments.

  • Jannie

    Totally agreed! I spent 2 years “working” at creative writing but now know how to release my mind to write better – with less effort. Ahhhh.

    And glad to have found your blog!

    –Jannie

  • SEO Genius

    A nice suprise on the blog today, and a good article. Thank you for that i found it very interesting.

  • Devjargon

    Great tips.

    I always outline my posts. I think of a general idea, write out a rough introduction paragraph and then jot down my thoughts on the matter. It allows me to write down a large number of posts and then fill them in with content at a later date.

  • Tony

    Outlining is definitely very important for developing your thoughts and presenting them in a clear and concise manner. This doesn’t always need to be done on paper, but it needs to be done at least in your mind. If you just start writing without a clear idea of where your post is going, it will end up being confusing and of little value. Outline!

  • Rajaie AlKorani

    @Karl, you have an amazing blog, I just subscribed!

  • Rajaie AlKorani

    Those are some great tips that I should take into consideration next time I start writing a post.

    Going outside for a while and taking a deep breath of fresh air, usually helps me relief my stress.

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