Writers block effects every type of writer from time to time. Bloggers are no exception, especially when we write about the same things on a daily basis. It is not easy to come up with new ideas when you write in the same niche every day. Sometimes you need a little inspiration to try to tell the same story from a different point of view or come at it from a different angle. On these occasions, I usually get my inspiration from the experts. By experts, I mean the writers and public figures that were astute enough for their words to be quoted. I break out the old Bartlett’s book of quotations or browse through Wikiquotes until I find something that peaks my interest.
For me, good quotes contain a goldmine of inspirational ideas that are just waiting to be excavated. I do not do this because I plan to write anything that will end up being quoted on such a large scale. I am just digging for something that will spark my creativity again, and get that article written.
For example, if I am planning to write a post about success, I search the content for success and I come up with this by Faulkner:
“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
Now something like that has to get your juices flowing again. Maybe I would write something about how we are all worried about being a better writer than this person or that person. When all we really have to do is be better than we were. Another angle could be about how we measure success. By what other people think or by what we think of ourselves. There are many other ways to think about it, but the idea is to think about it and break that mind block.
Here is another one about success by Jonathan Winters:
“I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”
That one has many implications and the ambiguity of the quote itself can get your mind moving in different directions. You can jot down the different ways you can interpret the quote and work from there. Bang, the mind block is gone and I am moving ahead without it — thank you Mr. Winters. Now that is success!
It does not matter what the topic is. If you search long enough you can find a quote on just about anything. The good ones will clear up writer’s block the first time you read them. You will be sitting there writing your post and will not even remember you were stuck in the mud an hour ago.
Consider someone who blogs about the movies. Jean-Luc Godard said:
“Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.”
I do not blog about the movies, but someone who does can find many ways to write a post on that quote. They could agree with it, disagree with it or just write about how true it is. The truth of the matter is, if you cannot find a way to write about that statement, then something is seriously wrong with you. You may need medical attention. That or you can just search for another quote, because you still have writer’s block. Find something that creates that spark.
You do not have to search only for specific topics in your niche. If you blog about blogging or smartphones, for instance, you are not going to find many quotes. They have not been in existence long enough. That does not mean quotes cannot help you get over your mental block. You just have to be a little more creative and deeper with your searching. You may want to try a little insight into things that have been bothering you lately or think up general concepts to your topic. Many quotes on emotional issues and self-insight can easily be found with the correct key words or you can browse by author until you find the right one.
I have listed five very general quotes below on the topic of the human condition. No matter what type of blog you write or the niche you are in, I bet you can get at least one blog post out of them. Not only that, I bet you will be looking for quotes the next time you need a little inspiration to get you started. If you look hard enough, you will find them too. People remembered and wrote down these quotes because it helped them out in some way. They wrote them down because they knew they would inspire and help future generations. Make use of these words of wisdom — that is why they are there.
Robert Benchley: “The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”
Jane Austen: “Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.”
Dorothy Parker: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
Oscar Wilde: “Over the piano was printed a notice: Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.”
Mark Twain: “The funniest things are the forbidden.”