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Take A Break To Fall In Love With Writing Once More

1000 Hours of Writing: 420 - 480

There are many way to get inspired when it comes to writing. There are endless guides and blog posts telling you about mind-maps, doodling, writing a dabble to get the trash words out first and then the proper text. Writing a different type of post, reading other people's works to gain ideas or write a response. Listen to music to get you into the mood. Or maybe write on the train, write using paper while sitting in the woods in your underwear! Now that's going to lead to a masterpiece! 

For all of those things to work there needs to be a little bit of motivation, a small spark that you can nurse and turn into a wildfire - be careful with that when you sit in the woods only wearing your underwear. However, what is there to be done when writing has become so second nature to you that the spark is gone.

You end up sitting in front of your laptop and type the wanted blog post. Okay, it's not the best you've ever written, but it's okay. People are going to the be content. You don't particularly hate the result but neither do you really like it. You're happy that it's finished in time and people have something to read, the odd comment brings a smile on your face but somehow it's just not the same anymore.

Are you bored? No, not really. Instead, writing starts to feel bland and numb. Then your traditional blog post tells you to try new ideas, but you're too tired to try that and even think about one! Maybe it doesn't fit quite into your niche. Are you really supposed to open a new blog and abandon the small child you nourished for years.

This happens now and then, usually it's just one post when you really did not have the time to draft something proper. That's okay. Life does get in the way, there are stressful period and so you're going to write a simpler post. Even simple posts can be popular and fun.

However, what are you going to when writing has become this task like scrubbing the loo since the last few weeks ...

I've had this issue for a while. Has this lack of  "sparky-ness" shown? Well, my stats would suggest that it has not. However, my mood had suggested that it had. I would take hours trying desperately to craft the perfect post for three likes and no comment. Then I'd be upset because I spend up to three hours to make this!

"This is hard work, ladies and gentleman!" I'd scream at the screen. At this point I was no longer writing for myself. Being happy with my work and extra happy with people loving it too took a step back and was replaced by wanting "payment" for my work. The payment would be clicks and likes.

This in turn put me under a lot of pressure and I tried to do it better.

What did I do to get out of this vicious circle? 

One of the few things I am very strict with is that when I go on holiday, so do my blogs. Very keen readers may have noticed the lack of posts for two weeks. Yep, I was on holiday.

During this period my brain could completely re-charge. I was no longer worried about clicks, likes and that I really do need a topic!!! because I did not need one. I was on holiday, the rules were different, stress and deadlines were thrown into the bin. The only thoughts on my mind was how much Rosé I can stomach and if I really won the table football championship - I did - and more importantly how I did it?!

Then when I came back to the laptop I could sit down and write when I wanted to, not because I had to.

I could write about my road trip without any pressure, and I could consider topics in peace and quiet if I really wanted to. Almost all of the pre-planned topics for after the holiday were ditched because they were just "meh."

Then I wrote a post and I did not check the clicks two hours later. I was no longer obsessed with the stats. Naturally, I still check them where they're important and when something doesn't work out as planned I check what I can do to change it instead of getting upset.

Oddly enough I liked all the newer posts and did not really care how they're received. Somehow this turned into them being received well ...

All of this just highlights that sometimes taking a break can help you a lot more than when you try to force something. Athletes have cool down periods, every employee takes holidays and so do pupils. Why should this be any different for writers?

New way to get inspired? Don't write.

The Großglockner: It Is More Than A Road

When you travel to another place by train or by plane you are usually limited to the city. Technically, we were bogged down on top of a mountain, our hotel was 2.300 meters above sea-level. While this did funny things to our crisp bag and plastic bottles, it did not stop the two of us. We had cars, and driving licenses. We could drive to sights near us without having to wonder how exhausting it would be to get back up 1.000 meters.

It was time to explore! What did the Großglockner have in store for us?

''My school years were the best of my life''
No, 'Real Life' Is Better.

As schools all over the country and the world open their doors again, I sit on the train and find myself thinking back to the time I had been in the position. Summer has come to an end, and I was about to get back into the trot, an endless circle of getting up too early, listening to teachers, wondering if I can avoid that one girl, and need to make sure not to mention that I like this one thing that nobody else likes, or knows. That would be "soooo uncool." A lengthy day at school, would be followed by a lengthy afternoon of homework before you get a few hours for yourself.

The sentence I can relate to the least is "my school years were the best of my life" - right after "I don't like cats." And every year, I see younger people go back to school, I read the complaints, and the worst is that they do not complain about the "mountains of homework." Instead, there are complains that they do not feel smart enough.

This is just plain wrong and it hurts me so much to read things like these. At the same time it does not surprise me at all. The people who say "school were the best years of my life" were very likely either the ones who made your school years horrible or considered very smart by their teachers. They were never told "that they would have so much potential if they just tried a little harder" after being given back an average exam you studied day and night for. Or told by the popular kid "that these jeans look soooo good on you," and for a split second believing it is an honest complement before seeing her friends giggle in the background.

Then you're ranked according to your stupidity, and how well you can remember that Brussels is the capital of Belgium, or who can memorize 180 new Spanish words within a day - this is not a hyperbole. And if you're not good at memorizing? If you don't manage school, then you're rubbish, awful, really dumb, and worthless junk. This is what you're made to feel like.

In school, it does not matter if you're a creative type, or learn better "learning by doing." Nope, what doesn't hop into the brain asap, is pointless. It does not prepare you for the real life, and creativity is not something that can be capitalized (easily) so what's the point in encouraging it?

August's Favourites:
Imagine Dragons & Olde England's Magicians

The best and brightest of August's Fashion, Music, Entertainment and Quote ♥

Every Journey Is An Adventure

Every year thousands of people pack their bags and head out into this big wide world. Some flop down on the beach reading a book while lying on their dolphin towels, while others look at a city on the other side of the world.

There is so much to see, places to explore and different means to get there: train? Aeroplane? Car? Furthermore, it also means that you get to leave life behind - no need to worry about cleaning the bathroom or stressful tasks that may lie in your way otherwise.

Each time I return from a holiday, I come back a bit wiser. A slight bit different. I discover another part of life and of myself. I am not talking à la Eat, Pray, Love. I doubt that anyone in real life really has a journey that is as life changing as that. However, it hides in the smaller things.

Organisation Is Everything!

1000 Hours of Writing: Hours 400 - 420

The clock is ticking. You're nervously clicking your pencil, just waiting for the clock to strike the hour when you are free to write. As soon as you are home you remember a fair amount of more pressing tasks. Suddenly it's Sunday night again and you have not managed to write a single word.

How did this happen?

We all know that writing and in particular blogging is a time consuming hobby. For now, we'll look past the plugging, coding and social media presence. You simply need to be aware of how long you need for a blog post. Then the time needed for revamping it, and, somehow, you need to know when you have time to write it!

Truth is, if you're badly organised as a blogger, you're already on the losing side. I discovered that when it comes to blogging organisation is everything!

For many of us blogging can not always be the number one priority. Instead we have to juggle it with work, uni, children ... the list is endless. I must admit that I am an organised person to begin with.

Years ago I have been gifted a brilliant (and personalized) Filofax organisier. Truth to be told, I write EVERYTHING in it: monthly tasks, weekly tasks, daily tasks. Even when I should water my plants! This has, in fact, saved my life because now I can tell exactly when I have time for blog writing.