The cure for Bloggus Interruptus when there are no blogging ideas

blogging ideas

I am suffering from Bloggus Interruptus.

Like anything, the more you blog, the better you get at it. Bloggers who commit to a consistent schedule find that it becomes easier, faster, and more fun. Even the creative juices start flowing better and the blogging ideas come once you adopt the discipline of regular writing.

For the past five years, I have blogged my butt off. I have been extremely disciplined in my writing and approach, churning out at least two strong posts a week without fail.

Until last month.

For the first time since 2009, I turned it off for almost four weeks during an extended business/vacation trip to California, Australia, and New Zealand,

I prepared for this trip for months by “writing ahead” so I could keep the posts coming to my readers. I even tried to publish posts that would create limited conversation so I could focus on relaxation, and it worked — during this month I did not write a single blog post. In fact, short of addressing a few reader comments, I didn’t write a single word.

I was ready for this break, not just from a physical and psychological point of view, but as an experiment to see what it would be like to disembark from the blogging train for an extended period of time. Blogging has become such a big part of my life that I wanted to see how I would react if it went away.

Here are my two big learnings:

1) There is a lot of pressure associated with “new.” I love blogging. It is the most fun part of my job. But I probably didn’t fully realize the pressure created by the unrelenting need to be original with blogging ideas until I put the brakes on. Creating a business presence based on a continuous flow of new ideas is difficult and it was liberating to be removed from that for a little while. I probably need to do this once a year.

2) I had a surprisingly difficult time re-engaging. Out of the daily routine for so long, I felt a little blog-dizzy trying to get back on the train. I have a lot of post ideas but getting started again felt dis-orienting.

So here is what I did to overcome Bloggus Interruptus.


The “fuel” for this blog are the ideas — just headlines, really — that I collect constantly. I was out of this habit on my trip which meant I really had no fresh ideas to riff on. So I spent a few days just collecting random ideas for potential posts. These ideas might come from something I read, a question somebody asks me, or a discussion with a friend.

Brain dump of blogging ideas

I had to get back in the writing groove so I spent two hours writing a few paragraphs on anything that came into my head. These may or may not turn into blog posts one day but it at least got my head focused on the writing process.

Re-establishing the discipline

Years ago I realized that blogging was an essential part of my business so it could not be an afterthought. I had to schedule time to blog just like I might schedule time for meetings or business trips.

Even though I might not be psychologically ready to re-start the process, I simply had to get back on that schedule. I blocked out time to blog and stuck to it even if I had to drag my mind along for awhile.

Anyway, I was a little surprised by this post-trip blog grogginess and when I am surprised by something it usually makes a good blog post, so there you have it! My first attempt to overcome Bloggus Interruptus!

Thanks for sticking around while I was gone. I appreciate each and every reader and the time you spend with me. Do you ever take a hiatus from blogging? Can you share your ideas on how you get back to blogging after a break?

Illustration courtesy of Toothpaste for Dinner

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  • Great post Mark and you´ve just gave me the “fuel” I needed to get back on track. Thank you.
    I´ve been blogging for only one year and I do it for fun, for learning and to connect with people in the PR industry. In the last couple of months, because of my daily job, I didn´t have much time for writing (or that was what I was telling to myself) and I noticed that, as the time passed it was getting harder and harder to sit down and write.
    Your tips like re-fuel, brain dump and re-establishing the discipline will help me get back doing what I love to do – writing.

  • Jeffrey Slater

    Mark, I find that blogging at the same time each week allows me to make it a enjoyable habit. With a busy full time job, I have to use my weekends/evenings to keep up with my writing. My ritual involves the quiet of early weekend mornings and strong coffee.

    I also developed the habit of writing the draft and then going out for a long walk so that when I come back to the post, I can reread it fresh as if it came from someone else.

    Blogging is a terrific way to get my own thoughts in order too. So it is like working out my marketing muscles to build strength and I hope, a bit of wisdom.

    Speaking of wisdom, finally picked up Dr. Cialdini’s book on Influence and Persuasion that you recommended and started reading it this weekend. Why haven’t I read this book before? It is ripe with insight and thought provoking observations. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Wow, that is great. You’ve made my day. So happy this helped!

  • I really like that word “ritual” Jeff. If I am out of my ritual, I really feel off! I have to have the protected time to blog. I know everybody has different habits but for me, it is the only way to go.

    If you have not read Return on Influence yet, it is the perfect companion piece for the Influence book. I take up where Dr. Cialdini left off (with his blessing!)

  • Dave

    Good ideas! And I would supplement them with Viagrus Bloggus, just in case! 🙂

  • I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus myself, and I’m pondering my next moves. Writing is like breathing for me, but only when the muse hits. Although I know that’s not the way you’re “supposed” to blog, but it’s my way. I write every day, much of which doesn’t see light of day publicly, so it’s not that the well is dry. But it’s dry when it comes to online sometimes. And I’m OK with that.

    Loved your NZ photos, and kudos to you for taking some time away from this wild ‘n crazy online world. You know we’ll always be here at your place, keeping the home fires burning:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Jeffrey Slater

    I haven’t read ROI but it is on my ‘to read’ list. I’m looking forward to it and will write a review on Amazon and on my own marketing blog afterward.
    I now have a book tab on my own blog, MomentSlater where I tag all of my books I have read and reviewed.

  • Kitty Kilian

    Ha! Apart from the pretty er.. blogtitle I can sympathise. There is only
    one remedy: get back on track quickly. It must be like being out of a
    job: once you’ve got the hang of not getting up early and arousing all
    these different short- and long term stress hormones you start to feel
    wonderfully relaxed and I have heard people whisper that going back to
    work is near impossible after three months.

    So hurry.

  • Too funny.

  • I hear you. Luckily my muse usually works overtime 🙂 Thanks for your support!

  • After a vacation it take me a good week or two to really get back into any kind of business mindset! My cure is really to just do it I guess, and look back at my old content to find new ideas.
    As you may notice every post your write about a subject it leaves another area that you didn’t have space to cover. There is always something new to be found in the old!

  • I normally finish off my blog posts at the week-end. This week-end (Easter) I took 2 days off and found it really nice to get up and wonder what to do. I caught up with the gardening, walked on the beach and played computer games with my son. So I can imagine what a month off is like!!!

  • Lisa Irby

    Mark, I’m seeing so many bloggers write about distraction, burnout and taking a break lately. Seems like many of us are going through this. 🙂 I started suffering from burnout and realized it was because I needed a break. So I started making more conscious efforts to rest and I do find I write my best posts when I come back. But you’re right… sometimes it is harder to get back in the routine when you return. I’m going to try the brain dump idea. Always great stuff here. Thanks!

  • I think that is a good analogy. I can’t believe how fast I lost that groove! Am I going to see you in June?

  • Certainly true Blake. Thank you for the support!

  • It was pretty intense. I really loved the break!

  • Thanks for the great comment Lisa. It’s kind of funny — I get on a roll for weeks and have so many ideas I usually have to hold myself back or all I would do is blog. There is a discipline to stopping too : ) But I had not realized how much stress had built up.

  • Kitty Kilian

    I finally found the link to that conference – they’ve put it up: Will email you

  • You need to come to Canada next 🙂

  • Kristine Allcroft

    Yeahhh! You’re back! Glad you had a great time. And thanks for posting all the great pics on Facebook. Great post by the way . . . I will be taking my first vacation in 2 years soon and taking a break from writing while I am away so this post is very timely. Cheers!

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