Blogging - Stuck in an Article and Can't Find My Way Out
Stuck - That doesn't begin to describe it
Last week seemed interminably long in my blogging world. I got stuck in the middle of a blog post with no clear way out.
I had a fairly clear line of sight at the beginning. This was going to be a simple, instructional post. I had all the information and knew what I needed for graphics and photos. I sat down and wrote it out (yes, by hand - on paper - I know that's old school, but it works for me :)
Everything was going along as planned. This would be a quick post and I could move on to the next one.
The Stumbling Block
In the midst of writing this simple post, something happened. I can't place my finger on it, but it brought my post to a screeching halt.
Have you had this happen?
The plan was set. The journey was easy. The obstacle was unseen and unexpected. And... BAM!!! You ran into it headlong.
Anything can come along when you're on a roll and stop you dead in your tracks. It derails you and you didn't even realize you were off your track.
In this particular case, my obstacle was not being able to find the photos and graphics I had envisioned.
As I had gone through the process of typing up what I had written (this is my opportunity to tweak my work), I had changed the order and focus a bit and the original photos would work, but not as well as I'd have liked. (To be clear, my second draft was, indeed, much better than my first had been.)
But... now I had to rethink my images. I reread what I had written and came up with a second plan. I needed some of the same photos, but now I needed some that I wasn't sure I had taken. So... I started looking for the ones I HAD taken.
I thought I knew right where to find them. They were photos I had taken myself. My photo organization is fairly easy to navigate to find what I want.
I spent a few hours looking around for the photos I had envisioned. Had I actually taken the photos I wanted? Or did I imagine the images? I was beginning to think that was the case.
A New Course
Rethinking what I had originally planned set me on a complicated path.
I had envisioned my post one way and it was heading in a direction that I didn't see clearly. In my head it was better. But the images... What was I going to do about the images?
It frustrated my and I began to shut down.
This is soooo stupid!
A blog post!
Should be able to change courses easily.
But... sometimes life doesn't let us think things through so clearly and easily. I'm certain that everything else in my life was helping to make this a complicated issue. Outside my blogging there were long, unexpected issues with work and outside work, I just seemed to be exhausted.
My normal routine in a day is to come home around noon and work on my blog until dinnertime. But last week I seemed unusually tired and the slight change to my post just seemed insurmountable.
It was time for a new course of action.
The Path Less Traveled
For me, that meant putting everything on hold and taking a break.
It wasn't an official, I've-thought-about-this, here's-my-new-plan, kind of decision. My tendency is to push through until I can accomplish something. Instead, it was several days of taking a nap and working around my blog on organizational tasks and promotional tasks just to keep my hand in it. I totally expected each day to feel like jumping back into that one post and finishing it off.
I wasn't even considering moving on to another post and coming back later. (That, by the way, would have been a great idea.)
I just kept working around it day by day.
After about 5 days I decided I needed to retake the pictures I was planning on using. It really took me that long to make that decision.
So... I planned the next two days to go out and get specific photos that I could use.
Back on Track
That was the decision that made the difference.
I spent two days going to a park and a botanical garden to take the photos. Along the way, I spent some great time with my daughters, got some sunshine (and moonlight) and fresh air, and walked away from my laptop for many hours. I wasn't sitting in front of the screen, blindly going from one task to another moving things around here and there and thinking in the back of my mind that I needed to finish that post before my upcoming deadline.
I had a chance to refresh and get back on track.
That was the key!
In the end, I finished and scheduled my new post. It should go live in 2 days. And I am ready to start working on my next one.
In retrospect, I wasted a lot of time, days really, by floundering around with the idea that I could find what I wanted. Even if it existed, I obviously did not know where and I was unclear about what photos it needed to be.
I had gotten my self stuck in the middle of an idea that I wasn't even working with because I had tweaked it and needed new things.
Have you ever been there? Stuck in an idea that you weren't willing to give up?
In my case, this was simply a blog post, but we many times get stuck in an idea revolving around anything... family, holiday plans, friends, hobbies, our kids...
When things don't go as planned, take a deep breath, take a step back, and take a break. Find something that will clear the cobwebs and give you the openmindedness to consider new things.
Then step forward and embrace new things... new plans... new ideas.
And move onward.
Have you been stuck in a plan that you were unwilling to change? Leave a comment on what worked for you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Melody Dunithan