What can I blog about? What about…nah. Oh, I got it…no, that sucks too… As a blogger, you always want to have fresh, relevant, kick-ass content. But sometimes, you just sit down at that keyboard and there’s nothing.
Everybody gets writers block sometimes. This is true whether you’re John Grisham, John Mayer, or John Chow. But, what contributes to writer’s block, and how can we get through it?
One thing that plays a role in writer’s block is sleep. When you’re tired, the brain doesn’t make the kind of interesting connections that it’s able to make when rested. A sleepy person is more likely to find himself at dead end after dead end, like a rat in a maze.
Sleep has been shown to bring about perspective and insight that helps us solve problems, make critical leaps, and more easily identify patterns. All of these things contribute to better blogging, making it easier to come up with good ideas and get them down on paper (or screen).
So, as a blogger, what can you do to sleep better?
Keep a Consistent Schedule
For those of us who are fortunate to not have “a real job”, it can be easy to drift around the clock in a fuzzy cycle of work, eat, and sleep. Before you know it, you have no schedule, and your sleep WILL suffer, as will your energy level.
If you find yourself in this kind of a “trap”, you can break out of it with a little discipline, and an alarm clock. Work to put yourself on a consistent schedule, 7 days a week, and follow the rest of the tips
Get Your Face Out of The Computer Before Bed
The computer screen is a sleep-killer. I know you want to finish that post, and refresh your affiliate stats 578 more times. But give yourself 30 minutes at least (optimally 60 or more) between shutting down the computer and shutting down yourself. (yes, this includes iPads and laptops too!)
Diet & Exercise
Again, unless you’re a health blogger, there’s a good chance you’re not eating right and getting appropriate exercise. These things play a big role in the quality of your sleep. Keep a consistent meal schedule, exercise just about daily (early evening is a great time to help with sleep), and manage your caffeine intake. In a perfect world, you’d have zero caffeine. If you find that’s just not possible (at least to start), work on confining your caffeine to the first few hours after you wake up. Any caffeine within 5-6 hours of bedtime is asking for trouble.
Get Some Sun
For too many people, the only light they get is from their computer monitors. Do yourself a favor and take your laptop outside. You can be in the shade, just allow your eyes to be in the natural sunlight during the day. This will help your body discern day from night, so it knows when it’s time to sleep.
Hopefully these tips will help. They won’t eliminate all writer’s block, but should minimize its occurrence, and help you bust through when you do. And, if for some reason you still can’t get started, you can always take a nap and come back later!
Sean Folkson is the founder of TheSleepGuy.com, and NightFood: Nutrition for Better Sleep. While working on his internet businesses 15 years ago, Sean stared at monitors all day, stopped sleeping, got fat, and conceived of NightFood, a healthy late night snack for better sleep. Now he helps people sleep better every day with NightFood bars, and the free sleep tips and info at TheSleepGuy.com