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Writer’s Block Can Pay Dividends!

July 26th, 2016

Chinese-hospital-room-in-a-private-hosptial-blogI normally don’t have any problem thinking up things to talk about in my blog posts. But this week, for some reason, I was really struggling. So I spent some time looking at writing-related topics on the internet and one interesting site came up: SmartBlogger.

In our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course we suggest that if you write you should seriously consider setting up a website to showcase your work or produce a regular blog. There are two (and probably many more) advantages to writing a blog: if you organise it properly it gets your name out there in front of people, and it also exercises your ‘writing muscle’, making you think creatively, and even giving you that push you need when other writing isn’t going too well.

SmartBlogger is full of useful tips and I found their article Writer’s Block – 27 Ways to Crush it Forever really helpful. OK, some of the suggestions are pretty obvious, but others make you raise your eyebrows. And it’s this reaction – coupled with actually trying out the suggestions  –  that makes the piece worthwhile.

There are other good posts there too, including How to be Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers. It’s an American site, so some of the expression (and some of the more crass observations) might make you wince, but it doesn’t detract from the value of the overall message.

Point 15 in Writer’s Block- 27 Ways to Crush it Forever was that you should browse your photo albums to find anecdotes to share. Two years ago I visited China and while in the north of the country I slipped and broke my wrist. There followed a trip around three local hospitals (one recommended by my insurers) who all refused to try and sort it out as the break was too bad. I ended up at the ominously named ‘Bone Hospital’ where they pulled it into place without anaesthetic and patched it up until I could get back to the UK. An experience I would hope never to repeat! But browsing my photos (point 15 of the blog post) brought it all back.

I’d just been reading about a competition that is currently being held by Senior TravelExpert.com. They’re running a free-to-enter travel writing competition with the theme ‘Off the Beaten Track’. The first prize is £100 and publication on the website.  Ten runners up will each receive a £10 firstwriter.com voucher.  Entries can be factual or fictional, must be original and unpublished and should not exceed 750 words. The website might be aimed at older travellers but you can enter the competition whatever your age and the closing date is 30th September.

The experience in China may have been horrible but, who knows, if I write it up well, it could win me £100 in the competition. It’s certainly worth a try! And if it doesn’t win, it’s always available to be ‘tweaked’ for another market.

Before I close this week, don’t forget that our Limerick Competition finishes on 31st July, so there is still time to send your entries and the chance to win £100, and a Writers Bureau course of your choice, if your limerick is placed first.


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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