Sometimes It’s Okay To Shut Up

by Jason Falls |

I sat down to write a blog post one day last week and ran into a rare conundrum. I couldn’t think of a good topic. Luckily, writer’s block and I don’t know each other well. I’m a wordy bastard. It just comes naturally, I guess.

After thinking a bit about what I might draft in that fit of writer’s limbo, I decided I would jot down some notes on what to do when you have writer’s block. The one note I came up with was, “Sometimes, what you don’t write is as important as what you do.”

Gagged Man by Gemenacom on Shutterstock.comThe point is that if you can’t think of something to say, keep your mouth shut. I had nothing on my mind that day that would make your time worth spending here, so I moved on to something else. When a new notion came across me to write something that might be of use, I went back to blogging.

For the most part, I publish something on Monday, Wednesday and Friday here at SME. Occasionally, and if inspired to do so, I’ll throw in a post or two on another day during the week, but keep to that thrice-weekly schedule with fair regularity. But if I happen to get busy with client work or family commitments and don’t post something one day, it’s not the end of the world. After all, I didn’t waste your time just to meet a mythical audience expectation. I’d rather wait and give you something worth reading.

That’s not a bad approach to providing content on your blog or website, personal or company. While I would advocate developing and sticking to an editorial calendar to get your audience conditioned to expect new material on a consistent basis, if you force something out that isn’t up to their expectations, it can hurt more than help. Your readers won’t be upset if you miss a day or two. Don’t get too far out of your routine or they’ll drift. But try not to keep up the pace for the sake of keeping up the pace.

When you’re dry, you’re dry. Come back when you’ve got something good to share.

How do you get past writer’s block? Please share some ideas with us in the comments.

IMAGE: “Gagged Man” by Gemenacom on Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).