How to gently embrace the new normal with your blogIt's not easy to embrace the new normal: a world held hostage by an invisible virus that threatens our lives and our livelihoods.
When your blog is a reflection of one or the other (or both), you may be wondering what to do now? Carry on as usual? Change your message? What if you have writers block!
Our lives have both changed and slowed down so drastically that some people call this the big "pause". A pause can feel exciting or frightening depending on your mindset and your personal circumstances, e.g. the work you do, your financial situation, your relationships and how vulnerable you feel health wise.
It‘s really not surprising that all this can affect your writing!
Uncertainty can have surprising effects
In the early days of lockdown I was rather looking forward to having more time to write blog posts and finish the book I am working on with my colleague Jean.
But the truth is, I couldn't get into it.
I was too busy. Busy tending to basic needs like getting online deliveries, cooking meals, keeping on top of domestic jobs and staying up to date with the latest news. Busy worrying about a loved one with the virus as well as my own health and not being able to leave my house.
My social media feeds were full of productivity posts telling me how this is the perfect time to learn a new skill. Just seeing all this made me feel exhausted! (Despite having written many such posts myself in the past e.g. this one about remembering to blog.)
But this new normal is unlike anything any of us have ever experienced before!
Then a client mentioned that she was feeling overwhelmed too. She didn't know what to write and how to do it without trivialising what’s happening or making it sound too depressing. Should she deviate from her usual topics because they seem so unimportant?
Does it matter if we don’t have the right answers yet?
Uncertainty tends to make us feel uncomfortable but so much is uncertain anyway during this challenging time. There is no fixed set of rules telling you how to feel nor what to say in your blog.
Processing thoughts and feelings takes time. Few older bloggers are happy to pour their heart out online even if blogging can be quite therapeutic.
If you are unsure about blogging in the new normal, you could accept this pause and focus on other things. You could doodle, draw, bake, write in your journal or even try our writing exercise.
Do whatever you want to do. Even nothing if that helps you. Sometimes, when we stop looking, the answers appear.
Embrace the new normal by trying something new
When you want to write despite feeling unsure about your message why not experiment with different messages on social media? Writing is much simpler here and far less time consuming than blogging. (Which can gobble up hours of your time once you include all the editing, optimizing and promoting you need to do.)
It is one of the reasons why I enjoy micro-blogging on Instagram . I usually write about all the little things in my life and my readers really like that.
Micro-blogging is a good way to inspire and help your readers. I've seen it work on Facebook as well. On Twitter longer messages (written as threads) have also become quite popular.
Social media is a great place to experiment, connect with your reader and see how others are managing their challenges.
Of course you could also publish mini posts on your own blog. That way your content stays on your own platform.
I wouldn't worry about doing things "properly" right now. The idea is to find easier ways to express what's going on for you and to help you embrace the new normal.
Now is the time to speak freely
Back when I first started helping women to promote themselves confidently nobody believed how important it is to be true to yourself especially online. In whatever you do! But soon, heart-centred entrepreneurs like Marie Forleo would show the way building huge online communities by being completely authentic.
Gradually women would start to share their stories and speak more freely about the often life changing events that shape our journey. Even the bigger brands would become more open and personal.
So it pains me to see bloggers, especially business writers, still hiding behind the persona they assume readers will like and trust.
Now is so not the time to do that. It feels heartless and careless at the same time.
If there is one thing the pandemic is achieving, it is making people connect and support each other more.
Opening up and speaking your truth is more important than ever. To speak freely in your own unique voice is, quite frankly, the most powerful tool you have, both in your blog and elsewhere.
So I hope you will take this opportunity to think about what matters in your writing. Whether you decide to go with the flow for now, try something new, or speak more freely, please go gently as you embrace your new normal.
Ps You may like to check out our ecourse to help you unlock the power of your unique voice – so you can whisper and be heard.
All images are my own — Copyright 2020 Ute Wieczorek-King