I’ve got blogger’s block.

I can’t seem to write. And this has never really happened to me before.

For 365 days in 2010, I wrote a blog post every day (and gave away money, which was very popular).

In 2011, I haven’t been nearly as prolific, but I’ve never had trouble coming up with things to write about. But lately, I feel kind of paralyzed when I sit down to write — and the longer I don’t write, the more panicked I get. What if my subscribers all leave? What if I never get Freshly Pressed again? I’m starting a new blog in January 2012 (big whoop-dee-doo announcement coming) .. what if I can’t write that??

Okay, so maybe it has something to do with the fact that my computer has senility issues and I finally had to break down and buy a new one.

The 15-hour transfer of information .. now all I have to do is learn how to use MacNewPro.

A 10-foot tall way to not write.

And it’s the holidays.

And I’ve had a few other things on my mind. Like choosing a WordPress THEME for my new blog, which is a nightmare of unmitigated proportions for an Optimizer like me. As my husband could tell you, Optimizers have a very difficult time making decisions because they believe there is a perfect choice out there — if only they will deeply consider every single option. So after carefully reading 150 descriptions of WordPress themes and going comatose with options, I wisely turned to Lisa — the amazing WordPress Theme Guru and author of Notes from Africa. Her posts on choosing a theme helped me narrow the field, and now I’ve settled (I think) on either Twenty Eleven or Elemin for my new blog. (Thank you, Lisa!!) Which means the only thing I have left to do before I break through Blogger’s Block is sit through 150 hours of tutorials so I can learn how to use my new theme.

Fa la la la la....

Last night (while I wasn’t writing) I made 20 pounds of almond toffee, addressed 150 holiday cards, packed 10 boxes to be shipped to my ridiculously large family that ridiculously still gives gifts to one another … and now .. finally, I am writing just to complain about it.

Anybody else out there overwhelmed/struck mute by the holidays?? (And you bloggers who never get blocked … Charles, I’m talking about you… feel free to tell me all your prolific secrets!)

36 thoughts on “I’ve got blogger’s block.

  1. I seemed to be blocked myself. I started so strong back in July, but November and December are kicking my butt. Only part of it is being crazy busy, albeit a big part. I’ve lost the rhythm of posting every day, and I’m not sure how to get it back.

    • Thanks for the commiseration, Brave … but I think the only way out is through (in other words, we just gotta write out way out of it). But five days before Christmas is probably not such a great time to start. That’s what New Year’s resolutions are for!! Happy Holidays!!

  2. Sorry to hear about the challenges on your end Betty. I like the many options with WordPress, but decided (after experimenting) I just don’t have the time to learn a new interface. I admire your dedication.

    No suggestions for holiday survival. I am blessed to have married someone as organized as you so that my job during the season is the logistics end: “Here, deliver these to neighbor #1, #2, and #3.”

    My life is easy street right.

    • You are a lucky man, SD — and the great thing is, you know it!
      I’m through the worst of my holiday angst and am trying to just roll with the flow in terms of choosing my theme and getting accustomed to it.
      All things in time … right?? Thanks for writing & Happy Happy!

  3. Hi there …. after all the things you’ve achieved this year it’s more than OK to get a little cream crackered writing-wise. Why don’t you go and just crash out for a few days on one of your many many SOFAS. New ideas and inspirations will soon come flowing up from their innermost recesses and you will soon feel refreshed, revitalised, and rejuvenated.
    Don’t forget as well that writing is basically a bottom on the chair kind of a thing, unless you write standing up of course or in the bath.
    Also … Peter de Vries said … I only write when I’m inspired and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9 ‘ o clock every morning. Also … don’t be afraid to sound really daft or eccentric at times. AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT FOLLOWERS … follow your own lovely path.It they want to follow then that’s great and they will be the better for knowing you.
    Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
    Also…don’t forget PLOGGING … basically just writing blogs with pictures instead … go to http://www.the1951club.org and have a look at my blog about MY LIFE IN TRAFFIC SIGNS. Also get your sister to get in touch re the 1951 Club. (I live thousands of miles away and I only go crazy when there’s a full moon so she’s pretty much safe!!)
    Have a great Christmas .. a great new year and all that sort of thing.
    All the best

    • Kris — you are a font of wisdom! I really like your advice, and now I just feel kinda silly for venting all my anxiety out there in the blogosphere for everyone to see. However, we writers are basically little (or big) piles of insecurity … so I guess I’m not exactly alone when I get daft about my followers, output, etc. And YES… I do need more sofa time! Speaking of which, saw a fabulous Brit series called Collision last night! Are you familiar with it? Okay … plogging it is for the start of 2012, so I can spend some quality time on Sofa #2!! Happy Christmas to you & yours! (and I will pass your message along to my foot-dragging sister )

  4. Ah, this time of year. Sort of grabs a hold of our emotions and scrambles everything up. No major decisions should be made until after the first of the year. About anything. And so many of us have created out own little private hell regarding blogging. So just relax. We are all in the same boat, and the boat won’t sink. Unless we do something really stupid like standing up and waving our arms and we get tossed overboard and we are thrashing around and screaming and the water is freezing and big giant sharks appear out of nowhere and start eating us. Aside from that, we will all be fine. (I’m writing from Facebook because ##!!XX@** WordPress won’t let me comment anymore)

    • Renee — Gee, I feel so much better now that I’m envisioning the circling sharks with snapping jaws! You always make me laugh (when you’re not making me sob) so THANKS for the advice. Craporama … why is wordpress not letting you comment?? I think that blogging does make you kinda crazy .. and I’ve just decided (at 5 am) that my new blog will just have to be a Work in Progress for awhile and hopefully people will dig it anyhow. If not — wow… I guess my hell will be totally private!
      Happy Holidays & keep writing — I adore Life in the Boomer Lane!

  5. Hahaha! A kindred spirit! I “made” my cards this year and although I have always illustrated them, I felt like I had to go over the top since I blogged about it. This year they are a pop-up. Yes I am insane. I made 75 of them. After 2 weeks they are out in the mail. We stayed home from the mountains so I could clean up and finish decorating. Tonight I am having a glass of wine and eating pizza; surfing new blogs – Bliss!

    • Ahhhh, another overachieving maniac … welcome, Susie!!
      A pop-up card?? An illustrated pop-up?? And 75 of them???
      Yikes. That reminds me of the time that Lulu and I made t-shirts for everybody (she was 6) — we had the cardboard outlines, fabric paints and drying t-shirts all over the dining room for weeks. It was great but a bit over the top?? For sure. I think Renee is right — we can absolutely drive ourselves mental with our blog “responsibilities” — when nobody’s paying us for this, and it’s not like we’re in the Olympics being judged, is it!
      I guess that’s why we need fellow bloggers — to help us achieve some sense of reality and perspective! Can’t wait to check out YOUR blog and see those cards!! (wine & pizza — my favorite combo!)

  6. I can’t imagine it lasts long, and if complaining helps it come out, you go girl. You have a very entertaining way to complain! I stopped cards a couple yrs ago, but still put pressure on to create most of my gifts. The tree is something I still love, but found I leave more of the accessory decorations in the attic,then I did when the girls were little. By the way, I love the snow flakes!!

    • I love the snow flakes too and guess what? I have nothing to do with them, they fall automatically from the wordpress sky!! I hate to go back and read my complaining because in light of everything other people have to deal with, my stuff doesn’t add up to a pile of beans — in the timeless words from some great movie I’ve forgotten. Doing less is always an option and often the right one … it’s just a hard lesson for me to learn. What’s that fine, lovely line between challenging yourself to do the best you can & driving yourself totally mental ?? Clearly, it’s something I need to work on in 2012!! So happy we got reconnected this year, Debbie — have a beautiful holiday with your girls & beloved animals!!!

      • Hope You are having wonderful days filled with love as it should be always and not just Christmas!! I loved you last blog. It is inspiring to know that there are young people to carry on the efforts of helping the needy. Just as I was feeling apathetic about things, my children started involving me. You sharing these wonderful people and there ideas only helps open that many more eyes. Keep up the good work, but we all forgive you a little down time also!!! Have a very blessed Christmas

  7. You’re not blocked, girl, you’re just crazed like the rest of us with the holidays! Whatever you write is entertaining and enlightening sokeep writing through your so called block!! Merry Christmas!

  8. My DIL said “Oh, you choose……” and this year I’m trying to make a dent in the stuff we have in storage. I know she’d rather have a check but she’s getting 8 porcelain tea cups, all different patterns, that belonged either to her grand mother or GGM. More of the same with the others too.;

  9. I’m really not overwhelmed by the holidays this year. I’ve made a conscious decision to back slowly away from Christmas. No tree this year. Few gifts. No emotional build up to the seemingly inevitable let down. A nice walk on the beach. Going to the movies. Dinner with my daughter ….

    • It’s so great to be intentional with your choices… specially about something that is as emotionally fraught as Christmas, so I applaud that, Sybil! I still get a huge kick out of buying and decorating a tree, but the minute I don’t, I hope I’ll have your presence of mind & spirit to just say No. Have a beautiful dinner with your daughter … and walk on the beach??! Wow.
      (One of my favorite Christmas memories was the year I was home alone with my dad — and as one of 8 kids, that never happens — and after the morning festivities, we just bundled up, went to the movies and saw the racy film BLAZE, and came home and ate soup. It was brilliant!) Have fun!!

  10. Someone once said that writers write all the time–they don’t always do the paperwork. So you are ALWAYS writing, Betty. There is a time for everything, and now is not the time for paperwork. It is the time for holiday prep work.

    Just be. Trust-fall into the world’s energy, and your unique journey as part of it. Let life flow over you like a river and the words will pour out when it is time for them to do so.

  11. Goodness–I can relate to this! I’m exactly where you are–paralyzed. I was Freshly Pressed just over a year ago and not since. I fret about that.

    I’ve had to do some password protected posts for the sake of my family’s privacy, as I’m blogging my way to a memoir. Those posts have been hugely popular with my regualar readers, but it ‘s hard to attract new readers that way. (By the way, if you’d like to read, the password is “mother.”

    At any rate, I hear you, and I promise to keep reading.


    • Thank you so much, Kathryn and best of luck with your memoir! Can’t wait to see them & I’m abashed to say that I never password protect my posts for the privacy of my family — I exploit them shamelessly! Happy Holidays and hope you get FP’ed again soon — we all all such fame hounds, aren’t we?? (But since we don’t get paid to write, what else is there ??)

  12. Hey, wait a minute…wasn’t that your engaging-funny-enlightening-as-usual blogpost I just read? Congratulations on breaking through the brick wall to write. And besides, January is at least two weeks from now. 🙂 Have a beautiful day, Betty!

    • Thanks, Jo — there’s nothing like the irresistible desire to complain that gets you to sit down and actually hit the keys! And yes, believe me, I HAVE been counting the days that I have to get smart about my theme… but if not, you’ll just have to look at some really funky posts for awhile… (sigh) … Happy Holidays!!!

  13. how wonderfully amazing how you stay in touch with friends and family via real cards and packages that are filled with thoughtfully selected, wrapped, packed gifts of your heart! No blockages there!!!!
    Happy Chanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy-est of New Years to a friend I have not met, but feel close to none the less 🙂
    (I still like and use those pesky little emoticons)

    • I’m dying to use emoticons in my remarks, willy-nilly, but I can’t figure out how to do it (probably a blessing in disguise)… thanks so much for your kind words. Every holiday, I promise myself I’m not going to do the whole card/letter/presents/toffee routine, and every year, I break down and drive myself nuts — but then, it’s always kinda fun in the end. The only person I routinely neglect in the presents department is my darling husband — but one of these years I’m gonna get totally inspired & wow him with something he really wants. Like a 24/7 soccer channel on a 80″ tv … aauughhhh! Happy Holidays, Meredith!!!

    • Darling Laurie … it takes one to know one, right?? Oh, I’m so happy you liked Elemin. It’s really a pretty great theme & it’ll inspire me to post music (a new theme for every country, I’m thinking!) — and all that. Yipppeeee, I’m off to learn how to use the stupid (I mean stupendous) thing!!
      Happy Hanukkah, sweet pea! xoxoxo b

    • yay! welcome to SteveJobs World — you’ll never go back!
      I’m going to do a big “Please Switch Over” post in the next week or so …
      hope you’ll follow Betty’s Big New Adventure — it’s right up your alley!!!

  14. A WordPress theme guru?! Not sure I can live up to that description, but I have to say that flattery always gets my attention!

    I am glad to hear that my utterings are of some help to you though. Good luck with the new blog!

    • Thanks, Lisa — in every way! Your posts on choosing a wordpress theme (linked on this post) are really thoughtful, lucid, easy to understand, and thorough — and you’ve obviously given a LOT of thought to it, so I would recommend you to anybody! Plus, how great and generous was it of you to write me back & give me counsel?? I really appreciate your time & your beautiful, inspiring blog about life in Africa — the photography alone is spectacular!! Hope you will follow my new blog, as I’ll be traveling all over the world … and you are obviously a global citizen yourself!! (Not to mention knowing CSS — which puts you in the stratosphere, in my humble opinion)… Cheers and THANKS again!! b

    • Dear Mad — (gee, you don’t look or sound mad) … I like that idea, but since it would involve picking yet another theme (yikes!!) I don’t think I could handle that! Plus, I’m sure I would probably mix the two up and post a rant on my good news blog, and lose all my readers … you must have a terrific sense of separation! Btw, went on your four villages inn blog about Ghana and it sounds LOVELY! If I get to Ghana next year, I will definitely come and visit! Now I’ll be going to your other blog to see what you’re like mad … Thanks for writing!!

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