Ask Ashlee | Business & Life from Ashlee Proffitt

Question from Yasmin

How do you fight writer’s block or come up with post/series titles?”

Ashlee

Thanks Yasmin for your great question!! I think there is a lot we could chat about here but I am going to focus on just a few ideas I have that will hopefully answer your question!

1. Know Your Strengths & Gifts.

I LOVE writing. Writing is one of my strengths, one of those things I never procrastinate doing and I actually enjoy the time I spend in this space. It is not a have to, but a want to. My high school English teacher wanted me to be an English major. I asked him what in the world would I do with that and became an artist instead. 🙂

Also, I am a gifted story teller. Well, at least I think so. I see all of life as one big story and I love to communicate that story to anyone who will listen. So for me, this space is a very natural result of my strengths and passions working together.

If you are a terrible writer or even a great writer but with no desire to write, don’t blog or you should not feel the pressure to blog.

2. What Is Your Definition of Success?

This is really important. I talk about this a ton and feel really strongly that most of us women have created a definition of success based completely and only off of what we see others doing around us. This is true for being a wife, being a mother, being a business owner. There is value, of course, in having role models (we see that Biblically in Titus when Paul encourages the older women to teach the younger women what it means to love their husband and love their children) but you have to decide what success means for you very specifically. When you will feel like you have succeeded? When will you finally be able to say I am successful?

I think this idea of defining success is super important here because oftentimes the only reason we do certain things (i.e. blogging) within our business is because that other person that we have deemed as successful is doing them, not because we actually see them as useful, or we necessarily believe in them. When we wholeheartedly believe in something, carrying out the task to the best of our ability becomes very natural.

So for every part of our businesses we must ask:

    • Is this vital to the growth and success of my business (according to my definition of success)?
    • Do I really enjoy this?
    • Am I passionate about this?
    • Do I really believe in this?
      *Remember that big girl business tasks like paying taxes are in fact vital and you can’t just not do those tasks because you don’t see them as useful, don’t believe in them, etc. 

3. Natural Does Not Mean Easy

Please note that I said when we believe in that thing, in my case it means blogging, it becomes a very natural task within my business. Notice that I did not say easy. Even things I love and am super passionate about can oftentimes be overwhelming and super challenging.

Once you have determined what you really believe in, you will work hard to overcome the challenges. You will fight to make it happen!

4.  Know Your Strengths + Know Your Reader

You must know your strengths, as stated in the first idea here but more specifically even than whether or not you are a good writer who loves to write would be what do you love beyond that? What do you believe in? What are you passionate about in general? The answer to those questions will help determine your blog subject matter.

I love so much more than just design, fun products and even great branding. While I really love those things I am equally as passionate about helping young, busy moms be intentional with their littles, I am passionate about creating a beautiful home, I am passionate about great food, fashion and a plethora of other things that you will find me talking about here on the blog.

I get really excited about all of those things so it is just a very natural progression for me, the storyteller and writer to tell you about those things.

I have never had a hard time coming up with content.

Just like I have never experienced a loss for words. Ever.

I write about my life, my passions and my beliefs. And because of that I have about 30 years worth of material. The moment I start attempting to emulate other bloggers or designers is when my creativity stops and I am unable to push through, it’s the moment I get stuck and experience that ‘block.’

Figure out what that thing is that you could talk freely to anyone and everyone about for unlimited amounts of time. Then write about that thing.

5. You Aren’t Perfect. Neither Is Your Blog.

We live in this culture that esteems perfection. However, seeking perfection only leads to paralysis as we fear failure so we just do nothing instead.

Stop trying to create the most perfect blog topic, blog series, blog title ever and just write. If something doesn’t work give yourself the freedom to acknowledge that it didn’t work and move on to trying something else. I have plenty of blog ‘series’ that lasted for about one blog post. It most likely was not something I was passionate about or an expert on and clearly I didn’t believe in it because I didn’t fight for it. It’s ok! Give yourself the freedom to fail, to experiment with a few different things to figure out what works best for YOU.

I hope this helps! Do you have any helpful tips for fighting writer’s block?