Got Blogger’s Block? Here Are 50 Ways To Kick Its Ass!

Got blogger's block? Here are 50 ways to kick its ass!

Confession time: I wrote this piece because this morning, I had blogger’s block! Normally, I schedule my posts ahead of time, but the last couple of weeks have been so nutty that I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants. I woke up and stared blankly at my screen for a while… Until this came out!

Blogger’s block happens to the best of us. If you’re feeling stuck for topic ideas, glom onto one of these and get writing! The best way to beat blogger’s block is just to start typing, I promise.

Without further ado…

1. Write about your passion.

2. Set a timer for 9 minutes, and just start writing!

3. Find the best things in a category and write about them.

4. Research and write about your idols.

5. Take photos in your favourite place.

6. Make a list of your favourite blog posts on a particular topic by other bloggers!

7. Write about something you’re looking forward to.

8. Write a top 10 list.

9. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

10. Go on a roadtrip!

11. Plan an adventure.

12. Ask your readers what they’d like to read.

13. Write a letter to an ex-lover.

14. Rhyme.

15. Tell a secret.

16. Write in somebody else’s voice.

17. Interview someone fascinating.

18. Go to an aquarium.

19. Just write 150 words.

20. Ask your friends or family for ideas.

21. Write about what you were like as a teenager.

22. Play with magnetic poetry.

23. Tell a fairytale.

24. Write about your favourite shoes, meal, book, memory…

25. Talk about a decision that was hard to make.

26. Make a mixtape.

27. Write about how you want your life to feel.

28. Write about what you’re thankful for.

29. Write about something which scares you.

30. Write a how to post.

31. Record yourself speaking.

32. Write about your body.

33. Put together a rebuttal of something someone else has written.

34. Write a letter to a childhood friend.

35. Spend time with a stranger.

36. Re-write and improve upon one of your most popular posts.

37. Go for a walk, take your camera, pay attention.

38. Create a character and write a story around them.

39. Read outside of your normal interests.

40. Put together your bucket list.

41. Write a letter to your future child.

42. Write an apology.

43. Share a mistake from your history that you learned from.

44. Make a video!

45. Try something completely out of character, then write about it.

46. Have tea with your best friend and see what unfolds.

47. Write about a second chance.

48. Create a new regular column or feature.

49. Write a piece on the evolution of your personal style.

50. Get up from your computer and take a day off!

Good luck!

Photo from Style Me Pretty.

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Radical Self Love Letters

Put Down Your Goddamn Phone: The Perils Of Phoneland

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Are you a phone obsessive? Do you walk down the street clutching your device? Do you sleep with it beside your bed? Do you tune out from people trying to have a conversation with you by constantly checking your screen?

I’ll put my hand up. I admit: my iPhone is taking over my life.

Holding my phone all the time is giving me anxiety. Because I’m never unreachable, I’m constantly waiting for something to come in, and always feeling the pressure to respond. I’m checked out of real life, not engaging with other people, and barely present. I’m perpetually waiting for something to show up on my phone that will bring me happiness, and I’m unaware of what is going on around me. I’m Gala in Phoneland, and it sucks.

The worst thing is that when you walk around with your eyes trained on your screen, you become one of those people who is not watching where they’re going, one of those frustrating and thoughtless pavement hooligans who weaves from side to side, always on the verge of almost-colliding with someone else.

There are plenty of studies which reiterate all of these points. Viz:

Being on your phone makes you totally oblivious. In this study, people who were using their cellphones failed to notice a clown unicycling right past them! Furthermore, the study found that the cellphone users “walked more slowly, changed direction more often, were prone to weaving, and acknowledged other individuals more rarely.”

Staring at your phone constantly can damage your eyes, even give you cataracts.

In another study, increased use of cell phones and pagers was linked to a decrease in family satisfaction and increased stress over a two-year period.

Also, 33% of people would rather give up sex than their cellphone.

It’s all a bit much. The evidence is damning!

This weekend, I realised that I didn’t own my phone, it owned me… And I decided to take some power back.

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On Sunday, the sun was out and the weather was incredible. I took a cab to IMATS to visit my friend Amy from Sugarpill, and then I started walking. I walked from Pier 94 to Central Park, and then down 6th Avenue to the West Village (four miles in total).

I wanted to be really present, so I left my headphones at home, and I decided to make a point of not holding my phone while I walked. I took it out to snap photos of the Empire State Building and the LOVE statue by Robert Indiana, but then I’d throw my phone back into my bag and do up the clasp.

The result? I felt really present, and in-the-moment. I felt serene, despite the thousands of people around me. I didn’t feel frazzled, I felt united with the moment. It was a true walking meditation. I enjoyed the sunshine, the sights and the sounds. I gawked at people and drank coconut and strawberry iced tea. I felt the energy of the city around me, and experienced the lulls and peaks of foot traffic from street to street.

It was fantastic. I came home feeling clearheaded and aware. Lesson learnt!

My new motto? Put your phone away, and keep your damn head up. Will you join me?

Much love,

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Knowing It vs Feeling It

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On Friday night, I sat knee-to-knee with my friend Sarah, as we watched Gabby on stage. She was launching her new book, Miracles Now. The lecture was incredible, and afterwards, she opened up the stage for Q&A. The clock was ticking, and it was time for the party to wind down.

A woman approached the microphone. She was terrified, trembling, and she could hardly get the words out.

“I’ve been dealing with an eating disorder for 13 years, and I’ve been in and out of treatment. I’ve made some progress, and I believe all the stuff I’ve learned on an intellectual level… But I feel like I can never get there emotionally. I know that part of me is fighting for me to be healthy and happy, but not all of me. I just feel really disconnected from myself. I don’t know what to do.”

As I listened to her, I got a lump in my throat. I knew where she was coming from. I know what it’s like to intellectually know that what you’re doing is unhealthy, and to know that theoretically, it could all be solved quite easily. But then you look in the mirror and break down in tears, because you can’t stand how repugnant you are.

Knowing something to be true intellectually is very different from knowing it in your heart and feeling it to be true. You might know that you should forgive yourself, learn to accept yourself, and love yourself, but until you feel it deep within, nothing will change.

A lot of women that night mentioned that it was easy to forgive others, but almost impossible to forgive themselves. This is always the biggest challenge; we are always our own biggest critic. We forget that an act of forgiveness doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be a small mental affirmation, I forgive myself, repeated throughout the day.

“The only difference between me and you is that I practice forgiving myself all day long.” (Yogi Bhajan)

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Eating disorders come from that place that tells you you’re not good enough, that everyone else is doing so much better than you are, that you’ll never measure up and you’ll never be perfect. They grow in that place that condemns you for having too many feelings, for not having enough self-control, for being in a body that changes every day.

This woman felt alone in a room of 200, but the truth is that at least 150 of the women in that room were right there with her. New studies have just been released which say 75% of women have disordered eating.

If you’ve never suffered from disordered eating, the best thing I can compare it is to having your soul torn apart and dragged in two different directions. You feel like you are being severed from your spirit. The pain and loathing and anguish is beyond anything I have ever encountered.

We always think our problems are ours alone, but we are never as isolated as we think. Eating disorders are one of the ultimate secrets, and staying silent hurts us and the people around us. There is a way out, and once you meet someone who kicked anorexia’s ass or kissed bulimia goodbye, you realise it doesn’t have to be your identity. It doesn’t have to be destiny.

There are a lot of different ways to get to the other side: 12-step programs, tapping (this is even endorsed by the National Centre For Eating Disorders), meditation, yoga, art therapy, a combination of some or all of these things… The list goes on and on. There are even iPhone and Android apps to help! I also love these suggestions for recovery: print it out and put it somewhere you’ll see it all the time.

It’s time to take care of ourselves and do what is truly best for us. There is so much love that we are not giving ourselves, and while it’s tempting to give it to someone else, you have to help yourself first.

One thing I can promise you: when you move past your eating disorder, when you stop letting it define you, and when you start to gain an appreciation for your body, your life will be transformed. You will have hopes and dreams again. Your heart will be filled with the beauty of the world. It will be so radiant that it will make you gasp.

If you’ve already learned to love yourself or you are on the way, it is your duty to pass on what you know. It is your responsibility to use those tools to help other people. Radical self love and the journey of self-discovery is not about navel-gazing and self-indulgence, it is about learning how to turn up your own light so you can shine and illuminate the world for others. You can start to show them that your light is a reflection of theirs.

Love,

Bathtub photo from C-Heads. Perfection Is Annihilation image by Satsuki Shibuya.

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A Turquoise Explosion

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Polka-dot tulle, layers of frothy petticoats and a room full of velvet couches: these are the things dreams are made of. They are also the things I used to distract myself from a particularly cold day back in January!

It all came together quite serendipitously: Sassy emailed me from the U.K., and said something along the lines of, “I’m coming to New York City. I’d like to bring you a dress and shoot you in it. Are you interested?”

I looked around at my office and the grey snow outside. Was she offering me a chance to actually have fun again? I said yes in an instant!

When I arrived at Patina and saw this glorious creation by The Couture Company hanging up, I knew I was in for a day of delights! Jo took my measurements by email and used them — and some pictures of me for inspiration — to whip up this diaphonous, candy-coloured masterpiece.

If you ask me, nothing beats turquoise and baby pink (and those of you who have been with me since the beginning might remember that they were the colours of my first blog layout)!

This dress really speaks for itself. The corset was boned, splashed with pastel panels and cinched in with an embellished belt, and the frou-frou petticoats cascaded gently to the floor.

Patina is so cool. I wouldn’t mind having an enormous light-up arrow in my apartment! I spent some time lounging in various locations while Sassy played with her tilt-shift lens…

We were very fond of that lens, let me tell you!

Seriously, can the babes from Patina just come and decorate my entire life? They have the best collection of furniture, doo-dads, trinkets, and wonderful things you never knew you needed. (If you’re throwing a party or having a wedding, you should talk to them… And you should definitely investigate Patina x The Color Condition! Swoon!)

Then I threw on my leopard-print coat and motorcycle boots to go and check out the scene on the roof. Freezing cold? YES. Worth it? Definitely!

What a view! Best city ever…

Photos by Assassynation aka Sarah Lafford. Thanks to Patina for letting us use your gorgeous space!

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Things I Love Thursday: Pink Trees And Renewed Hope

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What a big week it’s been! Firstly, I wanted to say an enormous thank you to everyone for being so sweet and awesome about the redesign. We’re all delighted that you love it, and I’m over the moon to have it finished! There has been such a wonderful reaction to my Pep Talks, and I can’t believe how many people have enrolled for Radical Self Love Bible School! I’m having so much fun with it. (I was totally tickled by this gorgeous post about it, too.)

I had some people tweeting at me about display errors: if you’re seeing something funky, please take a screenshot, tell me which browser you’re using, and flick it over to me! We want everyone to have a great experience, so it would be awesome if you could help us out!

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There’s definitely something about seeing pink trees that flips your script… Just imagine me walking around like a cartoon character with hearts in my eyes 24/7!

J’adore… Late-night brainstorming sessions with Gabby Lady Grey Lavender and Coconut Vanilla tea with Veronica Varlow Real life ghost stories Learning how to do my own gel manicures! Going a little bit nuts pinning wicked art last night  Loading up on crystal jewellery for good luck  …And getting a whole lot of wonderful news (coincidence? I think not!)  This time next month, I’ll be in San Francisco, about to teach a Blogcademy class!  Pharrell’s new album, G I R L  High-fives  Oatmeal every morning  Reorganising my closet: today is the day I start switching out my winter items! (Finally!)  Sending love beams through Twitter  Taking chances and seeing the pay-off  Everything coming back together — it has been a rough few months but life definitely took a turn for the better this week!  Excitement ++   I actually got to leave the house in a t-shirt on Tuesday!  Watching the trees in Tompkins Square Park explode into a cacophony of pink  Phil Collins  Finally getting around to watching Anchorman 2: it was stupid, but I laughed out loud several times  Feeling inspired and full of hope and love  You guys! I love you all so much. I hope you can feel it coming through the screen! 

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By the way, if you’re interested in giving sugar the boot — or even learning how to reduce its stranglehold on your life! — I must recommend Sarah Wilson’s brand spanking new book, I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook. It’s an insane bestseller for a reason. Go get it!

What are you in love with? Go shout it from a rooftop!

Have an amazing day!

Top image by Tyler Spangler.

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