or, How to write a blog post when you're completely lacking inspiration, in 15 easy steps.
1. Switch on your computer. This is a pretty fundamental first step; if you can't summon the energy even to do that, I'm afraid there's no hope for you.
2. Check your emails. Read them all thoroughly, even the one informing you that you've won a million pounds in a competition you never entered, run by a company you've never heard of.* Refresh your inbox. Repeat until you're sure no new mail is going to come through.
3. Log in to all your social networking sites. 'Like' at least three photos of cats being mildly amusing. Spend half an hour composing a tweet that perfectly reflects your brilliance.
4. You must be hungry by now. Go and get a snack.
5. Return to your computer and check your emails again.
6. Log in to your blogging site, create a new post and stare at the blank page.
7. Find someone to distract you. A small child is your best bet, because they'll distract you whether you want them to or not. Other possibilities include a partner, a relative, a friend or, at a pinch, a door-to-door salesman.
8. Return to your computer and check your emails. Follow a link to someone else's blog. Note that this person blogs every day on a range of varied and interesting topics. With colour illustrations.
9. Make yourself a consoling cup of tea. Whilst drinking it, remind yourself that only three people and a dog read your blog anyway, so it's not as if you're under the same pressure as Ms Ten Thousand Subscribers.
10. Pause for a brief daydream about when you are a famous author with a hundred thousand subscribers and can laugh in the face of colour illustrations.
11. Return to your computer. Do not check your emails. Open your current work-in-progress and start tinkering with Chapter 7.
12. An hour or so later, remember you are meant to be blogging. Also realise that it's dark and you have to get up for work tomorrow.
13. Mix yourself a reviving gin and tonic.
14. Go back to your empty blog post and dash off a few hundred words about what you've been doing all day. Post it under the guise of being helpful to your fellow writers.
15. Try not to repeat the process too frequently, or your readers may notice.**
* To claim your prize, click on this link and answer a few simple questions about yourself and your bank account ...
** The dog will, at any rate. He has a suspicious mind.