This is the 335th blog post I have published since the most - - of every moment began. I have been asked how I am able to keep coming up with new ideas to write about. I'm not sure I really have an answer.
Sometimes it just happens.Writing is a little bit like thinking. It just happens. I may be struck by an idea while I'm gardening, or falling asleep, or cooking dinner, or taking a shower. I often write whole pages in my dreams, only to awaken in frustration, with nothing but a teasing tidbit of that content remaining once I am conscious. Sometimes I have more ideas in my head than there are days to write and publish them. Occasionally, I draw a blank.
An editorial calendar can help - if you use it!Organized bloggers keep an editorial calendar of topics to be published, sometimes
scheduled many weeks in advance. Some months, I am good at this - others, “not so much!” It seems that each time I get a stash of ideas for articles, they quickly get used up. Even when I have a calendar filled in, I find I do a lot of rearranging and scratching out. It seems I need to be able to write what suits my mood at the time.
Pretend to be ready to write.When the creativity well is dry, one of the best ways I have found to come up with ideas is to open my computer, log on to a blank page, and let my fingers hover over the keyboard. The sight of an empty page, waiting to be filled with words and pictures, encourages me to begin.
Search for something that will trigger an idea.Sometimes the blank page does not inspire me though. When it doesn't, I go (physically) in search of an idea. Wandering around my house can sometimes sparks a memory that can lead to an article. Looking through our bookcases, photos, and my recipe collection can help me select a topic. Thinking about my recent activities may remind me of a tip I want to share. Use of a word prompt has come to my rescue more than once. Surfing on Facebook can feel like a waste of time, but it can be a gold mine of things to write about. Local and National news can provide a thought upon which to expand.
I try not to write just for the sake of writing. If I am not inspired, my reader will surely not be either. It is better to not publish anything at all, than create something I am unhappy with. Once I finally select a topic, the words usually begin to flow.
The timing has to be rightRather than not having anything to write about, the problem is usually not having the right thing at the right time. Circumstances of when and where an article will be published, and how much time and energy there is available to write it must be considered. If I have a really good idea, I want to be sure I am in the right mindset to write it, and that the article will be published in the most optimal place and time. It is wise to think this through carefully. I have also learned not too wait on an idea too long, however. When you do, that subject can sometimes grow stale or loose its importance.
Life is made up of many momentsThis blog is best categorized as a "lifestyle blog." It does not have a heavy emphasis on any particular topic. Its central theme, making the most of life's moments, can span a wide variety of topics. The only rule I try to follow is that each post must educate, motivate, entertain, be thought provoking, or in some other way offer my reader an opportunity to make good use of a moment or more.
A blog without a nicheNot having a “niche” (a topic I write about in-depth) is both a blessing and a curse. It gives me the latitude to write anything I want to on any given day, but I sometimes would like the structure of a niche that defines the topic about which I should write.
Niche writers have the comfort of knowing their readers are there because they want to learn more about the topics covered on that blog. My readers never know quite what they are going to get - and I never know if I am writing what they want to read. I can only hope I get it right!
The memory of a conversationWhen I opened my laptop to write this post, I had no ideas in mind at all. I had been feeling anxious about not having a topic planned when I logged on. Fingers over the keyboard, an idea began to take shape. What triggered the words you just read here? It was the emptiness of the page and the memory of a conversation.
Writing is like thinking. Don't you think?
If you are a writer, how do you avoid writer's block?
If you are a blog reader - what type of posts have you enjoyed most here?
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