This week’s entry is rather ironic because it came as the result of a period of writer’s block. I COULD NOT COME UP WITH A BLOG POST IDEA. So I turned my panic into a blog post. #lemonade.
Keeping up a blog is hard, and figuring out exactly what you want to write about and how you want to write about it can be frustrating. So, to appease those of you who are feeling as defeated as I was prior to getting this idea, here are a few tips methods I’ve used to help me keep the ball rolling.
- Use a blog topic generator.
This is not going to be your all-time saving grace because you still have to think of nouns in order to get the generator to work. However, it does provide you with potential titles for your blog, and these can quickly spark an idea for how you want your article to flow. HubSpot’s generator is limited unless you sign up for more ideas, but it really helped me when I was first getting started. At that point, I didn’t know how broad my topics and titles could be, and the generator helped me see that there was really no limit.
- Record yourself talking about a random topic and then transcribe it.
My Sex Education review actually began as a voice note on my phone. I found that it was easier for my ideas to flow when I just let my brain go at full speed. I talk faster than I type and I think faster than I speak so that was honestly my best bet. I, of course, had quite a bit of editing to do when it came time to write the article, but at least I had an idea that was 97% fleshed out already. It was also the most conversational of my blogs in my humble opinion.
- Get a little wacky with your YouTube/Netflix/Hulu/Facebook videos.
I’ve found that watching something new or even just writing about something I enjoy watching has helped me find topics I’m actually excited to write about. YouTube in particular has been awesome for me because it’s a gigantic international amusement park and my brain wants to go on all the rides. So far, I’ve been able to turn my YouTube binge-watching experience into a blog post about tiny homes and I have a few more ideas lined up because of it.
- Ask friends (and strangers) what you should write about.
Everyone will have an opinion so you don’t have to take them all. Some will be good and incredibly helpful, while others won’t be. The reason for this is probably because there are certain things that we just don’t want to write about. We can’t possibly see them as entertaining. This, dear reader, is the time that SPIN IS GOOD. You can spin any topic into something interesting to write/talk about. The many nicknames Americans have for dogs – you can make that interesting. How to reupholster furniture – you can make that interesting. The art of Statistics – you can make that interesting too (especially because people love a good rant). It’s all about how you write about it.
- Don’t force it.
This blog started as a semester-long assignment for my MEJO 577 class: The Branding of Me. If I continue to look at it as an assignment for which I am expecting a grade, I’ll only be churning out content for the sake of quantity and not quality. I’ve had to look at this blog as a space for me to talk about whatever I want, however I want to. I can play around with my sentence structure and my writing style. I can make write about ice cream, participate in the “Is water wet?” debate or even make commentary on politics. (Okay, let’s be real, I hate ruffling feathers so I’m probably staying away from politics, but you get the idea). My point is this: When you’re able to get out of your head and enjoy the process of creation and reflection, your pieces are likely to get better and sound more authentic.
Literally anyone with internet access can start a blog. You don’t have to be the C.S. Lewis of the blog sphere. All you have to do is be someone who thinks about the things going on around them and wants to articulate those thoughts in words. Actually, blogs don’t even have to be verbal. You can post art, photos, stick figures or algebra homework (with permission from the instructor, of course). It doesn’t really matter. Anytime you get an idea – whether you’re on the toilet or on a date – write it down or record it so that you don’t forget it.
Go forth and create!