I’m a daily blogger. I blog every day. Every day I write a blog. Yes, I had to write it three different ways because I’m still trying to figure out why I write every day. I also have a day job and write fiction books (The Travelers). It’s not as though I have excessive extra time on my hands.
People often ask if I’ll stop blogging every day. I think when it becomes too burdensome, when it starts to feel like a chore, I’ll stop.
That hasn’t happened yet. Right now it’s a fun way to flex my writing muscle. I get to brainstorm, write about different topics, research, think. These are things I like to do! I’m a writer, so I write. At this point it feels almost as strange if someone asked me if I would stop reading every day. Why would I? I love it.
Still it does have its challenges. One of which is I do need to come up with ideas for blogs. So where do I get them? Here are some sources for my blog ideas.
I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’ll use ideas from other bloggers. I put “stealing” in quotes because I’m not taking their entire blogs. And I don’t rehash what they’ve done. But I may see a topic and think that I could give it a unique vantage point. For example, I recently saw a blog on how a blogger chooses a book or another on common YA tropes that need to end.
I thought these are interesting topics that I may view in a different way. For me, it’s like the author panel I just participated in with another author. We were both asked the same questions and often times we gave a different answer or had a different point to contribute. If I feel I can add something, then I might use that topic for a blog.
Generally, I don’t find the news enjoyable. But, I read it because I like to stay informed. (Soapbox side note: I never watch news. I only read. I despise TV news in all forms. News should be read fully, not digested in out of context, ratings-driven bites of information.)
However, the news can drive my content generation, particularly if I’m moved (or super outraged, which is more common these days) by something that’s happening. For example, I wrote a blog comparing quotes from the White House administration to quotes in dystopian novels. I mixed them together to see if people could tell which were fact and which were fiction. (Take the test, see if you can tell. It’s hard.)
The shower does seem like a strange place for ideas. But, it’s less about the shower being inspiration, although it clearly was for Hitchcock, and more about it’s a place where ideas seem to spring into my mind. This also happens when I’m doing things like walking the dog or cleaning the house. I’d imagine I’m not the only one, especially considering there is a scientific principle behind this phenomenon of creativity being related to performing a mindless task.
Research shows you’re more likely to have a creative epiphany when you’re doing something monotonous, like fishing, exercising, or showering. Since these routines don’t require much thought, you flip to autopilot. This frees up your unconscious to work on something else. Your mind goes wandering, leaving your brain to quietly play a no-holds-barred game of free association.
Sometimes during a conversation a statement will spark a flash of an idea. At this point, people in my family will see my eyes stare off after something that was said and they’ll comment, “Is that going to end up as tomorrow’s blog topic.” Sometimes it does…
Oftentimes my blogs are based on my experiences. I travel for work, usually to Dallas these days. I’d really like to go somewhere new because my Dallas inspiration is quickly becoming exhausted. Plus, I’m over cowboy hats and mannequins with cattle heads and giant horns. It’s just weird.
I’ve spent so much time in the Dallas airport the airport itself even has a blog – Tips on how to spend 4+ hours in an airport.
Not all my blogs about my experiences come from traveling. My family can be a source of inspiration. In fact some of the blogs I love best to write are the ones about my family. These are just short story-like blogs about some event in our lives that lent itself well to quick story, such as how our dog outsmarted my husband.
Holidays such as National Poetry Month or International Book Day are great opportunities for blog topics for someone like me who mostly writes about books and writing. But, there are other, weirder, holidays that can also spawn fun topics like National Sarcasm Month or National Pizza Month. Of course not all days are worthy of a blog topic. I’m not sure National High Five Day is something that would inspire me, but you never know. If I took a shower or walked the dog maybe I’d think of something.
Last, but definitely not least, much of my inspiration for blogs comes from books. That’s not a surprise. I’m a writer. My blog centers around books and writing. There’s are so many options for blog topics just around books alone – book recommendations, book genres, bookstores, book reviews, bookstagrams, I could go on. Books provide endless opportunity for thought and comment. It’s one of the things that makes blogging so much fun.
If you’re a blogger, where do you get your ideas?