Since I’ve begun this blog, I’ve started to notice more and more bloggers who complain that they don’t have anything about which to blog.
My first thought is always, “then don’t blog,” but of course that isn’t a good answer if you’re blogging because you’ve set yourself a goal, or because you promised to write a guest post for someone, or some other reason that makes blogging feel more like a necessity than something fun.
For the record, I think blogging is fun. I wouldn’t bother, otherwise. I’ve been blogging since I opened a LiveJournal account in the summer of 2001, though that journal is much more personal than this one, and encompasses a wider range of topics. I’ve made over 4,000 posts (not all of them are public). (Admittedly, some of those posts are just statements of the previous night’s wordcount.)
Here are my thoughts on what to do when you can’t think what to write in your blog. Some are less serious than others. Some of my suggestions that aren’t terribly serious can actually be treated as serious suggestions, and might result in interesting posts. Also, these topics can be used more than once. Your answers will change over time, as I’ve noticed from looking back at how I wrote about writing before and after I first sold, and as I gained more confidence as a writer.
1. What are you working on? How do you feel about it? Are you attempting anything new with this project? Is the new thing difficult for you? What made you attempt the new thing?
2. What inspires you? What do you do when you are having trouble starting a project? (See how this one ties into having trouble blogging?) What keeps you going while you write? How do you make it through to the end of a project?
3. Pick a specific issue of writing craft and describe how you handle it, the parts that are easy for you and the parts you haven’t yet mastered.
4. Where are you now? Where is that, in comparison to where you were six months ago? A year? Five years? Ten? How have your goals changed?
5. Write about books or writers that have influenced you, either through reading or through direct contact. Who are your mentors? Who are your mentors whom you’ve never met? What book do you wish you’d written? What book do you wish you could write that isn’t quite the book you wish you’d written?
6. And now for something completely different: spend a day or a week or a month writing about your research trip to Grand Rapids or Paris or Nairobi. Write about stories your family told. Write about strange experiences you’ve had.
7. Tell your own story. Most writers have blogged about their path to publication, often more than once. Find a new angle. How did others help you achieve that goal? What happened after your first sales? What do you wish you’d done differently?
8. Query your audience. You don’t have to ask them about writing or reading. Ask them if you should henna your hair. Ask them what their favorite food is. Ask them what they want you to blog about. And answer the question yourself, as well.
9. Picspam! Choose a selection of pictures, and write about them. They might have a common theme, as when I post World War One research photos, or you might make the connections yourself. Write your thoughts. Write some facts. Write a story.
10. Invite guests. Your friends have unexpected knowledge or talents. Show them off.
Related post: 5 Blogging Inspirations.
I feel like I should print this out and save it. I do sometimes have trouble coming up with something to blog about, mostly because I tend to want to blog early in the day and get it done so I can get to work writing! And pre-coffee blogging is rough. These are great suggestions, though!
I think of topics at the oddest times….
Oh, geez, this page is being saved. When I'm promoting a book and doing blog hops I'm usually completely blogged out by the end trying to come up with original posts. Of course, this month I've gotten around it by taking suggestion #10 ;)
I'm taking a workshop on blogging!
Though I wrote this post before that.
Great ideas! I suppose I never have a problem with coming up with a topic because…well, I just don't do it then as you said.
My blog is really more like a journal, as you mentioned. The other day I had this thought. In twenty years, will I be able to look back on my blog posts the way I went back to read my journals from high school? :)
I've found it really helpful to look back at my old LJ entries, especially about writing, and see things like how long I tend to need to rest after I finish a project, or how I shake loose of being stuck. It's comforting to be reminded I've overcme the same problems before!