After all of these years, I finally know where babies come from. But I still haven’t a clue where creativity come from! Sort of like the “it” factor, some people just have it; others have to work hard to make it happen. I’ve always been an “ideas” guy, but that doesn’t mean the creative thoughts are flowing 24/7.
Where do I go when the blog-post-idea well runs dry? Here are several places I turn…
If you’re not writing down your nightly dreams, you are missing out on a golden ‘ideas’ opportunity. Not only do dreams allow you to tap into your subconscious, and many of the thoughts and motivations that you are repressing, but they also can be used as an unofficial gauge to your mental, emotional and physical well-being.
It’s the former that can spawn some of the kookiest blog post ideas. Despite the size and scope of the Internet, and the sheer volume of bloggers, I am always amazed at how vanilla the blogosphere can be. Look to your dreams to add color to your blog posts. Even if they don’t make sense today, yesterday’s dream could be next year’s blog.
The best writers, in my opinion, are the ones who can tap into real-life experiences, paint a picture of emotion, and step away from the topic in order to illustrate it objectively.
Whether the cashier behind the counter winked at you and touched your wrist when she handed back 60 cents. (Yup, that happened!) Or you smashed the side-view mirror off of your car because you were rushing to the gym. (Yup, that happened!) Or you just spent Mother’s Day with the most amazing family in the world (Yup, that happened!), the reality is, ideas are everywhere.
With every breath comes a new blog post idea, so in theory, if you are breathing, you’re creating new ideas.
This is my least favorite approach and one I rarely use, however I would be lying if I said that reading other blogs doesn’t help me come up with my own original ideas. Reading is a thought catalyst, one that can get your creative juices flowing and spawn a bevy of ideas. Find me a writer that doesn’t read and I’ll show you a lawyer who doesn’t bend the truth.
MEDIA (movies, music, TV, etc.)
We’re constantly consuming other people’s ideas. Rather than digest what they’ve given us like a meal, I suggest you make leftovers! Go back to your favorite movie or song and look to it for inspiration.
One example I worked on was Career Advice From the Shawshank Redemption. It gave me an opportunity to write a creative post while tapping into the brilliance of my favorite movie – now that was fun!
If you are struggling for a blog idea, I suggest you stop trying so hard and just live your life. When the day is done, find a few minutes to sit peacefully. After a few deep breaths, recount the events of your day, both big and small. Scan through each one and see if there’s a blog post hiding somewhere. Most of the time, you’ll find several.
If choosing a topic to blog about becomes a regular struggle, blogging might not be for you. Go write for a monthly magazine!
Have anything to add? Let us know!
Author: Andrew G. Rosen
After working for FOX News and MTV Networks, Andrew G. Rosen founded Jobacle.com, a career advice and employment news blog. He is also the author of The Exit Guide: How to Leave a Job the Right Way.