When I first signed on as the Divorce Blogger for Woman’s Day Magazine, I remember a feeling of pure panic as I wondered how in the world I was going to come up with something to write about (related to one subject, no less) five days a week.
I’ve been doing that over three years now, and through hundreds of blog posts, I haven’t missed a day yet. And I still get that feeling of panic, believe me. My deadline is 2:30pm and I still have many days when I’m staring at the keyboard at 2:15 mumbling “C’mon, Ellie….it’s in there….think!”
Over these last few years with Woman’s Day and across the eleven years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve developed an arsenal of tricks to get the old creative juices flowing and hopefully reach my audience.
Google is your friend. Seriously. I Google “Divorce” in the “News” section all the time. I also Google “Autism Parent” along with any other current event I feel like commenting on in my parenting blog. One time in a fit of sheer frustration, I Googled “Nothing to blog about” and found a couple of humorous articles that gave me a seed of an idea.
Google is still your friend. This time, search “Images”. Type in a word for how you’re feeling right now. Then use Google image search and peruse the pictures. Sometimes a photo can give you all you need. It can spark a memory, evoke a feeling, or remind you of a perfect (or awful) day.
Do a search for prompts. There are actually pages of blogging prompts out there on the internet, and general writing prompts as well. Something’s got to fit! If not, make it fit. Don’t be too concerned if it’s a bit of a stretch – your audience won’t care as long as you make it engaging.
Comment on another blog post. Just be sure to credit the original blogger, of course. Add your two cents to theirs. I had this done with tremendous effect on one of my featured BlogHer posts by the incredibly talented mrlady, who made my post just that much more effective with her heartfelt commentary.
Call in a lifeline. Just like in “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” you’re going to reach out to your friends for help. Poll the online friends, ask the neighbors, talk to your Mom or your sister, or better – your readers! What do they find interesting? Ask them what they’d like to see you write about. This has paid off for me many times.
Being a blogger is an exercise in frustration sometimes, but it’s exercise that stretches that writer brain and builds those creative muscles so they can handle bigger and better things. Don’t let a little blogger’s blog stymie you. You can push through it and you can make it work!
If all else fails, you can always write a post about how you just can’t blog today!