"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

5 Proven Cures for "What-to-write-about-itis"...


Having an audience can be awesome.
It can also be intimidating.
And I should know. I often speak of how the first 12 people who followed my Blog regularly kept me motivated. Now, there are hundreds of readers that I am blessed to put my words before each week.
And with it comes great responsibility. Charles Dickens isn't the only one with "Great
Expectations.":-)

Imagine, if you will, hosting a dinner party or function with 100s of interesting guests.
You worry about having the right "menu" selections.
You ponder whether or not your place is appealing and void of excess clutter.

Will "visitors" enjoy their experience enough to say yes to your next R.S.V.P. request?
Oh my! :-)
For many bloggers, a similar dynamic exists when it comes to their readership, and "entertaining" on an ongoing basis.
No matter how much you love it, or how clever you are, after awhile it can be a bit challenging to infuse your Blog with new ideas and interesting themes. True?

Some call it writer's block; while others may view it as a form of performance anxiety.
Either way, how you handle it will determine whether you'll have repeat visitors, or lose fans and friends.

Today we'll look at a few strategies I use to keep the creative juices flowing, and to keep readers stuck like Velcro, after 4 years and over 400 blog posts.
 (And by the way...thanks for being one of them.:-) )

1. Lessons Learned
Raise your hand if you know more about blogging now than you did a year or two ago. Or if you've mastered the dreaded query letter. Or perhaps your revelations may deal with how to persevere through rejection. No matter how long you've been on this writing journey, chances are, you can share with others, tips and techniques to cause fewer detours on their road to success. The possibilities are endless here.

2.    TV Show Analogies
I'm a big fan of Reality TV programs. Not all of them.
But, enough to keep me immersed in ideas that are relate-able and fun.
For instance, I've used shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, to show the parallels between performing on stage, and being "virtual performers" when we release our work to a viewing public. What metaphors and comparisons can you employ, based upon your viewing choices? Assess and then apply.

3. Book Reviews
Writers quite often are readers. And we love to share a good "read" as much as women love to share the 4-1-1 on a  good shoe sale! Posting book reviews allows you to give another writer a little exposure for his/her work, and also create a win/win situation for everybody.  Here's another bonus: you can also tie it in with a book give-away to increase the fun factor.

4. National Awareness Days
Did you know that there are days of celebration, (other than typical holidays) that deserve awareness and tribute? A few that I've discovered are: National Chocolate Week, Everybody deserves a massage week, and National Friendship day, to name a few. These "awareness" days can be a great opportunity to broaden your creative horizons, share interesting trivia, and add variety to the content offered at your site. Last year, National Chocolate Week inspired an idea for a writing contest here, that proved very popular. Why not try it? For a listing of national days and events, simply Google "National Awareness Days" for related links.    

5. Interviews
People's national curiosity to learn about what makes others tick, is the reason you'll find interviews and profiles in just about every publication at your local newsstand. And here's the good news: celebrities are not the only ones that live engaging lives. What about a relative who has overcome major health challenges? Or your neighbor with all his colorful war stories? Or your best friend's new business?  Chances are, there are story ideas all around you.

So the next time you find yourself suffering from a bout of "what-to-write-about-itis" tap into this proven recipe for success!

Your turn.
Thoughts? How do you deal with a lack of ideas?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

10 comments:

  1. Very true, Jen. No matter how much we love it, some days we just don't wanna. But your tips are terrif - as always. I'll be coming back to this post often!

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  2. Sue,

    ...Lovely to hear you'll be coming back for seconds. :-) Thanks for stopping by today.

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  3. Raising my hand - yes, I know more about blogging than when I started back in August 2008.

    Have not yet queried anyone, but I aim to do so this month, this year. Sound redundant? I'm going for emphasis. This is my IT year. Now period.

    Thanks for the suggestions on how to find topics to write about. I would add that you can check past year's posts to revisit ideas. Do you feel the same or has your opinion changed?

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  4. D7ana,

    Wow...A blast from the past! :-) Great to reconnect, lady.
    Hoping your IT year will be in 2013; carpe diem! I'll be rootin for ya'! Thanks for adding to the mix. Good suggestion.

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  5. Those are all great approaches Jennifer,

    For what Lessons Learned is concerned, you can discover a recent post on my Home Business Lifestyle blog, with some of my little 'Blogging Discoveries' in a post
    about sharing Success Journal Notes.

    As far as I understand successful blogger Pat Flynn from SmartPassive Income, actually started blogging and getting an audience by sharing Study Notes.

    I do believe that also just simply writing about previous posts and elaborating on them also makes it possible to develope ideas, and over a period of time make them more advanced.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, H.P., for this feedback. Useful stuff. :-)

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  6. Hi, there I love your idea of driving an analogy between the writer and the on- stage performers. Additionally, I simply can't agree more with the view that putting yourself in the reader's shoes thereby documenting your ideas through book (and film) reviews helps!

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    1. Guestblog.gs

      Welcome! Thanks so much for taking the time to weigh in here. I appreciate the feedback.

      Delete
  7. You are welcome. Looking forward to more such interesting posts from you!

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