If you’re a blogger, chances are you have days where the Muse simply doesn’t strike – maybe even weeks. If left uncontrolled, this can metastasize into serious blogger’s block. No sight (or site) is more poignant for one’s eye to see than a blog lying fallow, with the last post being from 2009, all those high hopes abandoned, all those dreams dashed.
It’s tempting to sit around waiting for some brilliant idea to burst forth fully formed, like (to switch classical allusions for a second) Athena from the head of Zeus. Unfortunately, the reality is much more prosaic.
The truth is, you can’t wait for inspiration to float down from the heavens, you gotta jump up there and grab it! Here are five of my preferred methods for seeking a good idea:
- Find a lecture to go to. Check the websites of local universities and libraries and sit in on a talk given by some expert in an area outside your own field of expertise. Note how expert-y he (or she!) sounds. That’s the tone you want. If there’s passion, that’s good too. Steal that.
- Google the keywords “most expensive Google keywords” in Google. Click around until you’ve found the most monetizable words. Then just write a post that includes all of them. For instance, pen a short story entitled “Mesothelioma Lawyer Britney Spears Takes Cord Blood Classes Online.” Remember Mad Libs? This is like that, but simultaneously more pointless and more lucrative.
- Talk to a dog. (If you don’t have a dog, or there isn’t one in your neighborhood, talk to a bird, making sure not to get your feelings hurt if it flies away.) Imagine what the dog would say, or even better, what if it would blog, if dogs had fingers. Then blog that.
- Read the New York Times. In the shower. When it gets too soaked to read, try eating it. Mmm. Pulpy. (Just kidding y’all, this may not be safe, even though they used to put fish and chips on newsprint. But do read something! You’d be surprised how many writers get their ideas from reading. The two activities seem to be correlated somehow.)
- Take a dictionary (if you still have a hard-copy dictionary…and if not, well, feel ashamed of yourself briefly and then go buy one). Close your eyes. Flip to a random page. Put your finger on a word, any word. Write that word down. Now just start writing anything it brings to mind. Consult the definition if you don’t know what it means. But that doesn’t matter so much. Just jot down whatever comes to mind. Do this for a full page. It doesn’t matter what you set down. In all likelihood, none of it will be even remotely usable and you can throw the whole thing away. But meanwhile, you’ve written something. And that’s half the battle. If you’re really lucky, you’ll find the idea you were looking for by NOT looking for it. The Muse is tricky like that.
Well, there you go! Hopefully these 5 spectacular tips will help you on your quest to become a top blogger. But remember, in the end life isn’t a popularity contest. It’s a money contest. Wait, no. It’s about personal fulfillment.