|Photo credit: djwtwo on Flickr|
“I was wondering if you always knew what to write about on your blog. I post only when I have something to talk about. But you need to post three times a week. Seems hard to me.”
Well, lovely anonymous follower, to the first part of your question—no, I don’t always know what to write about. In fact, I often don’t figure out what my post will be about until the day I write it (like ehem, now).
To the second part, here’s a secret: it is hard. And it’s also easy. Allow me to explain.
I suppose I could wait for a blog post idea to come to me—I’m not going to pretend it never happens, it does. Sometimes when I’m driving or working on my WIP or just daydreaming in general, I’ll come up with a good idea for a post. Then I celebrate a little and write down the idea.
But ideas don’t just come to me three times a week right in time for my Monday, Wednesday, Friday blogging schedule (that’d be too easy). So if the day before I’m supposed to post comes and I still don’t have any posting ideas, I sit in front of the computer and stare at the blank screen and flip through my blog archives and refuse to leave the computer until I’ve started writing a post. No exceptions.
Because yes, I could wait for an idea to come to me, but like most things in life, blog post ideas don’t often fall from the sky and land on your lap—sometimes you have to get up and go find them. And some days it’s hard—some days I sit at the computer and stare at the screen for what feels like years and the schedule-loving part of me whispers you need to write this post today so you have something to post tomorrow. You’ve never missed a day, Ava. Don’t start now. And I stare and stare and stare and it feels like I’ll never figure out what to write about.
Except I don’t give myself an option. I don’t allow myself not to write a post when I have one due. If I’m supposed to post tomorrow, then I’ll come up with a blog post idea if it kills me (and I’m still here, so the strategy seems to be working pretty well).
And some days it’s easy—some days I write a post and it spawns two or three other post ideas, so I add it to my list of running blog topic possibilities and then I do something else and sometimes more ideas rain down on me like wonderful gifts from the heavens. Some days I whip a blog post draft out in ten or fifteen minutes and I dance around in little circles in my mind because I feel accomplished and now I have all this extra time to do other things.
Yes, those are the easy days—but it’s certainly not every day, or even every other day. In fact, most days fall under the first category and the truth is, I don’t mind it.
Because blogging has taught me something important—that sometimes the best ideas don’t just fall in your lap, sometimes you have to chase them down and wrestle them onto the page. And it’s not just blog post ideas—it’s any sort of idea or inspiration that you need to keep writing.
Because yes, you can wait for the ideas to come, but why wait when you can go get them yourself?
I know it’s not as easy as it sounds, so I ask you—do you wait for blog post ideas to come to you or do you generate them yourself? Where do you get your posting ideas from?