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Four New Ways to Spark Blogging Inspiration

By: Guest | July 14, 2011 | 
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Today’s guest post is written by Marijean Jaggers.

I’m not a person who gets writer’s (or blogger’s) block. The challenge of writing daily, however, sometimes leaves me less than enthusiastic about the content I’m creating. Hey, we all get a little stuck for fresh ideas every once in a while, right?

I’ve been paying attention to what gets my synapses firing again when it all gets a little stale. I thought I’d share four helpful actions to help myself and others find inspiration, again.

Four New Ways to Spark Blogging Inspiration

  1. Talk to a kid. Every once in a while, usually around the dinner table, I’ll share some client challenge or work-related issue with my kids. I’ve been astounded by their insight (my offspring are older; a teenager and young adult) even when they were younger. Sometimes their fresh perspective, unbiased, and unbound by cynicism gives me just the boost I need. It doesn’t matter if you talk to your own kids or borrow someone else’s for this activity. (If you need one, I may be willing to loan you one of mine.)
  2. Read, for a week or only a day if that’s all you can manage, only articles, blog posts, essays, and books recommended by others in your network.  Click through to links shared on Twitter or Facebook from people you trust and who may be reading content that is outside of your normal playlist. It’s not as easy as it sounds –especially because in doing this you will likely need to ignore your own Reader.
  3. Shut up. Make a concentrated effort to really listen to people when they talk to you. Do not multi-task if it’s a phone conversation. Give all speakers your undivided attention. Others’ thoughts are always inspiring.
  4. Rediscover StumbleUpon. One night of insomnia led me to sign up (again; I’m sure long ago I had an account) for StumbleUpon, the discovery engine that recommends websites based on interests you supply. Hours and numerous sites later I knew I’d found my go-to any time I’m stuck for inspiration. (Also, a wealth of recipes from food blogs are getting tagged and saved for later!)

What ways have you found of getting unstuck from a blogging rut?

Marijean Jaggers, a social media specialist and public relations professional, is president and CEO of Jaggers Communications LLC, a strategic communications firm based in Charlottesville, Va.

39 comments
astronyu
astronyu

@Marijean Nice write up. I like #1. I haven't heard about it before and thought this would be a good idea. Usually I blog about things around me,

RyoatCision
RyoatCision

I second and third everyone's appreciation of talking to kids! Part of the problem when you are blogging within an topical community or industry is that ideas can get mired in repetition--that's when you need a fresh perspective, and children are the best people to help guide you!

yarby
yarby

I just "re-signed" up for StumbleUpon as well and you're right, it does provide some new inspiration. I like #1 - Talk to a kid. And for point #2, I've found that taking breaks from the pressure of writing or posting to be advantageous as well.

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

This is a great post for tips on how to be inspired, thank you for the idea of talking to kids. Although I don't have any I certainly can call my nieces and they will be more than happy to give me their opinions. They are known for that.

One tip I have for getting unstuck from a blogging rut is to turn on Turner Classic Movies (or any older movies really) and watch for a while. I'm amazed at how many ideas I get for writing the technology blog I am responsible by observing characters deal with situations, often with antiquated technology resources and tools. It sparks ideas in my head about new applications of my technology and situations that I had never thought of where my technology can solve a problem. Furthermore, imho older movies, esp. those from the 40's and 50's had higher quality actors and actresses who couldn't rely so heavily on special effects to augment the ability to tell a story. It inspires me to use my writing ability to tell a story without all of the smoke and mirrors.

TheJackB
TheJackB

Music always smooths bumps in the road. I also like to switch topics and write about things that are different. Sometimes a journey into the land of silly works wonders.

Marijean
Marijean

@ginidietrich thanks for the support in sharing my post for Spin Sucks today. I heart you.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

Talking to a kid is definitely a new idea to me for finding blogging inspiration. Love it!! Since I only have dogs, I might have to take you up on your offer and borrow yours. Try as I might, they don't have anything remotely intelligent to say. except to sleep on it. as I type this, that's actually sage advice!! Thanks for guest blogging for us today on Le Quatorze Juillet!!

Marcus_Sheridan
Marcus_Sheridan

This was cool Marijean. My kids inspire me all the time. And I just love talking with them about business stuff, because they cut through the bull, call a spade a spade, and don't over-analyze stuff like we do as adults....As for my inspiration and blogging, I always seek action, as I find my brain slows down the longer I sit in front of the computer screen. BTW, I live in Va as well, and work occasionally in your area. :)

Marcus

SoloBizCoach
SoloBizCoach

Great tips, Marijean. My favorite way to get out of a blogging rut is to read. The first place I turn is to my RSS reader (Google Reader). I love RSS: the best Internet innovation EVER.

The second place I turn is to a new book. I always get unstuck when I pick up a book.

KenMueller
KenMueller

Great ideas, Marijean. Good to see you're adding some class to things over here at Spinsucks. I like the one about talking to Kids and the one about shutting up. And my kids are up for grabs too!

i get most of my ideas when walking the dog in the morning. I just met with a client this morning who is going to begin blogging and I told her that the key is to begin looking at your world thru blog shaped lenses. View things as if there might be a blogging idea in there. It could be an article, a sign, anything you see. There are lots of applications we can get from everyday objects and occurences.

BestRoofer
BestRoofer

What a very cool post. I like a talk to your kids idea. I'm going to try that over dinner tonight and see what happens. and I had kinda forgotten about StumbleUpon, may have to go back and revisit that too.

Marijean
Marijean

@John_Trader1 OH I love that idea! And I really like old movies, too so that's an easy sell.

SJWhipp
SJWhipp

@marijean You're welcome. I'm glad you mentioned StumbleUpon. I always forget to use that as a blogging resource.

TheTop10Blog
TheTop10Blog

@ericamallison Hi Erica, starting a new day and all is good :)Haven't mastered G+ yet but enjoying it. Trying to filter out all the rubbish!

Marijean
Marijean

@ginidietrich what? No .. . I brought my own towels. See? Also, you may need to restock your minibar.

Marijean
Marijean

@Lisa Gerber Let me know if you want to chat with my daughter sometime -- she might even fire up a guest post for you.

accuconference
accuconference

@ginidietrich Doing great! Yourself? Strange.. we were talking about you yesterday! Recommending your blog to the interns.

Marijean
Marijean

@KenMueller I like the "blog shaped lenses." I had a conversation with a client yesterday that turned up all kinds of wacky ideas they realized would make great blog posts. . . sometimes it just takes talking things through out loud with a third party.

Marijean
Marijean

@BestRoofer I can't wait to hear about your conversation with the kids! For me, it's been really interesting to hear my kids describe what I do to others, in their words. I think we all need to help each other stay inspired now and then.

KenMueller
KenMueller

@Marijean Exactly. I think that's one of the most valuable things we often offer our clients. They are focused so narrowly on their business, that they often aren't able to widen their thinking, regardless of how creative they may be.

Trackbacks

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