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Reflections: How To Generate Blog Post Ideas…

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Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness.” Julia Cameron

Reflections: How To Generate Blog Post Ideas... Begin in the dark... start out with nothing

Make a topic appear out of nothing… 😉
Where do ideas come from? How do you get ideas for your creative writing or for your daily/weekly missives on the Daily Post Challenge? Were you sitting on the potty when your last great novel appeared full blown with each despicable character fully delineated? Please tell me it’s not true. Tell me that the only people who get original ideas on the potty get them as they … So here I was minding my business, when a daily post prompt crossed my path and this post idea popped in my head. How do you generate post ideas? I don’t know about you but mine come in many different ways. I use ideas that come from life experience, books I read, conversations I have or overhear, prompts from the Daily Post, Plinky, and Mamakat, news reports, music, movies, poetry, art, classes/workshops, and a host of other sources that feed my daily hunger for new material… Doses of humor, especially of the self-deprecating kind, helps too. Some days, I’d be minding my business and a post idea will just pop into my head. Then, there are those days when nothing registers and nothing beckons me to come hither…

“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.” Julia Cameron

Reflections: How To Generate Blog Post Ideas... make sure you're safe and comfy...

Make sure you are somewhere safe.
Guess how long you can keep your eyes closed.
On days like that, read days like this one, I begin at the beginning… Yes, I ask myself a question, I start a half lingering thought and then I wish my haiku and poetry skills were sharper… but I digress. As I was saying, today is one of those vapid days of creative dullness; a day when even my darling St Jude put me on hold…. Momentarily. By the way, He did assure me I was safe. Anyhow, it would be wonderful to burst forth with brilliance daily; unmitigated, unwavering brilliance with ideas spewing forth like gas… not the human kind, mind you. Of course, as many of us know, the secret is to write something anyway; write anything, as long as you don’t name names of bloggers you envy for their bottomless pit of ideas and get all dewy eyed about your fading genius.

“All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.” Carl Jung

Reflections: How To Generate Blog Post Ideas... close your eyes and pray

Close your eyes.
Start counting.
See how long you can go.
So here I was minding my business, having one of those déjà vu moments you have when you realize you’ve repeated a line twice or thrice in the same post, when the idea to experiment with the aforementioned prompt literally hit me between the eyes… Yes, I just took some Tylenol to soothe the ensuing pain I got for using the word – literally; a misused word that is as useful and pithy as the word – nice… 😉 My eyes are now closed but I must be lying because I can’t write or type with my eyes closed. I opened one eye to write this, okay? I counted xxx words on the page and knew it was time to wrap this experiment up. Good Scott! It actually worked… Ay Caramba! But there is more. 😉

“Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.” Virginia Woolf

Reflections: How To Generate Blog Post Ideas... Be afraid... be very afraid. Then success voila!

What thoughts did your mind wander to while you were counting?
Did you feel any fear? Why or why not?
The fun part about the creative process which flows or translates into our blogging life is that we can wake up on any given day, have nary a thought in our heads, and come to the blank sheet trusting that our muse will deliver the goods somehow; it won’t need to be bribed, cajoled or beaten into creative submission. Honestly, when I write, I don’t count the words or the number of characters on my page. My thoughts wander but I have no idea where they go… or I would have even more topics to write about. 😉 I pay attention to time as I want to complete the post on schedule; even if that means at the eleventh hour… There is, thankfully, no fear involved. I am my own taskmaster and there is no one looking over my shoulder, cracking a whip, and ordering me to get with the program or to stop being a bit slow on the uptake… Phew! What about you? What do you think? What are your thoughts? Where do your ideas come from? What is your post generating trick or approach? Do you have days when nothing seems ideal to write? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Do this experiment to generate a post idea. Sometimes you can make a topic appear out of nothing at all. Do the following. Make sure you are somewhere safe. Guess how long you can keep your eyes closed. Close your eyes. Start counting. See how long you can go. Write about any or all of: How close your guess was to your actual performance. What thoughts did your mind wander to while you were counting? Did you feel any fear? Why or why not?

Positive Motivation Tip: Ideas come through many sources; experiment, take a risk, you might surprise yourself.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos girl in darkness, girl on sofa, girl with eyes closed, girl afraid, via Wikipedia.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

31 Comments leave one →
  1. 21/10/2011 9:16 pm

    I really love to relax and meditate before bed. What I do is take really deep breaths in and out until my entire body is calm and relaxed. This can take up to 15 Minutes some nights. Well I sleep during the day…so I do it then. But I find it hard with the sun outside so I put on this soft silky patch thing over my eyes. I have a hard time counting or relaxing. I think it was because when My daughter was born the doctor put a mask on me and said count backwards, and by the time I got to 9 I was out. My mind is such a wondering mind. I also usually pre think my posts so this is a great idea to count, be calm and write what comes into your mind. Great Post!!! I hope you have a great weekend with the kids and the activities. xo

    • 21/10/2011 10:42 pm

      Jackie, that meditation and relaxation before bed is a great way to unwind. I find that meditating slightly before the sunrise, with a candle as an object to focus on, a burning incense as an offering to the Divine, and the view of the woods beyond my patio, a beautiful way to start the day. Now if I could only be more consistent with my practice, I would truly reap the benefits. Have a great weekend.

    • 23/10/2011 6:04 pm

      Yes, relaxation, music, meditation, prayer, anything that helps us relax can be a great way to prepare ourselves mentally. Then when we write, we can do it without anxiety. This is not always feasible as there are times we have deadlines and have to do a bit of a rush job. TY! 🙂

  2. 21/10/2011 10:06 pm

    This will take a little practice as I felt as though I was counting sheep..does that count as a future post idea…could be!

    • 23/10/2011 6:07 pm

      Counting sheep or cows would do Jeanne! 😆 No, you don’t have to count anything, you can just breath or say a mantra or some guiding words if you wish… If it feels right then do it. Otherwise, let it go. TY! 🙂

  3. 21/10/2011 10:52 pm

    It is my desire to never really understand where my creative impulse originates from, but to embrace the mystery and trust the revelations found there. I believe in part that it is the emotional context that surrounds me, as I observe, react and interact with my life experiences that are the driving machinations for my creativity.

    • 23/10/2011 6:08 pm

      And we might never fully know where the creative impulse fully originates from… though I am inclined to believe it is from the spirit; from God. Just my two cents. TY! 🙂

  4. 21/10/2011 11:49 pm

    Nice and deep, as usual. But thanks to the numerous blogogenic stimuli in my surroundings, I manage to find topics to write about (that I feel strongly about as well) very easily. For example, my last post was in criticism of some crank who was spreading odiferous excrement on her blog about my profession! 🙂

    I got it easy!

    • 23/10/2011 6:10 pm

      I like your “the numerous blogogenic stimuli” a lot. It had me laughing but you are right. I forgot to add that we get insights from other bloggers too. Oh boy to that other blogger. TY! 🙂

  5. 22/10/2011 12:47 am

    Everything which I see, hear and experience is source of blogging.

    • 23/10/2011 6:11 pm

      True… the universe and everything in it is ultimately a source of creativity. TY! 🙂

  6. 22/10/2011 1:08 am

    If I have nothing, I use the WP prompts 🙂

    • 23/10/2011 6:18 pm

      TY! Yes and I know how you use them sometimes. 😆

  7. 22/10/2011 2:57 am

    I have a confession- I never really thought about it before. Part of my interviewing others on my blog was to give people a voice while giving me a post that doesn’t require coming up with a topic. But some days ideas really do just come. And when they do, I have to run with it.

    • 23/10/2011 6:20 pm

      Yeah, I hear you… It is helpful when we have others to supply the material. I enjoyed that part of the process when I did my interview series…. I need to get back to them again. TY! 🙂

  8. 22/10/2011 3:00 am

    When I wake up (too) early in the morning (5 a.m.) I remember what YOU’ve written the day before. While analyzing (eyes closed) your topic, some similar versions drift into my brain like ships. I stand up, write down, post – and then I usually notice, that you are doing just the same in the same moment on the other part of our globe ..

    • 23/10/2011 6:22 pm

      That is funny! I thought you post yours throughout the day? It is amazing how blogging has connected us all around the world… TY! 🙂

  9. 22/10/2011 5:53 am

    I had dinner with my 93 yr. old father in law the other night… that’s worth at least 3 posts!

    Usually I wake up with an idea and have to write. Sadly sometimes that’s 4am and I can’t sleep until it’s done, but that’s how my crazy head works.

    • 23/10/2011 6:24 pm

      I don’t sleep much either and do some of my writing that late too… You should do some writing on your father in law then… Maybe interview him abut his life Barb. TY! 🙂

  10. 22/10/2011 6:11 am

    I generally have far more thoughts than I have time to share. 😉

    • 23/10/2011 6:24 pm

      Good for you… I can imagine that too.TY! 🙂

  11. 22/10/2011 6:33 am

    Music, reading, observation, closing my eyes & letting my mind wander; these are some of the steps I take before writing a post.

    • 23/10/2011 6:25 pm

      Yes, those approaches are very helpful and I know they work because I try them too… Of course, sometimes, a dry day is a dry day and we have to press forward… TY! 🙂

  12. 23/10/2011 8:09 am

    YOU often inspire me, Miss Elizabeth!! So there! 😛

    I know how you feel. Sometimes, I start a draft and scrap it thinking it just doesn’t do it. It’s hard to write every single day – harder still when you have a “genre” that people expect adherence to… Sometimes, I get those moments where I have something very important to say, sometimes I say something that actually comes out “touching” to others, and sometimes it’s just the day. But truly, I derive a lot of ideas from your blog. Other than that? Many sources off the internet, technology and medical news, of course… (and no – not on the potty!) 😉

    • 23/10/2011 6:28 pm

      The sentiments are mutual Karen! TY for the support and good will. I have learned plenty form your blog too. Writing every day is not easy at all and because I want to do the best job each time, it can get harder if I’m in a dry spell… I have parked a number of posts and sometimes go back to them… So, I can relate. TY! 🙂

  13. 23/10/2011 9:30 pm

    I miss writing a post every day and can’t wait for graduation so I can start again. Whenever I find myself out of ideas, I usually ask my kids for ideas. Some of my best posts came from them.

    Eliz, have you ever run out of ideas? I doubt it. You are amazing! Miriam

    • 28/10/2011 11:34 pm

      Miriam, I run out of ideas too and then I have to reach out to use other sources including my kids… The good thing you do is that you add an occasional post to keep you connected. Smart move. TY! 🙂

  14. 24/10/2011 5:06 pm

    In the morning to write my blog I sit still for a little while in a sort of meditation until a thought comes to me and sometimes then another. Relatively soon I grab one and begin to expand it out within me and on the screen. The process I do not fully understand yet I know it works for me. Only once in a while do I begin with one thing and give up to move to another. However, if the words don’t begin to flow… I move on.

    Good blog today!

    • 28/10/2011 11:35 pm

      Good for you… If it works then run with it. Do you find other sources for your blog?TY! 🙂

  15. 26/10/2011 1:52 pm

    Great post, Elizabeth.
    The words aren’t coming as much now as I thought they would have — definitely worth trying.

    • 28/10/2011 11:37 pm

      TY Marcia! Well, you have moved countries and are going through a major adjustment. Give it time and it will come flowing again… Are you resting enough? 🙂

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