How I prevent writer’s block and get topics for my blog

28 thoughts on “How I prevent writer’s block and get topics for my blog”

  1. Great list of strategies Steve! I’m definitely going to have to borrow a couple of these. 🙂

    I typically just start writing until something sticks. Occasionally I’ll write half of a post and then think of something else better to write. That leaves me with several half written posts which I will then circle back on at a later date (sometimes).

    I also enjoy taking inspiration from other blogger’s ideas or challenges they may have put out.

    Finally, I’ll sometimes write a post geared towards my younger self – sharing ideas I wished I had known 20 years earlier.

  2. Great tactics Steve. I always look to what’s happening in my own life first. Is there something going on that would make a good post or is a recent experience worth sharing.

    I agreed being involved in the community helps spark ideas as well as reading main stream media. I often like to breakdown some bit of data or report I heard or read elsewhere.

  3. I agree that life experiences, interacting with other bloggers, and sometime controversy all keep the ideas flowing. Readers’ comments have also fueled ideas as I want to respond to something they brought up. I used to avoid controversy but am starting to see it as one of the more interesting aspects of reading and writing blogs. Especially since most people seem willing to have a friendly dialogue about differing ideas.

    1. Appreciate it, Kalie! True, readers comments are often times a great source of motivation to write – no doubt about that. I’ve done that a couple of times in the past too.

  4. Great list and timing Steve – I have struggled lately with topics to write about other than our darn downsizing and remodeling projects that are consuming our lives!

    This is one of the questions I asked you when we met last year. How the heck do you continue to crank out the volume of excellent content you produce? Personally, I think you are a natural and it is part of your DNA.

    One thing that has helped me is to formulate an idea is to go on a 1 hour solo hike to kick around my thoughts of how to express my point. Some of my best thinking and articles have formed on hikes. I come back to the house and hit the keyboard while it is fresh and I am motivated.

    1. Hey Bryan – yup, I do the same thing from time to time with getting away and doing something more active, yet repetitive. I’m painting our iron fence this week, so that gives me a lot of time to…process! 🙂

  5. After almost 8 years, I’ll take inspiration wherever I can get it. Sometimes it’s news, sometimes it’s another blogger’s posts. More often it’s just random musings from my brain that I need to get out so they’ll stop bothering me. Or updates/explanations on what’s going on in life. I think too few bloggers remember that your audience is okay with the occasional post telling them what’s going on in your life. And in writing about that, you might discover a deeper topic for another post.

    1. Yup, your most dedicated bloggers are as interested in your life as they are with what you’re writing about, especially in this community. Definitely agree, burning a few posts that just talk about what’s going on in your life is never a bad thing. Sometimes, in fact, it can be good!

  6. These are great tips. For me, reading is a huge idea generator, so I try to read as much as I can, but based on your “eh” about it, that could be a personal thing. I also keep a running list in Evernote of potential topics, and skim that often. Sometimes something that didn’t spark the creativity two months ago when I wrote it will speak to me later on.

    1. It’s true, the techniques that work the best do tend to change from time to time. And truthfully I do get ideas when I read, but I’ve found that more of the content on this blog is motivated by other areas, especially personal observations of reality and American society. There’s a lot of fodder there. 🙂

  7. These strategies are great, Steve! I have a running Note in my phone, that way if I run across any quotes, situations, conversations, etc. I jot a quick note in my phone. I often find that a vast majority of my inspiration comes from books – all types! I dabble in fiction, to non-fiction, personal finance, to some cheesy romance/beach read. Whether it’s timeless, or “why did I pick this up & now I can’t finish it” generates more writing ideas. The trap I find myself falling into is when I have too many things to write about, and can’t select just one at the moment (because the time I have only allows for one written piece). I guess that falls into the time management category!

    1. Thanks Alyssa. Reading books seems to be the prevailing theme – I appear to be in the minority with that one for sure! But, I can see where reading can help tremendously in coming up with ideas; truthfully, I’ve generated an idea or two after reading, too! 🙂

  8. I’m afraid I’m way too much of a newbie to worry about writer’s block yet. It’s more like trying to carve out time to write about the things I’ve brainstormed. Still, I’m bookmarking this! So far, my favorite blog post topics have come from conversations about money and finance with my students. I wish I could incorporate it into the curriculum more regularly! They come up with some really fun nuggets.

    1. Appreciate your comment, Penny! There is a very common progression, especially early on with a particular blog. I began with a ton to write about as well, but now I am beginning to dig around a bit so I can cover subjects that I haven’t yet covered – or at least cover them from a different angle. It takes some patience and creativity.

  9. Nice points to get ideas. I started thinking about DIY investing. I love the work i am doing. It is not a high paying job. We lived within our means all the time. While looking for ideas to make more income, I stumbled on MMM and many other blogs. I haven’t find that side kick yet, but able to invest some money this year. Thanks for sharing ideas.

    1. Living within (or below) your means is critical – congrats for having the discipline to maintain that kind of lifestyle. It’s not easy this day and age with all the negative consumeristic influences in our society.

  10. Love this post! I sometimes wonder what I will write about only to find myself thinking, “wow, I should turn that into a blog post.” And sometimes the most trivial things become the best stories.

    1. Ha, thanks Rosie. It’s true, some of the most random things in life turn into blog posts for me as well. I can build a respectable blog post around almost any subject nowadays. It’s fun!

Leave a Reply