"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."
It is far too easy to run out of ideas once you start a blog. Before you know it, you have abandonned your project. You are the author of a "ghost blog". Susan J. Getgood, in her book Professional Blogging for Dummies (http://www.amazon.ca/Professional-Blogging-Dummies-Susan-Getgood/dp/0470601795) recommends ten strategies to jump start your creativity.
1. Keep a Notebook
Carry around a 3 x 5 inch notebook (small enough to fit in your purse or a jacket pocket). Every time you get inspiration, jot down the idea to look at later. Don't forget to keep a notebook at your bedside for late night inspiration. When you are surfing the Internet, if you come across a useful article, bookmark it at delicious.com.
2. Read the Newspaper
As you pour over the newspaper, an interesting headline might catch your eye. Take advantage of it to build a post. If you don't subscribe to the newspaper, go online and read snippets from the day's news. Or search the archives of various newspapers. Old headlines can also serve as inspiration. I remember when my husband helped his dad put new siding on his cottage, when they took off the old siding, underneath they found newspapers from the Second World War. What food for thought!
3. Reread Your Favourite Posts
Write a roundup, a top ten of your favourite posts. Pick a theme ex. My Top Ten Posts About Cooking Light. Maybe you've written about a controversial issue and your opinion has changed.
That is also fuel for a good post.
4. Read Other Blogs
Use another blog post as inspiration for your blog. Provide a link to the original post. This is where your blogroll comes in handy. Then you have your favourite blogs right at your fingertips.
5. Search the Internet Aimlessly
Type in a keyword and let the searching begin. Use aggregators like alltop.com or Yahoo! which lets you choose a trending topic and surf. If you sign up for stumbleupon.com, the search engine will find results for you based on your likes and dislikes.
6. Spend an Hour on Your Hobby
Doing an activity that you like reminds you why you love it so much. Grab your binoculars and go bird watching. Grab your camera and photograph nature. Grab your tools and putter in the garden. Raid your kitchen cupboards and bake up a storm. Spending time at your hobby produces something called "flow" where, you are so immersed in the activity, that an hour seems to pass by in minutes. It relaxes the mind, but at the same time focusses it.
7. Play a Game
Play games like Scrabble or Boggle. It serves as a fun way to strengthen your verbal skills.
8. Look Up Old Friends on Facebook
Pick someone you went to high school with who had an unusual last name. Look him up on Facebook and see how he turned out. If it's a girl, type in her maiden name. If she is married, often she will include her maiden name with her married name.
9. Take a Walk
Bring your notebook and/or camera along. Jot down your observations. See where your thoughts lead you. Go to the driving range. If the weather is inclement, stay inside and ride the elliptical machine. Physical activity clears the cobwebs out of your head.
10. Move to a Different Window
Move to a different chair or a different room. Walk to the local coffee shop or library. It's amazing what inspiration you will get in a public place. There's a story wherever you go. I found that out when I was taking an online writing college course. At the specialist's office, I had an hour to kill in the waiting room. My homework was to pretend I was a newspaper reporter, go to a cafe or park or other public place and "get a scoop". I got out my notebook and started to record my observations. Lo and behold, there was a big story right under my nose. The elderly man beside me asked the teenage girl beside him why her arm was in a sling. She said she was the victim of a drive by shooting, right in Brantford! Who would have thought?
11. Listen to Music
Listen to your favourite songs and let your mind wander. A catchy lyric might serve as inspiration for a blog title. Visit http://writersrelief.com/blog/2014/12/writers-playlist-part-1-music-jump-start-creativity/.
12. Read a book
I read the book Goals: How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Every Thought Possible by Brian Tracy which gave me a whole month's worth of material for blogging. See http://alinefromlinda.blogspot.ca/2015/01/conceive-believe-achieve.html.
For more information, read Write Starts: Prompts, Quotes and Exercises to Jump Start Your Creativity by Hal Zina Bennett (2010).
"Think outside the box" at astrologyunboxed.com.