I spend a lot of time worrying about writer’s block, and an equal amount of time coming up with ideas for blog posts and articles.
Here are 10 more I’ve used a few times:
- Write about the latest silly thing a celebrity did. If Mel Gibson just stuck his foot in his mouth again, write about it. Connect it with what you do: If you’re in customer service (who isn’t?) maybe tell folks they should always pretend they’re being recorded. You get the idea.
- Answer the buttheads. Someone out there said something that ticked you off. Answer them. Don’t do it like me, though. Do it nicely – I don’t want your firing on my hands.
- Mea culpa. Apologize to someone you wronged. This doesn’t have to be a pistols-at-dawn offense. For example, maybe I panned a book the first time I read it, then loved it the second time so I decided to write a second review. Or, maybe I told someone (in a nice way) that they were wrong, but it turned out I was.
- Stream of consciousness. This is harder but fun. Just start writing with one thought in mind. I’ll do this with things like ‘SEO’ or ‘marketing’ or ‘purple things’. About 1/2 the time I get something really great. The other 1/2 it looks like I was freebasing cocoa powder again. A good exercise nonetheless.
- Ask. Send out a Tweet: Yo, people, what should I write about today? It works amazingly well, once you tune out all the folks asking you to write about, er, inappropriate topics.
- 10 things my [pet type] taught me about [topic]. My various pets teach me all sorts of cool stuff. The cats can get endless entertainment out of twist ties, for example. The guinea pig is always growing her teeth. The implications are mind-shattering.
- The world would be perfect if… Write about that One Thing You’d Change in your profession/hobby/life if you could, and why. For example, I’d change the marketing industry to permit corporal punishment.
- Lift the kimono. Pick something you swore you’d never tell anyone else. No, not that kind of stuff, freak. I mean things like your secret technique for time management, or a bunch of ways you come up with blog post ideas, how your services break out, or something similar. Don’t worry
- Write a really short post. Don’t go to extremes, but sometimes writing a really short post of 50-100 characters can be fun. See how pithy you can get. Warning – this is a lot harder than writing a long post.
- Write about a comment someone left. If someone left a great comment on a post you wrote way back when, expand on it, or answer the question they asked. It’s fun, I promise!
Hmm. This was pretty good brainstorming for me, too. I may need to do more of these.