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September 9, 2020

            Over the past few months, I’ve run across situations where not only have friends been needing advice about starting author platforms and blogs, but there have been forum questions about deadlines and things to do with creativity.

            Say you DO have a recurring blog, whether daily, weekly, monthly or even annual, what happens when you reach the point when you have nothing to talk about? I very much wanted to add the adverb absolutely, but knew I’d cut it on second blush. THAT was going to be my original article for this week, by the way. However, when inspiration hits, you have to go with it.


            You would think that after three-hundred plus articles since 2012, I’d have, by now, run out of things to talk about since my platform is writing. Then again, just take a gander at the page count of the Chicago Manual of Style. It doesn’t include half the stuff I talk about (like this article) and I haven’t even included a quarter of the stuff the manual talks about.

            I don’t think I have anything to worry about in that regard.

            On the other hand, that doesn’t mean I always have a stack of articles lined up, ready to publish. Quite often, I write these on the fly, Sunday morning, when the inspiration hits. Sometimes they come out of thin air, on-the-spot. Sometimes, I’ve been brewing them in my head from something that inspired me during the week. Sometimes it’s something that inspired me for a while, and I just got around to bringing it up. Like now.


            For some, deadlines are a motivator. For me, they’re an inspiration killer.

            To me, Sunday morning isn’t a motivator, it’s just my time to write. If I know I’m not going to be around my computer Sunday morning due to other circumstances, I may write ahead. There have been occasions when I haven’t been able to, and my blog articles have been late. I’ve always had something to write about.


            This is the meat of the matter.

            What about you?

            This is YOUR issue.

            You’ve decided on a subject for your blog. Say (from a recent friend), history of a certain time period.

            You’ve been doing this for a while. You think you’ve exhausted that time period. Maybe you’ve been doing it so long you could write an entire thick textbook on the subject.

            What to do now?


            What if you’re just starting out, maybe even picked a subject, but don’t know which way to go?

            First, if you’ve done it all, then maybe you should concentrate on articles on HOW to do the research itself, rather than the results. Instead of giving stories of what you found, relay to your audience HOW you found it.

            On the other hand, if what you do is explain HOW you do your research, instead give results.

            If you already do both, then it’s time to vary the subject matter a little and veer off the time period.

            Now, say you’ve been doing this a long time, like me, for almost a decade. What about recycling some old stuff with a fresh update? What are the chances many of your new fans have actually taken the time to go back and read all of your past articles? I’d say for the most part, slim to none!

            Recycling old articles with an update is a great way to give yourself not only breathing room, but a chance to resurrect subjects that may be currently relevant. I do it, especially given current events on the forums I frequent. I’ve found that I’ve covered so much, it keeps coming up again and again for fresh newbies.


            The best blogs are about something informative because the subject matter is not only researchable, but it comes from knowledge or expertise you have. If you don’t have that expertise and learn as you go, it has to be a continual learning experience and you really have to be on your toes.

            If it’s a creative blog, such as a serial story, it’s all up to you to create the next installment. Your readers depend on you to come up with the next brilliant chapter. If you already have the story planned out, whether plotted, or just A and B, as long as you don’t lose your motivation, you should always have something to write about until you finish the story. This is only dangerous when you get that dreaded writer’s block, or life gets in the way. That’s the other thing that happens to everyone else and causes nothing to write about.


            Life can throw surprises at all of us. If you have a regular blog and your readers expect an article at a certain time, it behooves you to keep that self-imposed deadline. That means that to the best of your ability, when you know something is coming up, you should build up a stock of articles to cover that period of absence, or period of your normal writing time.

            I’ve always hated the word deadline, and I don’t consider my weekly blog and Facebook posts as deadlines, per se. They’re regular posting periods for me, but I could just as easily post whenever I want to. Out of habit and to keep my followers on a regular schedule, I post the same times each week. You can call that self-imposed deadlines all you want. Since I enjoy what I do, I prefer to call them regular habits rather than deadlines.

            So, in my regular habits, I sometimes anticipate when I won’t be available to write. If so, it throws my usual inspiration off. If I had something to write about already in mind, I go ahead and write it all then. If not, I may have a bit of this articles title, in “nothing to write about” for a few split seconds.

            Then things will hit me.

            I can recycle a myriad of old articles.

            I can visit the forums and see what’s up that may inspire me.

            I can just ponder a bit until something hits.

            In a word, something always pops up.

            I get creative.

            For you, if you have to anticipate, vary your normal habits until you come up with something maybe off the usual path to write about. It may be short or long compared to your usual blog. It may break your own rules a bit. However, it may inspire you in a way you never knew existed within your brain before.

            You may surprise yourself.

            Happy writing!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Debra Caples permalink
    October 14, 2020 11:33 am

    If I can’t think of anything to write about I throw in something I’ve written, a poem or short story. Sometimes I write a review of a book or show on Netflix and tell why I think it’s well written and worth the time to read or watch.

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