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Five Posts to Write Right Now

Have you spent too long staring at a blank screen? Here are five post ideas to jump start your blogging.

5-Ball by Kurt Farrar, CC BY 2.0.

Mired in bloggers’ block? Pshaw — we’ll give you a push! Here are five posts you can publish right now, no matter what topics you usually blog about.

1. The last thing that made you mad.

There are two great things about addressing issues that make you angry: first, the posts tend to be fun to write (not to mention cathartic). Second, the internet loves a good rant.

Think about the last thing that really made your blood boil, and take it from there. You can write about why it was so upsetting, explain how you found a solution, propose changes to keep it from happening again, or freeze-frame your emotions in verse.

(If you’re worried about letting it all hang out, check out our tips for writing rants without sounding like a big jerk.)

2. Your typical childhood lunch.

No really; stay with me.

In her excellent book on writing, Bird by Bird, author Anne Lamott reveals that she often suggests that those struggling to commit words to paper (or screen) write about their school lunches; something about the act of recollecting and writing those details helps jimmy the floodgates open. For Lamott, the act of opening a lunchbox is, “about opening our insides in front of everyone. Just like writing is.”

I was doubtful, too — until I tried it. In thinking back to those lunches, I tapped into a rich trove of detail and emotion around childhood, school, food, family, and much more. It was an eye-opening experience, and I now heartily recommend the school lunch trick: it’s like Drain-o for writers’ block.

3. An ode to an object.

We often blog about people; family is a central topic for lots of us. Sometimes, getting unstuck is about changing your point of view, and writing about an object can help you do that. Tell a story about your favorite overstuffed armchair, chronicle the history of your hand-me-down teapot, or tell us why your cheese grater is the perfect specimen of its kind. At worst, you’ll end up with a fun, lighthearted post about a teapot; at best, writing about a thing will help you bring out a story and perspective you haven’t explored before.

4. Self-psychoanalysis via your bookshelf or Spotify playlists.

Take the five books on your nightstand, the last five songs you listened to, the last five movies you watched, or the last five blog posts you liked — what do they say about you? If that’s too revealing, try some fiction — invent another person with these tastes, and tell us about them.

This post is a triple threat: you get an amusing and/or insightful post, you hook readers with an insider view (we all love perusing other people’s stuff), and you leave the door wide open for readers to engage by commenting on your choices and sharing their own.

5. A mad lib.

This may seem like a cop-out post. It is, a little, but we all need to lob an easy one once in a while. For a Mad Lib, ask readers for a list of words — nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc — and use them to fill in the blanks in a post you’ve pre-written. (If you want to get fancy, you can even do it with a custom form, like thishere’s how.) It’s fun and funny, and engaging for your readers. Plus, you never know if a reader’s wacky word choice will spark your next post idea.

These are all pretty open-ended ideas, but if you need more of a boost, review our ways to make prompts your own. Now, go forth and bust through the block.

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  1. How much do I love that this came exactly when I’ve been scraping the bottom of my barrel?! Combining these ideas might work even better for me. The last thing that made me angry (my rant) is reading this post and remembering that my mother never packed me “good lunches” like the other kids got. Therefore I should write an Ode to Twinkies and ask my readers for adjectives to describe to use in a Mad Lib to describe the filling. Hmmm, not sure this post will appeal to my Gluten-free readers so maybe I will go for prompt number four and write about the last five diets I’ve gone off of because I’m so resentful my mother never put Hostess products in my lunch box. Nope! I actually think I will write about my next visit with my therapist! Clearly I am overdue! Thanks for sparking me Michelle W!!

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  2. These suggestions for Five Posts are great! I already have a short memoir about lunchboxes!
    I agree with you – the last five things in three different categories really tell me that while I was thinking about my next piece to write, I was filling the space with drama from television shows, books, and movies.
    The Mad-Lib idea sounds like so much fun! Thank you for the links to execute these ideas.
    Visit my blog in a day or two, and see the results!

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  3. Love, love, love the Anne Lamott suggestion. That women is a genius. When I grow up I want to be just like her. Writing about my lunch is on the list. Funny thing is it completely conflicts with Maggie Mason’s book, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. Kinda funny…

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    1. It is true that mostly people don’t care what you actually ate for lunch (unless it was really good, then we demand photos :) ), but the *story* behind your lunch — that’s a horse of a different color.

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  4. ADJECTIVE suggestions! Now I’m going to VERB into this NOUN and ADVERB VERB my ADJECTIVE NOUN with my NOUN. Thanks for making me feel EMOTION about my next blog post! PJ

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  5. To just say thank you for the ideas you have shared via the ‘Daily Post’ I have used most of them as ideas to blog on a weekly basis. When I started blogging I had no idea as to what to write about yet I have this passion of writing and as a result of that not very many people viewed or read my blogs. Since I discovered the daily post and used the ideas from here I am hapy that I have had about 156 views. For some talented writers this may not be much but for me it is great. These 156 views now serve as motivation for to wanting to write on a weekly basis. As I have gained confidence I am now going to start a second blog which I hope will be far much beter than the first one. Thank you again for your advice it is certainly helping me towards what I have always wanted to do ‘write’.

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  6. I’m sort of ahead of you, Michelle, re the self-psychoanalysis … :-) Just on a different aspect. Very good of you to be helpful to those of us not participating in either Blog Uni.

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  7. I’m into 3 and 4. As a daily poet and a psychology master, that makes sense. I also like to meditate until an experience becomes salient in my mind, which is where “Flammable” came from. Read it if you can find a minute. I’d love to know what you think it’s about.

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