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Five Posts to Write Right Now

Not sure what to blog about today? Here are five post ideas to consider for your next post.

Filter-edited image by Paul Carroll (CC BY 2.0)

Nothing to write? Here are five types of posts you can publish right now, no matter your interests or writing style.

1. Your reply to . . .

I keep my eye out for multiple perspectives on a single topic and takes (and takedowns) of widely circulated articles. Consider educator Diane Ravitch’s recent reply to Alexander Nazaryan of Newsweek on comedian Louis C.K. and Common Core standards, which summarizes the article and issue-at-hand before diving into her own discussion points.

Don’t want to address your response to a specific person? Reply to an entity or publication, as Caitlin Constantine at Fit and Feminist did in her post to Self magazine, “Lay off the women in running tutus.” Whether directed to a particular person or an organization, these types of commentaries can be timely reads on trending topics.

2. A timely or thematic list.

Posts written as lists don’t have to be vacuous listicles. Check out One Room with a View’s list of top ten film adaptations of Shakespeare, which was an entertaining, relevant read during the week of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.

Posts formatted as lists can also be unexpectedly creative, like Anna Fonte’s posts on Girl in the Hat, such as “How to Get There.” Anna is guest-hosting a writing challenge later this month, focused on using the list as your structure, so we’ll dig deeper into this post idea then.

3. Your commentary on a hashtag.

If you’re on Twitter, following the conversations on popular hashtags might provide post inspiration and fodder. Max Cairnduff at Pechorin’s Journal wrote a nice analysis of the #readwomen2014 hashtag, which is a campaign to get people to read more books by women. Another post by Noorulann Shahid, who started the #lifeofamuslimfeminist hashtag, discusses the rise — and pros and cons — of “Hashtag Activism.”

Rana Tahir’s commentary on #CancelColbert, the campaign in response to a Colbert Report joke that was tweeted out of context from the Comedy Central account, is another good example of a discussion around a hashtag. Tip: If you write about a hashtag, consider selecting the best tweets that represent the discussion and embedding them in your post, which is as easy as pasting the tweet URL on its own line in your post editor.

4. An open letter to a thing.

Yes, open letters are sooooo passé. But while the format might feel overused, we continue to find posts that effectively use this format, like Red Hairing‘s “An Open Letter to Drew Pinsky” or Kenny Wiley’s “Open Letter to Male Ultimate Players, From a Guy.”

Some of the most resonant open letters lately, however, aren’t addressed to people — but to things. Not necessarily physical objects, but perhaps obstacles or fears. Consider Susie Lindau’s “An Open Letter to My Boobs,” written seven months after her reconstruction surgery. Or Kate Granger’s heartfelt “Dear Cancer Part 3.”

5. An unexpected comparison of two different elements.

Some of the freshest reads are those that catch me off-guard with unlikely comparisons. I enjoyed fiction writer Robert Jackson Bennett’s piece on making sandwiches, which compares writing a story to making a sandwich. Likewise, the editor and writer behind Write Through It muses eloquently on how professional manuscript editing is like driving. I love the tiny moments of enlightenment when I read these kinds of pieces, where bloggers make natural connections in their own personal ways.

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  1. Wonderful ideas! Much of my published nonfiction consists of reviews, which are responses to books or concerts or theater performances, and many of the non-reviews begin with a response to an incident or another piece of writing. And thanks for the nod to Write Through It. :-) I started it this past February, partly to keep myself going, and I’m thrilled that it’s helping other writers do likewise.

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    1. Only since last February? That’s awesome! Just found your blog and really enjoyed it. Love this post too. Pocketing this post for those dry days. :)

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  2. This post is so much appreciated. I have a lust for lists and can’t wait for that upcoming feature. Meanwhile on Mother’s Day, I wrote a post comparing WordPress to our Moms and was pleasantly surprised how popular it was. I guess Mommy Dearest still trumps WordPress with the wire hangers, though. ;-). Thanks again!

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  3. Some great ideas here: I’ve never considered an open letter to a thing before, but I have a feeling that, as a cyclist, “an open letter to my legs” might be imminent!

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  4. Funnily enough I have just finished writing a list post when I came across this. But some great ideas for future posts as well, thanks very much.

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  5. What a great idea! I’ve never considered an open letter before and I can think of many things I would address it to! Regarding the hashtag commentary, the first thing that comes to mind is the Beyoncé scandal! Thanks again for the endless blogging inspiration!

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  6. Wow, this is really good. Especially how I’m a new blogger and its given me an idea to do an open letter one…that sounds so cool

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