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Using Forms Creatively

For some of us, blogging is personal. Others are trying to educate or entertain; many more are hybrids. Yet we’re…

  • Ready to write? We’ll give you a new challenge each Monday. Publish a new post on your blog that interprets the challenge. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More

For some of us, blogging is personal. Others are trying to educate or entertain; many more are hybrids. Yet we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges help you to push your writing boundaries, show off your blogging chops, and, hopefully, spark more post ideas.

To participate, tag your post with DPchallenge or leave a link to it in the comments. (It would also be great if you could link to this post to encourage people to take part – the more the merrier!)  Your post should be specifically written in response to this challenge. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorite posts on Freshly Pressed on Friday.


This week’s writing challenge forces you to think outside the typical “contact form” box. In our piece from Thursday, “Beyond ‘Contact Me': Engaging Your Readers with Forms,” we explored the many ways you can use this often-overlooked feature. Whether you’re looking to gain insights into your readers’ wants and interests, come up with new post ideas, or interact with your community of fellow bloggers in deeper ways, using forms in your posts can get you there.

So, let’s go from theory to reality this week. We want to see what you’ve got, using forms as a springboard. The challenge this week will be two parts:

  1. Create and add a custom form to one of your posts.
  2. Write a second post based on the information you collect from your form, and tag this post with DPchallenge or leave a link to it in the comments.

Think about your goals as a blogger and how you can use forms as a tool to help you achieve them (or at least get a bit closer). Then synthesize the feedback you collect, and see where it takes you — it could confirm something you’ve been thinking all along, or take you in an entirely new direction. (And if you’ve not read the aforementioned post from Thursday, be sure to check it out once you’re done here, as it walks you through the process of easily adding forms to your posts.)

On Thursday, we gave you a few examples of creative form use. If none of those move you, here are a few more:

  • Maybe you’re itching to write about your ongoing feud with your annoying neighbor and need just the perfect comeback line.
  • Perhaps you’re planning a post about fun ways to keep your kids busy this summer and would love tips from other parents.
  • If you’d like to write about your personal top-ten-movie list from the last decade, ask your readers which ones they’d choose.
  • For fiction bloggers, let your readers guide your characters’ next moves.

These are all mere starting points, though. How could you best use forms to drive content in your own blog? The possibilities here are as limitless as the WordPress.com universe. We’re excited to see what you come up with. Please don’t forget to tag your posts with DPchallenge, or share them in the comments below. We’ll be waiting.

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  1. Something to think about, but I don’t really see any relevant application for me. Maybe I’m not thinking in the right direction, but I will continue to ponder and see where it takes me. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. I really wanted to get involved in this week’s challenge after having such a great response to my submission last week, but I am also struggling slightly as to how this would help me personally, but I will go away and think on about it! Thanks for the ideas though! :)

    1. Have submitted my response hun, a great little idea I hope! Look forward to seeing if it can be developed…I may even decide to use my idea to see where I can go with it also! :-) Good luck

    2. Love this one! I always used to ask my readers for ideas like this, especially for a flash fiction series I used to write, but I lost momentum in my own ideas and never got suggestions from my readers. Now with a wider fan base and this form idea, maybe I can get back on my flash fiction band wagon! :D I also left a little idea of my own for you! Hope you like it!

  3. Is there a limit to the number of fields in a form? I made one, but I’m only getting a quarter of the answers from all the fields in the emails.

    1. Thanks for the comment and the question. If you were able to create the form as you wanted, and all the fields are actually there, then it might just be an issue of people not answering all of them. You could try to mark the fields “required” and see if that helps your response.

      1. Thank you, Matt. I have contributed to your’s as well. Simultaniously, when I submitted mine I got this message. Hope you get the results you need, and that your story turns out amazingly!

  4. After thinking I was going to struggle with this challenge, I faced it head on! I have successfully posted the 1st part now and urge as many of you as possible to contribute please, as this potentially will be a huge new exciting part of my blog, and YOU can be part of it!

    http://mattsden101.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/weekly-writing-challenge-using-forms-creatively-part-1-of-2/

    I would appreciate every single visit and click, so please, get involved :-) x

  5. Thank you for this challenge. I am following each line of instruction, checking examples, etc., as I really want to learn and integrate forms into some collaborative projects. My form, however, is in tiny font, and overall, not aesthetic. Where do I go next for help?

    1. Your theme and its fonts determine how your form looks, so without changing your theme, unfortunately there’s no way to change the appearance of your form. If you wanted to consider changing themes, though, here are a few that are similar to yours that offer larger fonts: Blaskan, Ryu, Widely, or Chunk. Hope this helps!

      1. Oh thanks–our letters crossed in the mail! : ) Your answer helps. I’ll look into that! You may notice in my other “tech” note to you, that I was able to tweak the font!

  6. Tech question: is there a way to tweak the appearance of the form? It’s not so easy after it’s up, but I was able to play (in edit mode) with font size. What about indenting the form to be more centered on the page?

  7. Me again, just in case you haven’t had chance, there is still time to help me out on a future project coming very soon to my blog! I am going to be starting a partially interactive piece of fiction where I will continue to use forms to gather opinions and ideas about the narrative as it evolves.

    http://mattsden101.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/weekly-writing-challenge-using-forms-creatively-part-1-of-2/

    Ideally I’d like to close this part in the next 24 hours so I can begin on Part 2 to analyse the results. So please help if you can, if you haven’t already! Thanks! :-)

  8. I just published the half time score of the feedback from my readers. On Friday I will publish the favourite mountain photo of my readers.

    Check out the half time score in this post:
    http://travelinspirecreate.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/a-word-a-week-photo-challenge-mountain-the-half-time-score/

    If you want to your favourite photo make the cut on Friday, visit my original post and vote for you favourite photo:
    http://travelinspirecreate.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/a-word-a-week-photo-challenge-mountain/

    I would love to hear from you!

  9. Reblogged this on tasty44 and commented:
    I have this lady to express what it is I am trying to accomplish. I want to talk to the online network. But I just don’t know how to navigate the tools, you know all the bells and whistles, I am still trying to see if everything I write will get published. The way I write it. However, I can say I am happy with the administration of WordPress.com. The site dose just what they promise. You can really express your self. I have been reading others Blogs and it has made me a little more comfortable with publishing things on the web and for that I am grateful.

40 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More