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Five (More) Posts to Write Right Now

Because “I have nothing to write about” is always a false statement.

Next time you think you have nothing left to write about, think again. Beyond our daily prompts and weekly writing challenges, it’s always good to have a few trusty post ideas you can rely on. Here are five — give them a try next time you feel stuck.

Write a meta post

Sure, we’ve advised you in the past against starting a post with a generic “sorry for my absence!” apology. Sometimes, though, the story behind your silence can itself be a worthy topic to explore, whether your reason is mundane (work, finals, kids) or not (you’ve been hiking in the Andes). Instead of apologizing for not writing, find an engaging way to tell us why you haven’t posted anything recently.

Prompt yourself

Writing prompts are useful because they come from the outside, ready for us to take them apart and make them our own. Nothing stops you, however, from reverse-engineering the process. Write a prompt with someone else in mind as the audience — your parents, your friends, a blogger you follow. Then, write a post in response to that prompt (you can include the prompt in the post or omit it; it’s up to you).

Start rhyming

Our mind instinctively gets looser when we focus on how to write something instead of what to write about. Just pick any random topic and write about it — while rhyming. Whether you go for laughs (a string of limericks on your botched dinner last night?) or choose a more heartfelt topic, rhymes produce a fascinating distancing effect, giving tired, mundane topics a fresh coat of paint.

Go by the numbers

As our current obsession with stats and infographics shows, we all seem to love numbers (as long as we don’t have to be tested on them). Write a post based on concrete figures — the number of hours you’ve spent on various activities yesterday, or the story of your week told through the dollar amounts you spent at the supermarket (or café, or costume store…). Or go all-out with a Harper’s Index-style list of loosely related data.

Draw on a masterpiece

Follow the lead of this week’s writing challenge, and get inspired by a great painting. Pick one of your favorites, upload a copy to your post (with most older works, finding Creative Commons-licensed images — or public domain ones — is easy), and write about the painting’s effect on you. Or about the first time you saw it in real life. Or about what’s going on inside the head of a person depicted in it (if there is one). Or… you get the point — the possibilities are endless.

Still not sure what to write about? Check out our previous installments in this series. And if you have a fail-proof post idea of your own to share, we’d love to hear it.

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  1. These are some great suggestions; I truly wish I could write an explanatory ‘in absentia’ post because I was hiking in the Andes. Otherwise, thanks for making me look up meta. One of those ‘I thought I knew what it meant but didn’t’ moments….so if I have it right: ‘I am posting about myself on this blog that is about me to explain myself…?’ Wow. Will tread carefully on this one. 🙂

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  2. I’m a poet, but I find trying to rhyme rather challenging and painful most days. It doesn’t come naturally at all, which is why I think I should try it more; it’s a good way to stretch writing muscles.

    You’re “draw on a masterpiece” idea reminds me that long ago I was going to try to write a poem based on “Las Meninas” a painting by Diego Velázquez. Maybe I should bring that idea back around again.

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  3. I don’t bother writing if I’m not inspired or it’s just to fill blog space. Instead I write and save for later publishing. And that may be months in advance.

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    1. I tend to agree with you, sometimes I might have a spark of an idea, but I’d rather work on it and post it some time later than rush it just to fill space this day, week or month depending in your desired posting frequency (I don’t adhere to a strict posting schedule either!)

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  4. I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one here who has taken a leave of absence, only to return feeling somewhat guilty for having been gone. I missed my blogging friends. But alas! I hope to find time to keep up with life’s demands and still find time to blog about it, and to check out what the rest of the world is up to. 🙂

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  5. Such amazing suggestions. I’ve only started blogging recently so my head is still spinning with ideas, but as soon as the excitement wears off a bit, I’ll be sure to employ some of these.

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  6. These are some stellar suggestions. I think I’ll do a trial run, get some limericks out of me before I tackle the rest of my big project for today.

    Making time to write later after finishing up the grocery shopping, cleaning out the fridge and cleaning up the tornado stricken living room!

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  7. Il be sure to use the first one! i Myself have made a list to avoid this from happening so i write things i hear or see wich could be nice to write about down and then i will always come up with something!

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  8. I love reading great suggestions for blogs. The funny thing is that about two weeks ago I wrote an “apology” post because of finals. I also used it as a prompt for another blog.

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  9. Great ideas! I’ll keep these in mind the next time in struggling to post. The numbers one is definitely something I am going to try. Who knows what it is, but everyone loves statistics!

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  10. Love your ideas! Im new at this but so far in loving it… The only thing is that I write in Spanish… But is really cool to see that people are interested in helping others achieve new goal! I’ll stay tune for more tips! Thanks

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  11. I rhyme practically all the times as a literature student its expected to come naturally in what you say and do,poetry is simply an art to perfect

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  12. Hallowen comes and through writing on this blog page i can see and remember every year a activity before all saints day to utilize the place of our family & relatives who fade away…

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  13. Thank you! Being new to blogging & finding my blog to be quite boring, I took your advice and decided to start rhyming. Even I find it hard to revisit my blog. Although I’ve never written a poem, limerick, or even a good recipe, I wrote my first rhyme! http://www.emusedone.com

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    1. I read your comment here and was readying myself for some half hearted attempt at rhyming prose. Then I read your latest post and cried. If you can keep wiring like that, as raw, truthful and honest as that, then you will have many readers. Congratulations on your blog, but my heart reaches to you for what you have to endure.

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  14. Thanks Ben, thanks a lot. Your ‘Five (More) Posts’ appearing so inspiring and motivating….. My chance arrival on the blog is way subnormal or freakish to everybody, you know, even to me. Because, I don’t know how to make my blog entertaining nor was I very keen to make it. All I wanted to do with my blog-pages was to tell something about my country ‘India’, the parts of which may not be amusing at all and parts may be. But, as far as the munificence and hospitality of the “Team WordPress” is concerned…..I’m elated, indeed. In my eagerness to thank you once again, I believe your friendly guidance and assistance would help me add a zing to the already nice soup……see you again….. – Suvendu

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  15. These are all great ideas. Personally I don’t seem to be short of something to write too often, but what I do find useful is reading the Daily Post as well as other blogs that come up in my “reader”, just the act if reading someone else’s creativity or opinions can often spur me on to find my own topic, or my own angle on something current. As Jean says in these comments, writing to just fill blog space is probably not the best thing to do, finding inspiration is the best way to do it – yet some discipline with ones own frequency of posting can perhaps direct that inspiration on occasion.

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    1. I write a food blog… so I don’t encounter writer’s block but I was an English major and I have done some writing… so here’s a few of my suggestions… 1. Think about something you’ve always been curious about and look into it – I bet others have been curious about the same thing(s) as well. 2. Think about someone/something in your past which may have affected you profoundly. I’m sure others will be interested and will want to add their experiences as well. 3. Keep your eyes open – watch interactions between others, esp. ‘positive’ interactions. People love reading about positive things and they will also like to comment about their own observations. 4. Take a look at nature… really look – close your eyes and really listen. How did doing that make you feel? You could blog about how being close to/being a part of nature is necessary for our happiness and well-being. 5. Talk about some of the lovely places you’ve visited – or – how you’ve discovered some lovely. peaceful corner even in a city. Here’s an example – we lived in Malta (in Europe). Once I was in the capital – Valletta – on my way to the library to do some research on a book. I took a few moments and just sat and watched the pigeons. I noticed an old woman feeding them. I talked to her and learned she feed them every single day. It was delightful… and I was in the midst of all the noise etc. of the city. 6. Go somewhere and take some photos – then blog about what you did, saw and felt. ++ My blog is myyellowfarmhouse.com – I’ve posted photos of my gardens right before the first frost and photos taken after the first snow. I’ve also posted photos of the farm we used to own in Quebec – with photos of our house there during the winter, along with photos of our horse and our gardens etc. etc. I call these posts ‘Just a Chat’ because they do not contain any recipes – just photos and my comments about them. These posts have been pretty popular!! In fact, the photo of our farmhouse in Quebec in the winter is among the first three photos found if ‘farmhouse Quebec’ is ‘googled’! Please let me know if any of these ideas have helped you – and – if they gave you more ideas after reading them! All the best – Cecile

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      1. I hadn’t read Ben’s ‘I have nothing to write about’ post… and when I saw your comment, I thought you were looking for ideas for days when you had ‘writer’s blog’… So, it turns out my comment was like someone commenting at the end of a long conversation… of which they only heard the last sentence. Oops !!

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      2. I tend to be very wordy and don’t run into blocks generally, but I always enjoy getting new ideas to explore. I am also a photographer and tend to include a lot of photographs in my posts. I do something similar to your “just chat” except I call mine a “blog bonus’ I only post once a week normally, so if I decide to throw in an extra posting I refer to it as a “blog bonus”. — Grace

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  16. I’ve looked up meta… and I still don’t understand it. Can anyone explain it to me in simple language so I can FINALLY get it?! Thanks !! ; o )

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    1. The best way I can think of it in this context is as something that refers to itself in a self-conscious, non-subtle way — in this case, a blogger who hasn’t written a blog post in a while is writing a blog post about not having written a blog post in a while.

      Does this make any sense? I didn’t intend for this to trip readers up, so apologies for distracting you from the actual meat of the post.

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      1. Hi Ben – I think I did get ‘the actual meat of the post’, in spite of my question about meta. And, actually, I used a bit of what you’d said in the post I’m working on right now. I did a very ‘tongue-in-cheek’ comment saying bloggers aren’t advised to go into explanations about their ‘absence’ unless they’ve been away doing something interesting. So, therefore, since I just got back from Mexico, I could get away with explaining why I haven’t blogged recently. (Yuck yuck!) Then I went on to tell how I’d prepared everything (including all the photos) and planned to post my latest recipe while in Mexico… but forgot the recipe itself !! ; o ) PS Your advice was very sound – thanks for posting it!!

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  17. These are some really helpful tips!
    I have sort of just gone with the ‘meta post’ to explain my absence the last couple of weeks and get back into blogging… As a new blogger this is the longest post I’ve written (and it’s less than 600 words!) I don’t know whether my writing is too *boring* as it is just anecdotes really. Any comments would be much appreciated!

    http://irisheyesaresmiling1992.wordpress.com

    I also really like the writing challenge ‘Find a Muse in the Masters’ – I will try and give it a go later this week. Is there a new writing challenge each week/do you ling your challenge to the page?

    Thanks 🙂

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