A few months ago, I was in a bad blogging place. Other than posts full of links and the occasional "Hey, check out my latest newspaper column" posts, my blog was languishing. Quite simply, I had lost my blogging mojo.
Then, on Memorial Day weekend, I found it again while at a campground near Mount Rainier, where I had no cell phone reception and no email access. Who knew?
What was my problem? My well of inspiration was empty. I was so busy giving information to patients, clients and readers that I wasn't allowing myself to receive new information and ideas. My outputs were seriously exceeding my inputs. In other words, I wasn't refilling my well.
Allowing myself a break from my day-to-day demands and a chance to catch up on my magazine reading gave my brain a chance to breathe, expand and be creative. Has your well run dry? Here are five tips for replenishing it.
Give Yourself Space
When your days are spent juggling work and home obligations, and your focus is on slogging through your to-do list, how are you supposed to be able to think in a creative way? And, if you can't think creatively, your ideas won't flow. I get my best ideas on vacation (especially camping), on long walks and in the shower.
Look Outside for Inspiration
Ideas for blog posts can come from scientific journal articles, cookbooks, lifestyle magazines, other blogs and websites, overheard conversations and questions from patients. When you let that information flow in and have the mental space to process it, it's amazing the ideas your brain will pump out.
Don't Rely on Memory
I've had great blog post ideas while with a patient or client, in the middle of watching a movie, or while shamelessly eavesdropping at the grocery store. No matter where it is, I always jot it down ASAP. If not, it will be going, going, gone. When taking a not, try to be specific. Don't write, "bananas" — instead, write, "Bananas as a source of potassium + my super-healthy whole-grain banana bread recipe."
Get It on the Books
Once you have a list of ideas or a "tickler" file full of magazine clippings, don't stop there! Write and schedule those posts in advance. Otherwise, your new trove of ideas will likely just gather dust.
Dip into Your Files
Was your brainstorm so bountiful that you have ideas for months? Treat your list and clippings file as a living document. Refer to it, edit it and add to it regularly and let your regained writing mojo continue to inspire your writing.