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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blogging, a Tutorial: Vol. 3

This is the third week in a series of blogging tutorials. Last week, I covered the Rules for a Good Post. This week covers how to find inspiration. Have a question or want to submit your own tips? Email me!



Finding inspiration was one of my September goals. I love the change of the season, the onset of fall, the cool weather setting in... But let's be honest: inspiration isn't always there. It's almost a buzz word. I find myself often yearning for that inspiration that other bloggers speak of.

So I began making a list of all the things that inspire me ... and am now publishing it here. Enjoy!
 
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10 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Blog & Life

#1: Read blogs
You are the company you keep. So why not spend time with blogs that are doing it right? I promise you'll be encouraged & inspired for your own blog!

#2: Exercise
Physical activity stimulates the brain. I've had some of my best ideas while losing myself in Zumba. Plus, burning off calories is an added bonus. (It balances out all those Pinterest recipes!)

#3: Spend time away from the computer
Staring at a blank screen doesn't usually produce many original thoughts for me. When I'm at a loss, I get up, read a book - or even watch TV - just as long as I don't have to stare at that blinking cursor for one more moment.

**This is especially important for those of us with 8-5 computer jobs. You have to take breaks from the computer screen. For so many more reasons than being inspired. It's hard... (I used to spend upwards of 12 hours at the computer a day...) But you can make changes & reduce that time :)

#4: Be Alone
My best thinking is done alone. I've learned to embrace it, and have since found inspiration I never knew I could find. I'll leave this point with a thought from David Rakoff:



#5: Listen to talk radio - political, documentary, fictional or otherwise.
We listen to This American Life whenever we go on a road trip. I listen to Democracy Now on my daily drive home. There's something about talk radio that reaches a different part of my brain & drives me to seek inspiration from places I would have never thought of.

#6: Keep a notebook nearby
I keep both a notebook and Google Docs list handy, so I never miss that perfect idea whenever (or wherever) it comes. 

#7: Brainstorm with a friend
Sitting over tacos with C has produced some of my best material. I love bouncing ideas off of friends and family - you get outsider's opinions and your confidence grows in your own abilities.

#8: Don't force it
When it's not coming, it won't come. If you force it, you may lose the fun of it. Inspiration can't be forced.So remember to relax and enjoy your life. You can skip a blog post. It'll be OK.

#9: When inspiration comes, go with it
And just like inspiration can't be forced, it can't be shut off. So when it comes, run with it. Stay up late. Write just a little longer. Make time for it to reach its fullest potential.

(This goes in hand with a bonus tip: leave free time in your schedule.)

#10:  ________________
Embrace the blank. A white canvas has so many possibilities! Welcome it with open arms & see what comes ♥

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Let me know what inspires you in the comments... I'm always looking for new techniques ♥
Thanks for reading!

8 comments:

  1. I wish I could do #3 a little more, however my job requires me to burn out my eyeballs with a computer screen. lol xoxo A-

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  2. Great advice, and my fave being #8. I've learned to let it go if I don't post during the week.... if there's nothing to talk about, it's okay... LIFE GOES ON. And it makes the meaningful posts even that more meaningful!!

    Love it girlie... keep the inspriation and tips comin!

    xo, Bev

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  3. Interested to know how you build the community of blogs you read. Is it just googling the topics you like? Or do you sift through the recommended blogs from whatever site you belong to?

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    Replies
    1. love that question! I'll have to write more about it. but for now, the short answer is:

      it's mostly peer reference.... participating in blog linkups & hops. and finding the opinion leaders. twitter & instagram have been a big part of that.

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  4. Love these tips. I always try to go with whatever comes to my mind. If something does come along I'm going with it regardless of whether it'll help me gain followers, comments or what not. If nothing comes to my mind, then nothing will be posted. In the beginning I think we all try to please everyone and post as often as even possible etc etc. but it is time consuming and won't reflect our personality...so yeah, I just go with whatever happens in my life. A good show, restaurant, recipe, quote I discovered or heard, a fun or weird story I encountered, a song making me cry...I'm sure you know.

    And really, no blog post or a lil break won't hurt from time to time. :)

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