Everyone has it happen at some point, right? Running out of blog ideas? It's not that uncommon. No one has ideas all the time. So why should you be so lucky?
The truth is that we all struggle sometimes to know what to write about. When that happens, we're left wondering if we should stop blogging. But I've already answered that.
So what do you do when you've run out of blog ideas?
Do you remember TiVo?
When they first came out, they were crazy. The idea that you could pick, in advance, shows you liked, and then watch them later and even skip the commercials, that idea was awesome.
What I loved most was recording all the episodes of a particular show (for me it was Law & Order) so that I could watch 10 episodes on a Saturday.
(In case you didn't know, I invented binge-watching television shows.)
The concept of time-shifting really went mainstream with DVRs—whether it was TiVo or on your cable box.
But time-shifting isn't just a thing for your television shows. It's also great for your blogging.
Time Shifting for Blog Ideas
I'm a big fan of Evernote. I use it all the time. Here's how it helps.
As I'm browsing the web—whether it's the weekend, a late evening after work, or based on an email from a friend—and I see an article I like, or even an article title that I find interesting, I use Evernote to clip it to a notebook called “Articles” or “Inspiration” or “Research.” The notebook I choose is based on how the article sparks an idea in my brain.
This article, for example, is in my Research notebook. The concept of the article is the link between sound and creativity. I can remember clipping the article and even remember the way it made me feel—”see, this is why I like listening to music (a certain kind) when I'm trying to write something that is going to take some serious thinking.”
The nice thing is that I can use this clip, and the article to inspire me long after I initially saw it.
That's the titime-shiftingoncept I'm talking about.
But I also use non-digital (or at least less digital) solutions for ideas that don't come from the web.
Sometimes I have ideas that hit in a moment when I don't need it. For example, today I had two different ideas, but I already had my topic for this post.
So I write or draw it up in a regular notebook.
Recently I upgraded to a special notebook because I bought a special pen that lets me digitize each page of my journal.
But if you look at the image, what you see is my flow. I have journals—typically different ones for different kind of notes (book ideas, research, stories)—and when inspiration hits, I write stuff down.
It all comes together when you get stuck for a topic
I can't tell you how nice this time shifting feels when I'm stuck for a topic.
I open up Evernote, or open up a journal, and as I turn pages, it's like all those old concepts, stories, and ideas all come rushing back to the surface and inspire me all over again.
And just like that, I'm no longer stuck.
Do you have a different trick I could use?