Thursday, February 28, 2008

Libertine's "Blogger's Grab Bag of Topics"

Anyone who has blogged for any amount of time has dealt with "blogger's block", when nothing comes readily to mind to write about. The blogger might be tired, distracted, busy with other things, or simply uninspired to write. Some people solve this problem by just not posting on such days. But others, myself included, want to write every day and feel vaguely guilty if we don't put up something each day.

Like other daily bloggers, I go through phases where I'm really on a roll; things all around me become inspirations for writing and the posts almost write themselves. Unfortunately, there are other times when my creative juices have dried up; when I'm creatively constipated and have to pull out the entries, word by word, out of myself. Presently, I've been in that mode for a couple of weeks now, but I have a good reason why -- I'm working on another writing project that is sapping some of my blogging energy away from me.

But that isn't the point of today's entry. Today, I will show the reader my "grab bag of topics" I use as sources for blogging fodder.

1. Rants/Peeves
For me, this is the richest source of blogging material -- everyone has plenty of things in their lives or in general that just piss them off. These types of entries tend to write themselves. These are "what I think" entries. I find it best to write rants with a touch of humor to them, so as not to come off as a whiner, or a "whinger" as the British prefer to say it.

2. Daily Life
Again, most people find it easy to talk about things that are going on in their lives, both good and bad. These are "what I do" entries. I'd caution not to write too many entries about mundane daily events, however, as a little goes a long way here.

3. Current Events/News
Trolling the news sources for interesting news often provides good blogging material. I tend to choose political news or odd news most often, but any sort of news that interests the blogger is good, as it gives the reader insight into the blogger's personality.

4. Reminiscing

Talking about one's memories from years ago, or those of friends and family members give the reader a chance to identify or contrast with the blogger.

5. Lists
These can be humorous or serious and can be about any topic under the sun. These types of entries also invite reader participation. They can be personal, as in "My 25 Favorite Songs" or general, "25 Celebrities Who Were Only Children", for example. This is also a good format for writing entries about trivia/useless knowledge.

6. Quotations

Quotations that resonate with the blogger can be used in two main ways, either as a list of quotes, with or without comments, or a single quotation can insire an essay entry. I've also written essays based on a single word, which have turned out well.

7. Humor
Humor can be used in many different ways. One can write about funny things that have happened to them, write about annoyances in a funny way, post a funny cartoon or photo with our without comment, post a joke you've found somewhere or gotten in an email.

8. Informational
A blogger can write informational pieces about topics they have special knowledge and/or interest in. My blogging original started in this mode, as some people I knew wanted to know about my libertine life, the hows and whys. "How-to" pieces also fall under this category, as do entries about one's hobbies.

9. Opinion Pieces
This is related to the rants/peeves and informational categories. These differ as they're not necessarily presented as something that pisses the writer off, nor are they always strictly factual. These also tend to produce good comment interaction.

10. Polls/Surveys
This is related to the opinion pieces, but is more focused on the readers' opinions more than what the blogger thinks, per se.

11. Memes/Quizzes
Ranging from the serious to the silly, memes are good for days when nothing else comes to mind. They also inspire copy-cat entries for other bloggers similarly uninspired. These are best when used sparingly.

12. People
Other people, whether it's those in our own lives or someone famous, are often a source of good blogging material.

13. Photos and Illustrations
Using photos or other types of illustrations offer versatile entry possibilities. A photo can be posted for artistic value, for humor, or for something about it that inspired the writer. They can be posted with little or no comment, they can illustrate what the blogger is talking about, or they can inspire an essay.

14. Reviews
Reviews about books, movies, TV, and music are another good category, which can be useful to readers.

15. Odds and Ends
This is a miscellaneous entry cobbled together with bits and pieces of elements that are interesting but not long enough to make entries of their own. Such entries often include items from one or more of the other categories.

I'm sure there are more categories I use, but this is all that comes to mind at the present time. Feel free to include some of the elements in your "blogger's grab bag of topics" in the comment box.

1 comment:

Winter said...

Those are great ideas! I've been on the photo thing lately. Visuals have been inspiring me. Happy Leap Year!