Once a week I write a couple of blogs and there are times, to be honest, when I struggle with finding something interesting to say. I suspect I am not alone, so here's some tips for when you are staring at the screen looking for inspiration.
1. Stop. Step away from the computer. When you are trying to force it, the words rarely happen. So take a break. Go for a walk. Do something else. When you've hit the sweet spot, the words will flow.
2. Think about your week. Has anything happened that could be meaningful to someone else? Sharing observations or lessons you have learned can be insightful and beneficial to your reader.
3. Look at what is happening in the world. There's plenty of scope there, but do your homework to make sure that what you are saying is factually correct.
4. Be current. It was Canada Day, for example. What does being a Canadian mean to you?
5. Reflect on the past. Is there a story, from your childhood say, that you can use as the basis for your blog? Building on that story can make your blog interesting and give your reader a glimpse into you as a person.
6. Be observant. I joke with a friend that every time we get together she gives me fodder for my blogs. She's starting a business and her struggles take me back to the trials and tribulations of being a newbie in the business world.
7. Short and sweet. Where is it written that you have to write a long piece? Just look at the success of Seth Godin. Often his blogs are short, pithy and to the point. Don't waste your time and energy on a long essay, when short will do it.
8. Take a stand. But a cautionary word here, it can't just be a rant. You do have to offer some evidence, solutions or suggestions to resolve the issue.
9. Be vulnerable. Some of my best blogs have been when I opened up and revealed my inner thoughts and struggles.
10. Share your expertise. You know more than you think. Everyone is hungry for information.
11. Make the links. Sometimes you can tell a modern-day parable to illustrate a point. For example, I have written about planting a vegetable garden and compared it to starting a business, as in both instances you are sowing seeds but you don't know initially what will take off and grow.
12. Dream. What would you do if you won the lottery? Tell your readers about your passions, dreams and long-term goals, but remember to keep it interesting.
These are just some pointers on what you can do when the writing well has run dry.
And while I wouldn't recommend this on a regular basis, one other option is just is to skip a week. While writing a blog is part of our routine and important to us, our readers and followers are not likely waiting with bated breath for our next pearls of wisdom. They won't notice if you don't write one week.
So cut yourself some slack. Give yourself permission to miss a week or two. You'll come back refueled and ready to go.