Coming up with topics to write about is hard. You don’t want to rehash the same principles day in and day out. What’s the point of your blog if you’re just going to repeat yourself with the same content but in a different way. I’ve always had a hard time convincing myself that writing on a blog isn’t a futile pursuit. Somebody has already written about the topic and, with the power of Google or DuckDuckGo (check them out if you don’t know about them), content can be found with a few keystrokes.
But, I made this goal, remember? 750 words a day, every day, no matter what. I need topics to write. I need ways to immediately start writing and get out of the editor mode. This afternoon I was procrastinating. I watched a little YouTube, made some egg salad (and now I’m a little gassy sitting here…don’t worry, I’ll blame it on the pug), and went out to offer my help to my landlord who is installing new insulation under my house. Procrastination was outwitted! There I sat, trying to come up with something to write about.
So, I searched for blog topic generator and boy did I find some. Hubspot’s is about what you’d expect. Run of the mill listicles, like 10 Signs You Should Do X or 15 Best Blogs To Follow About X. One of my nouns was jellybeans and I got back 10 Signs You Should Invest In Jellybeans, which to be honest, is probably a good idea. Nothing but sugar and love in those things; they are bound to make you rich.
Next up was Portent’s Content Idea Generator. This had a sweet interface and the title ideas that came back were actually decent. When entering jellybean into this generator, the suggestion was 16 Ways to Become the MacGyver of Jellybeans. They also suggested I could be the MacGruber of Jellybeans; why the dig Portent? The other funny one was How Jellybeans are Part of a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Clever Portent, very clever.
A generator that doesn’t take any input and looks like it was designed in the late aughts was Build Your Own Blog’s The Blog Post Ideas Generator. Most of the ideas are of the listicle or guides though they did suggest healthy marriage at one point; don’t think I qualify to write the post around that topic at all.
I think my favorite generator, if it can be called that, is Answer the Public. It’s a lovely tool that let’s you fall into a vast trove of questions. It seems like a great way to get your juices flowing or some common questions that you could answer. I found one I want to learn about: bamboozled jelly beans where to buy…um ya, where do you buy that?!
Unfortunately though, this blog isn’t about making lists or MacGrubing my way to a better Jellybeaner. This blog is more personal. I want to find my voice. I want to write things that matter to me. No one is going to search for my content and I don’t care about making my entries SEO friendly. What I needed today was a writing prompt. (You see, this is how far removed I am from writing! I’m looking up blog topic generators!)
I have quite a few books on writing with more than a few exercises in them. My favorite—and also the namesake of this site—is Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life. It might be time to reread that book. Maybe it could be one of the forty-eight I plan on reading this year. However, I find many of the writing prompts in these books to be dated and boring. You know, just writing that right now made me think, Maybe it’s me that’s boring and I’m not stretching my imagination when given a prompt.
You know, being a software programmer by trade, I could just build my own writing prompt generator. I could make it as profane, silly, edgy as I possibly could. I could even write a WordPress plugin that will insert the prompt on the post screen so you don’t even need to open another browser tab and get sucked into not writing for two hours. Ooh, the possibilities.
But first, I’ve got to finish this ridiculously pointless post. Nothing that much came of it. This is where my diligence and focus starts to wane. Usually about a week in. But not this time. I’m powering through it this time. Moving right along, writing my 750 words every day, every day, every day.