Start Your Week Off Write: Make Your Blog Ideas Stick

What do you use to make ideas stick?

When I started my blog way back in the day (otherwise known as two months ago), I had a ‘ton’ of ideas to write about. My mind: 1 ton=seven. So I had a week’s worth of blog post ideas and started writing. One idea I didn’t really like, two seemed completely without merit and another one I finished but it stunk. That left me three, count ‘em, three ideas. I wrote my three posts, and during that week I had several more bursts of creativity. The only problem was these creativity bursts were thwarted when I self-edited and threw the idea out, or I was busy at the moment and told myself I would write about it later.

Those thoughts floated into the ether, or back into the giant bingo cage in the sky, to pop out for some other lucky person who had the means and smarts to write it down.

After reading Kristen Lamb’s book Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer I decided I would do what Kristen suggests and make a weekly schedule of topics to blog about. Check out my schedule here. I got a notebook to keep track of ideas, but alter ego Perfectionist Me would get irritated that ideas could not be kept in order, as ideas usually don’t pop into one’s mind as a list. She insisted that I should follow them in numerical order. You can tell she is working to sabotage my writing career. She would prefer me to be eternally making lists on Post-It Notes, which is also known as Procrastination Hell on Google Maps. Have you ever been there?

Then out of the recesses of my mind came a wild and crazy idea. I called it a Blog Rubric. What if I could use my Post-It fetish to my advantage?

Post-Its brimming over with magically delicious ideas!

This is my blog rubric. It may not be the technically correct term, but it sounds a bit smartypants. It’s just a big piece of paper, courtesy of Artist Daughter’s hoard of paper rolls, tacked to my office wall. First I listed the days of the week and my blog subject for that day. Then I went brainstormin’ ballistic and wrote any idea that came to my mind. No editing involved. (Perfectionist Me could barely stand it.)When I got an idea that matched with a topic, I stuck it under that topic. Otherwise I left it unclassified over at the side. There weren’t many of those, because as I focused on my rubric topics, ideas tended to focus on those, too. I also carry Post-Its in my purse for when I’m on the go, I can ‘stick it’ when I get home.

So now I have a lot (not going to say a ton) of ideas, and when I get a new one, I just stick it up on the rubric. When I’m done writing about one, I take it down. When I see a topic list is shrinking, I brainstorm for ideas on that subject. I can see it taking shape in front of me, and Perfectionist Me still gets to write her little Post-It Notes without regret.

You may say,”That is very 1996, Kristin.  You know, you have the Stickies application on your Mac. Why don’t you use something more technologically advanced?” Well, we could argue the technological advancement of society due to Post-It Notes, but I agree it is a little old school. I’m very visual and not too tech-y, although I’m increasing my knowledge daily. My wall notes are accomplishing their goal and keeping that pesky Perfectionist Me from sabotaging my blogging efforts.

Want some other ways to capture your blog ideas and make them ‘stick’? Check out these links:

Momcomm talks about How to Mind Map for Better Blog Writing

Jessica shares about Capturing Inspiration for Blog Topic Ideas

Gingerbread Snowflakes gives you advice on organizing ideas ‘Old School’ here

Christopher S. Penn gives a YouTube pep talk on how to be a digital superhero with How I Blog with Evernote

Bonus: Capture ideas in the shower with AquaNotes!

Question: How do you keep track of your blog ideas? Any tricks you care to share about getting good ideas?

Related Posts: Start Your Week Off Write: Blogging Help From Social Media Guru Kristen Lamb

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19 thoughts on “Start Your Week Off Write: Make Your Blog Ideas Stick

  1. broadsideblog

    Love your board! I’m also old-school enough I prefer paper for much of my own work and idea-keeping.

    I blog on whatever interests me, so I write a full post as soon as it occurs to me; I blog 3 times a week. I admire the discipline of your schedule. I’m a journalist and non-fiction author, so I also like to write off the news, when it suits me, and a set schedule of topics wouldn’t allow for that.

    Hope you’ll stop by.

    http://broadsideblog.wordpress.com/

    Reply
    1. kristin nador Post author

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the encouragement! I have to ‘stew’ on my topic for a while before I write it, so it helps me to write down the basic idea I get, then think about it, sometimes for several days. That is so impressive you can write as the idea hits you. I love your blog – it’s in my Google reader now!

      Reply
    1. kristin nador Post author

      Thanks Joe. I purposely made this schedule to gain some discipline. It’s an area I am lacking in as a writer, so accountability to others by having a schedule is really helping me. Now if I can only gain discipline with chocolate cake, all would be right with the world. heh

      Reply
  2. Amanda Bozeman

    I would switch to your blog rubric method in a heartbeat if I could. But since my desk is shoved into a corner of the living room, I think I’ll have to stick with keeping everything in a word file on my computer.

    It would be great though. Especially considering how every idea I have starts off on a scrap of paper somewhere ;)

    Reply
    1. kristin nador Post author

      I just got done reading in James Scott Bell’s “Write Great Fiction: Plot and Structure” where he talks about a writer he knows who organizes scene ideas by putting Post-Its on a piece of butcher paper. At the end of the day she rolls the butcher paper up and stores it in a tube used to hold maps or blueprints. Maybe you could adapt that for your situation. Hope you can make it work. I don’t know what I’d do without all my little scraps of paper.

      Reply
  3. Kate MacNicol

    Oh my gosh, I think you’re going to be my new best friend! LOL I’m a newbie and if you’ve seen my face over on twitter today you can see that I am AWFUL, just plain AWFUL with social media. Kristen probably wants to kick me out of everything WANA. I’m feeling very, very overwhelmed with the blogging/twitter thing and I’ve only done it three times. Your blog rubric is perfect for me. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. kristin nador Post author

      I love new best friends, Kate! LOL We newbies just need to do what Kristen says and we’ll be able to steer our way through the social media Wild West. I love MyWANA and all of Kristen’s books, they’ve helped me so much! She is awesome! Thanks for your encouraging comment and stop by anytime.

      Reply
  4. jamilajamison

    I LOVE this blog rubric. I typically jot down ideas in a notebook, but sometimes I feel the undeniable urge to plaster the surface of my desk with post-it notes and organize all of my ideas that way. There’s something about the ability to touch the post-it notes and move ‘em around that is more satisfying than scrawling notes on a piece of paper, or typing them in a word doc.

    I’m a newbie blogger too, and I just came up with a schedule of theme days for my blog, so cross your fingers for me! I figure I’ll try it out for a couple of weeks or so to see if the ideas stick.

    Reply
    1. kristin nador Post author

      Good for you for working out a schedule for yourself, Jamila! I think it helps us newbies to gain a little confidence when we have a bit more focus to our blogs. I know you’ll do great!

      Reply
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  8. SSpjut

    Kristin
    As an admitted sticky note addict, I have to say that seeing your visual use of the beloved posties was pure inspiration:) I’ve used the above mapping for working out timelines on my novels. Thanks for the reminder that a post-it is like duck tape – good for just about anything:)
    (My idea of shopping spree is unlimited buying power in an office supply store:)

    Reply
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