Blogging Topics for 2018: What Do You Want?

Well, here it is – my first blog post of 2018! Whee!

I’ve been a disciplined blogger for years – I’ve posted at least one blog post a week for several years now, missing only a few weeks here and there in all that time. However, I’ve never been a particularly organized blogger; that is, I’ve never had blog topics and outlines planned out for weeks or months in advance. I count myself productive if I have even one post written ahead of time.

And in all my new year’s resolutions and goals, becoming an organized blogger is not one of them. Sorry, but there it is. Perhaps that makes me less of a professional writer; but I have enough trouble outlining and keeping up with the books I’m writing. Continue reading

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When the Stories are Real

We’ve all read stories or seen movies that deal with great tragedies. Characters who suffer tremendous loss, through no fault of their own, whose lives get turned upside down by an unimaginable horror. We cry for these characters, identify with their pain even if we have never suffered what they have, and we cheer for them as they resolve to push through and emerge victorious in spite of everything.

The pain and empathy that we feel is often increased when we learn that the story is based on a true story, or inspired by real events. And then that pain and empathy is taken to yet another deeper level when it happens to someone you know.

There’s no shortage of pain and tragedy in the world, and everyone can probably point to someone they know (or to themselves) as an example. But just last week, I was stunned and horrified to learn of a great tragedy that hit my friend and fellow blogger Jessica Cangiano of Chronically Vintage. She and her husband lost their home and all of their possessions in a fire – personal belongings, the entire stock for her Etsy business, a lifetime of mementos and treasures, and one of their pets. Continue reading

What to Blog about when You’re out of Ideas

I’m sure this happens to every blogger sooner or later: your idea well dries up. It might be a long creativity dry spell, or maybe it’s just a temporary slump and you’re like “drat, I’m supposed to post tomorrow and I have nothing ready.”

Well, here are some handy tips to keep you going – or at least to help you fill in the gaps until your creativity springs gets going again. If you’re stuck for blog post ideas, you can:

Search the internet for “blog post ideas.” You’ll come across dozens of far more creative and influential bloggers than yours truly who have long lists of ideas, or fabulous tips for getting out of a slump. Continue reading

My Favorite Blogs

They say writers are readers. I agree. I also think that a blogger should be a reader of other blogs. I usually blog about writing, travel, and music, and I read many blogs about similar things. So this post is a highlight (and promo) for four of my favorite blogs.

I’d Rather be in Iceland 

This blogger writes about everything from camping beside waterfalls to Icelandic chocolate. I’m a fan of anything Nordic, and I was reading Eva’s blog long before I took my first trip to Iceland. In fact, reading this blog and communicating with the blogger herself helped me a lot with my own traveling. I’ve also had the honor of writing a couple of posts on her blog.

The Magic Violinist

This is another blog where I’ve had the honor of guest-posting. Kate’s blog is a fun bookish blog with reviews of new YA fiction, writing tips, blog hops, and book memes. She’s young and super talented, and is starting early with her social media networking and platform-building. And her posts are good, too!

Helping Writers Become Authors

This is another writing blog. K.M. Weiland offers a lot of in-depth posts about plot, characters, themes, and everything in between. Her posts always make me think about my own writing in a way I hadn’t before – whether it’s my novel writing, or my blog writing.

Journey out of the Abyss

This blog is a little different from most of my regular reads. The blogger, Ashley, is a friend of mine, but the content of this blog stands on its own. She writes about her journey of overcoming a life of abuse, addiction, and self-harm. Many of the posts aren’t always pleasant – they’re real and raw, but full of truth and hope. I can’t help but feel compassion for Ashley and anyone else who has suffered similar circumstances. Compassion, I believe, is something that can help add depth to anyone’s writing because it adds depth to you as a person.

What are some of your favorite blogs and why?