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10 Guaranteed Ways to Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas (#7)

Missed the first posts in this series? Check them out here.

#7 Experiment Regularly

When was the last time you did something new? Creativity breeds creativity, so if you’ve allowed yourself to become stuck in a rut that could be one of reasons you’re struggling with coming up with blogging ideas and inspiration.

Try Something New

If new things scare you, I completely get it. I’m the type of person who would always eat the same things and wear the same types of clothes, but I’m learning that variety is the spice of life. It’s good to force yourself out of your little safe, comfortable zone and experience new things — new tastes, sounds, smells, books, recipes, projects, and so on.

As a blogger, never get completely comfortable with doing things the way you’ve always done them. Occasionally challenge yourself to try new types of posts (short and long, funny and deep), new types of writing styles, or new & different approaches to where, how, and when you write.

This doesn’t mean that you always have to be experimenting and can never get into a rhythm, but don’t allow yourself to become so stuck in one way of doing things that you’re not willing to expand your horizons a little to help fuel more inspiration.

Face Your Fears

Earlier this year, I played my violin in front of a crowd for the first time in years. That might not seem like a big deal, but for me it was pretty colossal because it meant facing some very deep-seated fears and punching them in the face.

It’s been the same with public speaking — and even with traveling and meeting new people. I’m an introvert by nature and being in new situations, speaking in front of people, and being around large crowds used to absolutely scare me to the point of nausea. I love home and quiet and the “safety” that it brings.

But my husband and I both clearly felt the tugging in our hearts two and half years ago that I was supposed to start accepting a few speaking opportunities. I cannot begin to describe the sickening fear I had for the first year over every single speaking engagement (some of you witnessed this firsthand if you were in the audience for some of those talks!).

I knew it was the path I was supposed to follow and my husband was confident it was God’s leading, as well. So I faced those fears over and over again. Each time, I got a little bit more confident.

The funny thing is, over time, I’ve discovered is that I love speaking engagements. Sure, there are still some of the nerves to deal with, but the opportunity to get to meet you all face-to-face, hug you, look into your eyes and hear your stories, and glean from your wisdom and real-life examples has been worth all those moments when I wanted to run away and never speak in public or meet a new person again.

Facing my fears in this has enriched my life more than I could have ever imagined. Plus, it’s given me confidence to face other fears head-on, too.

Never Stop Learning

Constantly be challenging yourself to step outside your comfort zone and/or be improving in at least one area. If you’re up to it, choose one area in each facet of life (personal, family, business, etc.) to be working on at once so that you’re being stretched in a few different directions.

Take a class, learn a new skill, try a new recipe, experiment with a new do-it-yourself project, develop a new friendship, read a new kind of book, try a new fitness routine… the possibilities are endless. Whatever it is you choose, though, make sure that it’s ultimately blessing your life — not serving as a burden of guilt or making you feel like a failure.

Challenging yourself to always be learning will not only inspire your creativity and motivate you to think outside the box, but it will also give you renewed zest and passion for life. New experiences will provide new stories to write about, new questions to ponder, and new viewpoints to consider. All of these things will enhance your writing — and give you an almost limitless supply of blogging inspiration.

What is one new thing you’re learning or area you’re working on improving in right now?

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19 Comments

  • Growing my blog! I’ve been blogging for 3 years, mostly for family, and it’s been small. I like that because it’s comfortable… but really “comfortable” (in this case) is code for hidden fear. I didn’t want to put a ton of energy into it and get few results.

    I love this post — my mind is already thinking of some ways I need to be stretched to prepare for whatever God might ask me to do next!

  • Nicki says:

    Did you write this post just for me? 🙂 I published my first blog post in six months this week, and as I’ve been planning ideas of what to talk about, I started getting scared…..how can I go deep every post? How can I keep this up (and I’ve just begun)? i need to punch fear in the face (lol) and keep following God’s leading. And get creative and experimental. So loving this series. Thank you for bring so encouraging and for following His leading. You’re doing some neat things! And kudos to the hubby for encouraging you on this journey!!!!

    (Btw, I have never commented on any blog as much as I have this series…really hoping I am not annoying.) 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Thank you so much for your kind encouragement! I’m so grateful you’re finding this series helpful; I’m really enjoying writing it!

      {And no, it’s not possible for me to be annoyed — ever — by encouraging comments. So just comment away to your heart’s content. :)}

  • This is beautiful post. Thanks for discussing your vulnerabilities as you wrote about facing fears.

    I’m an introvert as well, and I have many of the same fears you mentioned. This has certainly been a year of stepping outside my own comfort zone, blogging being only one small step. My children are my inspiration for this, as I know I need to provide them with an example of how to deal with anxiety and face fears.

    Bless you.

    • Crystal says:

      Thank you for your kind encouragement! It’s been a really great opportunity for me to share candidly with my children about facing my fears — and then for them to get to watch me go out and actually follow through with it. It’s encouraged some of my more introverted ones to face their fears, as well.

  • Great post! It’s not easy to face our fears, but so rewarding if we do and can work through them. Good job on the violin playing. I’d like to challenge myself to play the piano again. The last two times I tried to play in public I froze up. But I need to keep trying.

    I also love to write, and last night got some great ideas that I need to put on paper (or the computer, as it is these days!). It’s not easy finding the time, and I fear that I might be wasting my time. But the more I think about it, the more I feel like I really need to give this new writing idea a try.

  • Victoria says:

    I decided to go down to three posts a week instead of 4 over the summer and have seen my numbers go UP. I have also experimented with long and short posts and found that sometimes people really do like a long over 1000 word post if it really goes in depth into a topic that they are interested in. My first one was an answer to a friend’s question about what to take on her first camping trip with her kids. I made it a blog post simply because it was an easy and simple way for her to access the information and it as well over 1000 words. It soon became my top post of the month, and got pinned numerous times simply because people liked that I didn’t leave anything out. I too am a very routine person, so much in fact that even the cashiers and the bank workers used to ask if I was sick if I change times for when I do things at one point in my life. Since then I have tried to shake things up a bit and try new things, especially in the area of physical fitness.

    • Crystal says:

      I love how you’ve experimented and discovered things that have worked well. And congrats on your traffic going UP this summer — that’s not something that usually happens on blogs!

      And thank you for how you inspire me in so many areas!

  • Like you, I’m working on facing my fears. And while I have many, I have to start with one at a time. So I started with a big one. For reasons I can’t explain, I’m afraid of succeeding so I constantly sabotage myself and my efforts with negative self-talk, shying away from opportunities, and the like. This isn’t a great way to have a successful writing career or blog or life in general. So I’m trying to stop.

    It’s hard but every day gets better and easier.

  • Alexa says:

    I love this post. I usually read all same type of books either personal finance or time management but I have been switching it up here lately. I just recently started going back to church so I have been reading some books about giving yourself to God and I have also been reading some parenting books. I am new to the more religious type books. Is there one that you would recommend to me?

    I think when I broaden my horizons I come up with so many different ideas and different angles that I can approach the same topic.

    • Crystal says:

      I love that you’re reading different types of books — way to go!

      As far as religious books go, I’d be happy to recommend some, but it might be better for you to ask your pastor at your church or your Sunday school or small group leader. If they don’t have any great suggestions or ideas, please feel free to email me and tell me a little more about your background and what religious books you’ve read so I can think about ones that I’d recommend.

  • I need to work on the humor bit. I do laugh a lot but I’m kind of afraid to add humor to my blog because my sense of humor tends toward dry and sarcastic, although I never make fun of people–only things that happen or situations. But I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings and am concerned that I might.

    • Crystal says:

      Humor can definitely be hard to convey… and I’ve certainly flopped in that regard. It’s an area I hope to someday master. For now, I’m still experimenting. 🙂

  • Lora says:

    Thanks for the great ideas, again! Like Jana I can tend to think the negative thoughts and I know I need to listen to the leading of Christ instead. Just last night I was reading a post about blogging where we were challenged to pray over our blogs every day and the ministry that we have through them. That was the easy part, the hard part came when they said to decide what your goals are for your blog and then write them down. I was paralyzed! I have dreams and wishes for what I would like to accomplish, but feel others would find them silly and the thought of writing them down made them so. . . real. Scary real. So, I guess I need to work on getting over my fears of what I want to accomplish.

  • Gabby says:

    I appreciate your posts about your struggles with public speaking. I don’t think I would have volunteered to present my research at a conference otherwise. Thanks!

  • Joanna says:

    Crystal, have you read Quiet by Susan Cain? It’s a great one for introverts. She also did a TED Talk that covers a lot of what’s in the book.

    Our family recently grew again, and with now four kids we had certainly outgrown our two bedroom apartment. On Monday a rental house fell into our lap, today we signed the lease, and we are moving Saturday. On top of that, there is a room there that is the perfect space for me to teach group piano lessons, something that I did in college, and have dreamed of doing from home ever since. So I have August to move a family to a new house, get my older kids ready to start second grade and kindergarten, and build a business from scratch. Talk about facing fears and trying something new! I’m not sure how I’ll survive the month, but here it goes!

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