Imagine that you are the coolest kid in town. People are interested in what you do, who you are, what you believe. They’d like to be friends. So take them on a journey of friendship with a really cool person.
If you’re saying to yourself that you aren’t a really cool person living a cool life, then get cool. Make yourself a cool life. When your intention is to live a cool life, cool ideas start coming to you. Now the secret to all of this is to be your own type of cool. Not cool like me or cool like the next guy.
You into chess? Stop talking about it. Go to a chess competition in your city and write about it. But don’t just write about it. Hype about it. Write about the build up; how you are preparing; tell us if your heart is on the brink of explosion. When you get there, paint the scene.
You live on a farm and you’re covered in mud and surrounded by animals all day? Good. That’s cool. Someone wants or admires that life. What’s that life like? And don’t tell us about it all at once. Break it up. Find the nuances in your days. How are your days different? What is the culture of your life? Us city slickers love a western because it shows us a different world. We love a period film for much the same reason. What are the stories of your life?
Stories are life-savers because no two people have the same ones. Even that brother and sister who both got in trouble with their parents that one day each have their own story to tell about it.
Keep your eyes and ears open for stories. They are happening all the time. If something is worth calling your friend about, if something made you stop and wonder, or stop and laugh, write it down immediately, fully if possible.
One small amusing anecdote may not be enough for a blog post write up, but when you are really paying attention you may start to discover themes, patterns, connections that you can later assemble into something more substantial.
If you’re living the same way as everyone else, for goodness sake, look up things to do in your area (free things if necessary) and have an adventure. It doesn’t have to be an epic journey into the belly of ancient caves or eating a ghost pepper, though those things don’t hurt. Well, the pepper will absolutely hurt, but you get my point. Haven’t been to the beach in a while? Haven’t talked to a stranger? Haven’t told your boss where to stuff those files? The point is to expand your experiences. The more excited you are about your life the more joy and energy will be in your writing. People are suckers for joy and energy.
Try something completely new. Go eat a cuisine you’ve never tried before or cook it yourself and have your friends test it out. Julie Powell began documenting her goal of cooking every meal in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs on her blog. Her job was destroying her soul. Her marriage wasn’t doing fantastically and she wanted an outlet to reset. Her blog later became the book Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. Powell called it her year of cooking dangerously. This book later became a movie starring Meryl Streep. Not everyone thinks that cooking is cool, but those who do thought of Powell as a very cool chick.
The idea here: You have power in your life and your individual life has power.
We love a good underdog story. If your life is boring, stressful, soul-sucking, you are an underdog. We’ve all got friends and family in our lives who share all of their stress and the boring details of their lives with us. That’s more than enough. If your life looks like the one I described, think about ways to improve it and frame your story that way. We want to invest our time in someone who gives us the promise of an inspiring tale- unless you are Ben’s Bitter Blog; he’s turned bitterness into a hilarious art form. If you can’t turn boring into an art form, you’d better start working on your success story. Your new washer and dryer will not have us on the edge of our seats.
Don’t become dependent of others to give you ideas. Do you remember a time before cellphones when you could easily rattle off the phone numbers of all of your friends? Okay, okay, my example is for us older ones, but if you are young and can’t relate then just imagine. It actually was possible, I promise. Anyhow, how many numbers have you got stored in that mind of yours now? A parent, a spouse and maybe one child or friend.
Our brains are always looking for ways to be more efficient, a.k.a. lazy. If your brain gets used to depending on others for ideas, it will stop making efforts to find its own. Beware. I know there are thousands of blog post ideas out there, and maybe you came to this post expecting to find writing prompts. Sorry. They are out there for you, but I want to encourage exploration of your own life and ideas.
If you’ve got nothing to say, don’t say anything. This applies to every area of life. Time is precious. People give you freely of their time. It’s time that they will never get back. Try not to waste it. Most of us would rather not hear from a blogger then spend time reading through a post that seems tossed together. Blogging is not social media. People come to blogs hoping for a bit more substance. Got no substance?
Hold yourself accountable. Ask others questions. Read. Learn. Fill your mind with listening to other’s ideas, images, music, environments. Listen to your internal voices or quiet them. Exercise. Document the things you are experiencing. All the while, set yourself a goal of leading a more interesting life. Document your efforts to get there.
Most of us aren’t living extraordinary lives that will inspire biographers, but we can add our chapter to the book of human history, and the beautiful thing is that people will listen.
My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to live a more interesting, fulfilling and beautiful life. Think of me as your well-being and happiness coach. I know that things aren’t always easy. Life doesn’t drop dreams into our laps, but everyday we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?