10 Ways To Ignite Your Writing!

by Gigi Ross on February 6, 2012

It’s time to start my writing mini-master class – Ignite Your Writing.

Ignite Your Writing

Let’s take your writing from boring to amazing with some writing tips and ideas!

If you get stuck in blogging ruts or feel like your writing is a little snoozefest right now, this post is for you.

We’re going to start with a plain old story – a made-up version of what happened in Betty Blogger’s day. Then we’re going to ignite that story into 10 great post ideas.

The Story:

I stayed up too late last night watching Toddlers and Tiaras. When I woke up this morning, I decided to make a green smoothie before getting my kids ready for the day. It was delicious! Little Kate woke up first. I put her in front of Dora the Explorer while I finished my breakfast, then I went upstairs to go get Baby Johnny. My 7 year-old, Noah, was on his way downstairs. Little Kate started yelling because Dora was over. I quickly got baby Johnny and went to the kitchen to find – yup, you guessed it. Noah had spilled the orange juice I had left for him – all over the floor! Sigh.

After getting everybody cleaned up and dressed, we all piled in the minivan to take Noah to his Saturday morning soccer game. Gee, I wish I didn’t have to drive a minivan anymore! Anyway, Noah scored a goal at the soccer game and we were so excited that he got the game ball. I missed the goal because I was on snack duty, darn it! Unfortunately, he cried the whole way home because they lost the game 4-3. His dad and I explained that he would lose games sometimes, and encouraged Noah to be happy that he scored a goal! To celebrate, we took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch. They earned so many tickets playing video games, but had a hard time choosing from all the prizes at the prize booth.

It was a fun time. We got back into the car and headed home. Halfway home, little Kate said her tummy hurt and before I could turn around to ask her what was wrong, she had puked all over the minivan. What a day!!!

ZZZZ. That post is a real snoozer. About all you’re going to get in the way of commentary from readers is, “Oh, I hate when my kid pukes in the car.”

Why write a post like that when it is CHOCK FULL of exciting, informative and entertaining material that can form the basis for a MUCH better read?

Here are my 10 ways to take that story, break it apart, and write it differently. I’m going to share 5 of these ways today, and 5 more tomorrow. I’m also going to include links to posts I’ve written in each of these formats, just so you can have something as an example.

1. Write A List Post.

People love lists. They are short and easy to read. Our sample story could be transformed into “10 Things I Learned About My Kids On Soccer Saturday” or “5 Reasons Why No One Will Ever Buy My  Minivan” or “7 Ways My Day Was Over Before It Ever Really Started.” Weave elements of what happened that day into the list. Look for connections and common threads and tie them together in the list.

Examples of My List Posts

Instead of writing an account of a frustrating day playing games with my kids, I wrote Top 5 Reasons I Hate Chutes and Ladders

5 Marital Conversations You Should Avoid Having On Facebook was inspired by an annoying Facebook status update I read on my wall.

I elected to not write a play by play of the day one of my kids got sick and opted to develop The 10 Rules For When Kids Get Sick

2. Write a Recipe Post.

Maybe the best thing about the day was that killer green smoothie for breakfast. Don’t lose that! That’s a post! Take a photo of the smoothie and post a recipe. DON’T just stick the recipe in at the end of a long narrative story. It won’t get tweeted or pinned or shared if you do. Dedicate a post to it. You can still weave in personal elements, but make the recipe the main point of the post.

Example of My Recipe Posts

Warm Cherry-Almond Cake

3. Exaggerate and Write a Humor Post

With a little bit of writer’s embellishment, you can make a ho-hum story something that a fellow mom can relate to and laugh at. Instead of just relating the events of the day, exaggerate! Maybe Noah spilled the OJ on the floor. Write that Noah and Kate then pretended that the OJ was ice and they began “pretend skating” all over the kitchen. Describe the crazy ass soccer moms that you saw screaming at their kids on the field. Make the post larger than life. Comedy is all about universal truths told in an exaggerated way.

Examples of Exaggerated Humor Posts

The Room That Smelled Like Butt
My First Fan Letter

How To Make The School Carnival Profitable

4. Write A Lesson Learned Post

In our sample story, the blogger could identify moments where she learned a bigger life lesson and share it. She could write about how she discovered that her son was more competitive than she had realized, or share that maybe she needs to give up her Toddlers and Tiaras time to get more sleep.

Examples of Lesson Learned Posts

Resilience

The Water and I

5. Write a Reflection or Opinion Post

Our sample story has lots of nuggets for a reflection or opinion post: why Chuck E Cheese should stop giving out prizes, how she doesn’t understand her daughter’s fascination with Dora, or how she dealt with the frustration of a day that didn’t go according to plan. Find the larger dilemmas or issues that bubbled up in the day and address one at a higher level.

Examples of Opinion or Reflection Posts

The Signal

Is It Okay To Quit?

Does Motherhood = Martyrdom?

Every little thing in your day can be the inspiration for an amazing post, if you’re able to take a moment and look at the story from a different perspective. Come back tomorrow when I share 5 more ways to take that same story and ignite it into more great blog post ideas. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!

{ 22 comments }

Renee Schuls-Jacobson February 6, 2012 at 6:22 am

Oooh! Gigi! Thank you for pointing out the difference between a “public diary” and a blog. I see this all the time and wonder what people are doing — but then, I suppose, some people are writing for families or friends and have different goals than I do.

That said, I am actually doing an entire bunch of Friday guest posts called “Lessons Learned” on my blog Lessons From Teachers and Twits. If anyone is interested in submitting a piece, I am currently booked through June!

But…

I have an awesome line-up.

And if anyone would like an opportunity to guest post, let me know. Click on the Contact Me tab on my blog to email me. But read this post first, so you know what I’m looking for.

http://rasjacobson.com/2012/01/02/lessons-learned-guest-posts-for-2012/

Also, Gigi – can you tell me how you make your awesome buttons? This is my area of weakness.

kludgymom February 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

Renee, do you mean my images at the start of every post? I use Power Point. Grab a good stock image, and add text. :) Should I do a post on that?

Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson February 6, 2012 at 10:49 am

The image “10 Way to Ignite your Blog Writing”: you did that in Power Point? Whaaaat?

Yeah, I need to go to there.

I see so many blogs without pictures. And people keep asking me how to make buttons. My son made mine. {He’s 12.} But yeah, I’d love to know how to do that!

Unless it is ridiculously easy and you think people will be all: “Duh?” 😉

C @ Kid Things February 6, 2012 at 7:28 am

The majority of my posts are about the small, everyday stuff. But I try to take a single moment or conversation that stood out and expound on that. Because like you said, no one wants to hear a sterile rundown of a day.

kludgymom February 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

One of the things I’ll talk about Wednesday is that the everyday rundowns totally work for SOME people, but not most. For example, in the healthy living niche, it’s very common for people to blog their whole day down to what oatmeal they ate for breakfast, what workout they did, etc. If you can mix those up with other t types of posts, it will give you a lot more variety. And most importantly, everything you do still needs to be in your voice and in a way that you enjoy!

Sandra Kohlmann February 6, 2012 at 8:07 am

Oh Gigi, another typical, boring post with nothing to offer other bloggers. Just kidding! Did you catch that sarcasm?

I already try to divide my posts into pieces, the way you describe, though I do it out of fear. When I have an eventful day, I’m always afraid that it will be all I have to talk about for the whole week, so I break the day up into several posts. These are great tips for honing my post writing, to make them even better!

kludgymom February 6, 2012 at 10:47 am

Yep, you’re on the right track. You can get a LOT more mileage for your bloggy dollar by chunking your content into pieces…and that makes life SO much easier!!!

Suzanne @ The Wine{a}be February 6, 2012 at 8:47 am

ok, just what I needed this morning! I’m sitting here blogstorming…all I can come up with is a recipe. It is OK! Thank goodness I took a picture in anticipation. 😉

I also love the part of making post larger than life and exaggerating the humorous side of things. Sometimes we just need that in life.

Awesome as always.

kludgymom February 6, 2012 at 10:48 am

I’ll talk about other ways to get inspired tomorrow and Wednesday..but feel free to check out my idea bank for 500+ ideas (link is at the very top of my blog!) :)

Mrs. One Day February 6, 2012 at 9:48 am

I will be putting these tips to use pronto! I think sometimes we don’t realize what comedy gold we have in our lives. If we take a look at it from the outside, maybe we can write it in a humorous way that people will enjoy reading. I have an idea for a post in which I will be hopefully turning something not that exciting into a funny experience and I’ll be using your advice to do so. Thanks, as always!

kludgymom February 6, 2012 at 10:49 am

You’re welcome! It’s so true that by taking just a few minutes and really looking at our days in a different way, we can transform our writing into something really informative, entertaining or enjoyable. Glad the post helped!

AmyBlam February 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

These are amazing tips-ones that people can definitely use. It gave me plenty of ideas! I know everyone has “off” days but when it turns into a diary of non-funness I tend to unfollow.

John February 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

You just described each of my “damn, I’m in a writing funk” remedies (and, strangely, almost in order . . . I go for the exaggeration first)

becca February 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

great writing tips very helpful

Carolina February 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for the great tips! I always wonder…no one wants to read about the fact that I had oatmeal for breakfast! They would if I twisted it around and wrote a blog using one of your ideas…yeah!!

Nicole @MTDLBlog February 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Everytime I read your posts, I”m inspired. No lie. You really have such great advice to offer bloggers. Well done!

Alexandra February 7, 2012 at 6:30 am

Don’t know how I missed this yesterday.

I would love a How To on the images you make at the top of your posts.

They’re eye catching and make me even more excited about the content I”m about to read.

Goa trip February 7, 2012 at 6:43 am

Hi,

If you are passionate about anything then you will do that perfectly in life but for that you should have idea to how do these all things.

These tips can prove good for all to create own idea.

Ms Connie February 7, 2012 at 8:49 am

Thanks for the great blog post ideas. I have so far been staying away from personal posts on my blog; I typically write about children’s books and toys. But now I am thinking I should throw in an occasional humorous post just to give my blog some personality. Thanks for the inspiration!

natalie February 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

good stuff Gigi!

Kristin @ What She Said February 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm

It’s all about the angle – that’s what separates a well-written article or blog post from a simple diary entry. The biggest benefit I’ve gained from blogging is that it’s honed not just my writing skills, but my conceptual skills as well.

colleen February 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Hi
thank you so much for the info. I JUST started a blog I was told having a blog would give my web store more traffic.
Colleen

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: