My Blog Post Ideas Are AWOL

It was a glorious weekend in the Mid-Atlantic. Temperatures were in the lower 70s, the sun was shining, and the humidity wasn’t stifling. Rare conditions for early June in my neck of the DC suburbs.

2006 Cherry Blossom Festival

And that made it hard to concentrate on anything that resembled work, including writing. Don’t get me wrong. I finished another chunk of revisions to Death Out of Time.  I have clearer ideas about the remaining work on this round. And the gang from Summer at the Crossroads is getting antsy. They want me to work on their book—and soon.

Williamsburg 2010

But coming up with a post for today wasn’t easy. I’ve exhausted my backlog of pre-written posts. Poetic Archaeology wanted a vacation. And I’m still not prepared to do another awards acceptance post. The gleaming of an idea for a social media post is in my head, but that probably won’t be ready until Saturday. The s*p*a*m* queue is full of redundant garbage, and there aren’t even any good “names” in it. Come to think of it, every potential idea seems to be on vacation this week. I think my characters started a run on travel agents’ offices.

San Francisco 2011

That, or my mention of mojitos on the beach in my post on “When The Going Gets Tough.” And I had a couple of tasty ones Saturday in DC. Maybe the ideas decided they needed a cool, refreshing beverage of their own. Whatever the case, the ideas haven’t cooperated. Hey, it was a beautiful weekend, and then we had to go back to work on Monday. Sigh.

So, if the characters and blog ideas are taking a vacation, why shouldn’t I? That’s why you see various photos scattered through this post. These are from some of the vacations (or day trips) my husband and I have taken the last few years.

Milwaukee 2011. “Do Vidjenja” is Serbian for goodbye.

Vacations are good for the creative soul. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feel of new and different places can spark the Muse. Maybe these photos will lead mine to sit down and reminisce about all our good times together—so we can get down to the dirty work of finishing some revisions.

Although a day at the ballpark wouldn’t be bad….

Nationals Game, July 4, 2011

So I hope you’re all having a good day wherever you are. And take some time to relax and recharge. See you soon. :)

46 thoughts on “My Blog Post Ideas Are AWOL

    • Most of them are enjoying it, I think. But I’m grateful to the few who have stuck around or come back to help on the revisions. :)

      We all need a break now and again, right? The brain needs that rest as much as the body. :)

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    • Thanks! It’s just a little one right now. :) But it was fun to go through photos of past trips for this post. Next up is a day trip to Baltimore for the tall ships later this month.

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    • Better wait until later this afternoon for something. ;) It was just so fun to hang out at Meze in Adams-Morgan Saturday afternoon and watch people go by. I can really understand why outdoor cafes are so popular in most of the world. :)

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  1. The problem with a lot of the world is that they don’t know how to take a vacation. The rest of them seem to always be on one! In your case, it does sound like temporary burnout and the vacation will do you good. Here’s a thought: Ray Bradbury, writer extraordinaire, used an interesting method for getting story ideas: he would carry a little notebook with him and, throughout the day, simply write a word (usually a noun) that he happened to think of. When he got stuck for a story idea, he would open the notebook and pick a word (or look at the first word) and write a story about that word, whatever it was. Try it…what can it hurt? In fact, let me get you started…
    Phone
    Cartoon
    Tuba
    Windmill
    Motel
    Automobile
    Jack Rabbit

    There you are started…when your vacation is over look at the list.
    By the way, doing a post on not being able to do a post was good. I liked it.
    Scott

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    • Thanks for the prompts, Scott! :) We’ll see how they work when I next face a blank page. I think it’s a bit of burnout but also a healthy dose of beautiful weather where I don’t want to be cooped up inside doing work. Maybe that’s a holdover from the school days, and I feel like summer vacation should be starting! Sigh. If only. ;)

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  2. I smiled when I saw the title of you post in my inbox, because for the past week, I, too, have felt the well to be a little dry (ignore my use of passive tense; I’m less vigilant in my comments :) ) In fact, I’m still not sure what to post for Thursday. Hopefully it will come to me…

    Loved the photos. And I don’t blame you for just wanting to enjoy the beautiful weather and the great city of DC.

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    • Hey, vacation’s a handy and timely theme for this time of year. :D I suspect a lot of bloggers feel this way about now. Thoses of you with school-age kids now have them to deal with, too. Unless you can ship them off to work somewhere or to stay with other family members. ;)

      And there’s always the old standby of revisiting an early post that most followers haven’t seen yet!

      If we had the money to live where we wanted in DC and in the type of place we’d like, I’d move there in a second. But archaeologists don’t make that kind of money! Still, I’m happy making day trips. :)

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      • I keep thinking you live in the city. I guess I see you as a sophisticated urbanite, drinking spots of tea at sidewalk cafes. :)

        I wish I could ship my kids off to family. Oh, I’m just kidding of course. Summer is great to have with them, but I do need to get work done, too, so they have some camps lined up. Sitting idle at home during the summer is not good for kids. Or adults probably…

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        • Ooh, sophisticated urbanite. I like the sound of it. But we’re a mere 20 miles away, and it’s an easy Metro ride to most of the places we like to go. If the books ever become big sellers, well, we’ve got some ideas for areas to live in!

          Camps are good—whata kid doesn’t like to get away from the parents in the summer? (And what parents aren’t secretly happy to see them go? :D )

          Are you having any trouble with WP being slow today?

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    • I hope to get good photos of the historic tall ships in Baltimore later this month. It’s the 200th anniversity of the War of 1812. Most people don’t know much about it. But Maryland saw much of the fighting, and the words to our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” were written by an observer to the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

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  3. A wonderful post and I just loved the accompanying images! :) Thank you for sharing them with us. :) It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only person who tires of things and needs her brain and creativity recharged. I’d love to go a wee holiday somewhere. :)

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    • Right now, we just get little weekend jaunts to someplace close for a day. Fortunately, there’s a lot to see and do around here. :) And little breaks are almost as good as big ones. Later this summer or early fall, we’ll go back to the Midwest to visit family and old friends. Next up—tall ships! :) (You’d never know from this post that we’re not sailors!)

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    • Hi, and thanks for stopping by! I’ll be by to visit your blog, too. I’ve read blog advice that says photos are always good. And they’re worth a thousand words, right? So this must’ve been a very weighty post. ;) Or how about summer is good for light reading? :)

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    • Breaks are good. :)

      It’s not too hard to upload photos for a post. When you’re in the editing screen for a post, you should see “Upload/Insert” below your title box and above the main post box. It’s just above the gray toolbar with the formatting buttons.

      First, place your cursor on the line where you want to insert the photo. Then check out that “Upload/Insert” line.

      You’ll see three gray images to the right of “Upload/Insert.” The first is of a camera and musical notes. That’s the one to choose to upload a photo. When you click on it, a new menu will appear with 3 tabs: From Computer, From URL, and Media Library. Click on the “From Computer” tab if it’s not already showing.

      There’s a button to “Select Files.” Clicking on that will open a menu where you can navigate to the photo on your computer that you want to upload. Once you select it, another screen will come up that allows you to choose the size and position of the photo. Once you’ve set those options, click on “Insert Into Post.”

      You can repeat this for as many photos as you’d like to upload. Just be sure to put your cursor where you want to place the image because you can’t just drag them around like you would in Word.

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      • Thanks for the instructions, JM! this sounds really clear, and I’ll have to try it as soon as I get an image from somewhere that I want to use. (I think your academic/tech writing background is showing, here – in a very good way.)

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  4. I’m glad you’re looking at your characters’ vacation and your lack of blog ideas positively. I have been in panic mode before when I have run out of things to say. Panic is never good for the Muse; it just keeps her away longer.

    My biggest problem with blog posts isn’t so much not having the ideas, but lacking the energy to write about them. I do keep a running list of ideas in a word file, but I have to admit, if they don’t set my fingertips on fire, I’m not going to write them. Then I end up writing about something completely out of the blue.

    Wonderful photos, too! Are you a Nationals fan, or is it just because that’s where you live now? Red Sox are playing the Nationals Sunday btw, and we’re going to the game. Hopefully the rain will be long gone by then :)

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    • Panic, not good. Bribes, mixed success. :)

      I run into the same problem sometimes. I have some ideas for posts, but right now, I can’t get enthused about writing them. And that would show in the post I did write if I forced myself to do it. I’d rather just do a “fun” one about the hard time I’m having coming up with them. :)

      We became Nats fans when we moved out here. We’re Brewers fans from back home, so we stuck with the National League out here. (Plus we’re not fans of the Orioles’ owner.) Nats are a good team this year, so don’t look for an easy win! ;)

      Hoping to get some good photos of tall ships next week in Baltimore—those could make for a “pretty” post. :)

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  5. Happens to us all. I’ve found (especially when posting daily) that when I had a bunch of ideas, to get some on some draft posts, so I could flesh them out when necessary. Or I had one or two in reserve. But the priority is surely to work on your novel anyway so thing of it as a plus in that box.

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    • Yes, books before blogs. Almost sounds like a political slogan…. :)

      I have to remind myself that it’s okay to sometimes do a simple, fun post. They don’t all have to say something useful or informative. And summer is a good time for simple fun.

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  6. I’ve just been away – and fretted about not blogging, especially as I thought I was building momentum. But you’re right. We all need a creative break!

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    • Better to take a break and then be able to do “quality” writing than to force something while feeling burned out. Sometimes we have to work through that burnout in the day job. But there’s a difference between working through some lethargy and not recognizing the need for a real break to clear the head!

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  7. Everyone needs a little R & R sometimes. Althought you managed to do it while giving us an interesting post of pics to look at.

    Relax, and give yourself and your caracters a break. Just remember to come back!

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    • Tee hee — The vacation was actually the vacation-oriented post. ;) Saturday’s is drafted and ready for editing tomorrow afternoon. And I should have most of tomorrow to devote to writing. Yay! More of my characters are back from vacation today and offering suggestions on their rewrites. If all goes well, I’ll have the draft of the revised last three chapters hashed out by the end of the week. Still more work to do in other parts, but I’m making slow and (somewhat) steady progress. :)

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  8. I am in the deep crust of winter here. No vacation in sight though it is a public holiday today ( Queen’s birthday weekend.)

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    • I’m thinking you’re in Australia? Last year, my old pen pal from high school found me through the Internet, and we’re back in touch again. She lives in Melbourne. The “opposite” seasons between the two hemispheres has always boggled my mind. :) We hit a toasty 90 F here today (high 30s C, I think?). Not sure when I’ll get the “real” vacation either. Maybe July or August…. hopefully!

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      • I am in Australia. In canberra. It’s a frost 2 degrees here which I think is your 34. Brrrr. n

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