As much as I believe that creating useful, helpful content is important to keep a blog ticking over — see this post, for example! — I have to agree when people say blogging has become a little, well, dull.
Let me tell you something, young whippersnapper. I’ve been doing this — in some form or another — since 1997. Back in the early days of blogging, we called it online journalling… And it was sweet. It was wild and unrestrained. People told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and it was glorious. It was ill-advised, a bit dangerous, and oh so much fun.
I understand that it’s important to position yourself as an authority online, but let’s be honest: it’s not that enjoyable to be constantly circled by so-called experts on this and that. When it comes to blogging, I want to know you as a person. Let me see your guts! So even if you’re still hung up on wanting to be useful, I encourage you to inject something a little more personal into your content. It will make everything much more rich, dynamic and thrilling, and I promise your readers will appreciate the change of pace.
Here are some prompts, and a few little anecdotes from my own life.
Shauna and I on the rooftop of my first NY apartment, July 9 2008. This moment was when I knew Shauna and I would know each other for a very long time.
Write about what it was like when you first met your best friend.
What were you each wearing? What city were you in? Was it a chance encounter? What did you talk about? When did you know that this person was going to be very special to you?
Write about the best day of your life.
Did you know it was going to be the best day of your life ahead of time? What happened? Why was it so amazing? What effect did that day have on the rest of your life?
Write about something you regret.
What mistakes have you made that you wish you could take back? Did you get hurt? Did you hurt someone else? How would you do it differently now? What’s the silver lining?
Write a letter to yourself 10 years ago.
Where were you at in life? How did you feel? Were you about to be blindsided by something? Would you warn, encourage, or tell yourself off?
Write about what you loved to wear when you were 15.
What did you wear? Where did it come from? What did it signify to you? Did it help you fit in with a certain group — and distance you from another?
Write about what comes to mind when you smell a certain fragrance.
How do you feel when you smell the perfume you wore when you were 20, your mother’s hairspray, or your childhood home?
Santorini. It’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I had never seen so many shades of blue.
Write about the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen.
Where were you? What did it look like? What colours did you see? Who else was there? What made it so beautiful?
Write about the most difficult choice you made.
Was it a split-second decision or was it premeditated? What made it so difficult? What were the repercussions? How did it all turn out?
Write about the highlights of your adolescence.
Who were your friends? What constituted your idea of fun? What bands did you listen to? What adventures did you go on?
Write about your favourite musician.
Who is it? When did you start listening to them? Why does their music resonate more than anyone else’s? Have you ever met them in person? What was that like?
Write about how you’d like your life to look when you’re 93.
What are your hopes and dreams for the (very distant) future? How would you like to dress? What will your house look like? What will you do with your time?
Write down all the interesting things you see on a walk around your neighbourhood.
Jot down everything: bright pink cherry blossoms, weird dogs in sweaters, weird people in sweaters, abandoned furniture, decaying signs…
I love The Magician: it is all about fresh beginnings, new hope, renewed purpose. It’s one of my favourite cards to see.
Write about your favourite tarot card.
Which is your favourite tarot card to pull out of a deck? Why? What does its symbolism mean to you?
Write about a simple decision that changed the course of your life forever.
What small choices have you made that dramatically altered your existence? Did you know how much of an impact it would have at the time?
Write totally new lyrics to one of your favourite songs.
Make it silly, make it personal… Just have fun with it!
Write whatever you would write if you knew no one would ever read it.
If you were the last person left on earth, what would you finally put down in writing?
Write about something you never expected to see.
What has surprised, delighted or shocked you? What did it look like? How did it change your perspective?
Write about the sense (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) you treasure most.
Which sense are you most thankful to have, and why? Why do you favour it over the others? Has your opinion changed over time?
Write about something you no longer believe.
What’s something you used to fervently believe, but don’t anymore? When did you change your mind?
Write about something you love.
What do you totally adore? What makes it so special? How does it light you up and how does it make you feel?
I hope this gives you a few ideas to get a little more personal on your blog! Don’t be afraid to share: we want to know the true you!
P.P.S. Want to learn to elevate your blog to the next level? Check out The Blogcademy. We bring the FUN!