New BeginningsObserving daily life usually gives me ideas and ways of thinking about events, but there are days when I’m just plain tired out or when I’m too much in love with what I wrote the day before to begin something new. Those days I need to spark creativity, much like deciding to write a new novel and wondering where to begin, and I scour my surroundings for inspiration.

In the spring of this year, I wrote the Writer’s Bag of Tricks, which walks through a few techniques of mine and of my writer friends when writing a novel and we find ourselves stuck. But the kind of block that can arise when writing daily blogs requires different techniques, mainly because daily blogging on a variety of subjects involves a constant need for beginnings. Here’s what I do:

  1. Look Through Pictures

I love my camera phone. I use it to jog my memory, like tying a string on a finger. When an idea occurs to me, I take a picture of what I was looking at that triggered it. Later, when going back through the most recent pictures, I remember the ideas. They’re eclectic and sometimes badly taken photos, but they get the job done.

  1. Sit Quietly and Remember

I mentally walk through my childhood, college, states I’ve lived and jobs I’ve held. I indulge on Memory Lane and think, “Is there something here that needs discussion? What would I tell people about that day?” These writings, for me, start slowly and then begin to snowball if I just give them time.

  1. Watch the News

The news can be downright depressing. But there are times when random, eclectic stories are being reported, and I find I have opinions or questions on them. Writing these thoughts down usually opens the floodgates of lively banter and creative imagery.

  1. Reread Past Writing

I have tons of old writings saved and stuffed in my computer, and even older volumes of writing and thoughts on napkins crammed into binders. The interesting part is, that while there is a lot of this writing, usually only one thing will speak to me at a time. So you don’t need to have a lot of it lying around for reference. In reading through old ideas and bits that didn’t work, typically the mind will latch on to something it’s ready to work with.

Above all, don’t panic. You can do this. Believe it. Believe it to the point of confidence. Wake up every day and think, “What do I want to say to the world today?” which is a daunting question, but throw caution to the wind and ask it anyway. Take the leap.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. To learn more about her current writing projects, or for ways to donate toward their completion, see