Do you think up blog posts in the shower?

The son of a great scientists became very frustrated in college when he couldn’t comprehend a series of important formulas.  He went to his Father and asked,

“Dad, I just can’t solve this equation.” So his Father asked him a series of questions, showed him a few tricks and then finally asked him,

“Do you think about it in the shower?”

“No,” his son replied.

“Well than you probably aren’t meant to be a scientist.”

Just like science, writing and blogging take work- but I am becoming more and more convinced that is also takes a special talent.  In football they say “you can’t teach speed” and in basketball “you can’t teach tall” but is it possible that in blogging you can’t teach passion?  There has to be a natural combination of talent and passion for it to really work.  So how do you know if you or someone in your organization has what it takes to start blogging?

I had a discussion with a very prominent and prolific law blogger last week who mentioned he receives email almost on a daily basis asking him, “how do you think up this stuff?”  “Where do you get your material?”  He admitted to me that the ideas just comes to him.  For those of you that are passionate about your topic- I’m sure you know the feeling.  You are laying in bed half-asleep or in the shower when the ideas hit you.  When the ideas hit me, I have to get them out.  So I sit and I write to silence to the voice in my head.

What if the voice in your head has gone silent?

What if you don’t think about blog posts in the shower?

Is it worth the effort to blog if you don’t have the passion?


8 Responses to “Do you think up blog posts in the shower?”

  1. Adrian,

    Blog posts may come to me in the shower; or most often in my “mull” corner of the kitchen. Sometimes they are divinely inspired (simply show up running across my ‘vintage’ synapses) and other times they are prompted by life & life experiences. If one pays attention to what happens to us on a moment to moment basis; then there’s plenty to blog about. But one must read between the lines of life for that to happen.

    Bottom line – for me blogging is combo of inspiration, passion, reflection, observation & a desire to share, educate, inform and otherwise enrich/encourage others.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share!

    Linda, a twitter compatriot

    • Linda,

      I think reflection is a big part of it. If you are thinking about blog posts all the time- they will come to you. Some people aren’t wired that way though.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Dear Adrian,

    I get the same question all the time: “Where do you get all your ideas?” Sometimes I also get, “How do you know all this stuff? Are you a lawyer too?”

    Well, I often think of more things to write about just as I am trying to fall asleep. If I’m fairly lucid, I may work out the opening paragraph in my head. I speak to the ceiling as if on a podium and try out my lines. Do I get a laugh? I used to just close my eyes and expect to remember them in the morning. But often I forget my best openings by morning, so now I at least write them to myself in an email using my blackberry on the bed table.

    Does that sound like an obsession? Well, after twenty-five plus years working in the professional services firms, I’ve got a lot of material. And now, since I’ve been writing for more than three years at re: The Auditors, I get a lot of email, calls and meet folks in person whenever possible who also give me ideas. The more you blog, the more support you get from friends, colleagues, and even complete strangers half way around the world.

    I have to keep a running list now of story ideas and related sources/links because there is more than enough to keep me busy without even one more new lawsuit against the Big 4 auditors or scandal. Who would have thought that so many people would be interested in the accounting industry? Next purchase is a little reporter style Olympus mini tape recorder. You have been warned!

    I read voraciously – all kinds of stuff – and hang around with others who are interested in the same things although not always of the same mind. My best dating advice to single folks? Do what you like, go where you want, be around people who share your passions. In that case, when you meet someone who is also attractive to you and single, you won’t have to explain yourself. 😉

    I feed my head via Google Alerts, lots of phone and getting out often. I recently spent a week in Washington DC at the Compliance Week Conference and filled the days after the conference with more meetings with amazing people. A friend who accompanied me was amazed. She thought we would do more sight seeing. “You are all work, Francine!” she said. But for me, what I do is not work. It’s my pride and joy and I am having a ball.

    • Francine,

      Thanks for you comments- I totally agree about finding things you love to do and write about. I am passionate about my topic, and if I wasn’t I couldn’t imagine putting this kind of time into it.

      I also liked your idea about writing an opening in your blackberry. Sometimes ideas strike you in the strangest places.

  3. Adrian,

    The short answer is yes, sometimes. I get ideas in the shower, when I shave, practically anywhere. The problem is organizing them coherently so readers can understand them. For me, that has to be done in a certain space: usually in front of the computer.

    So it’s part inspiration, part craft honing. But I do treat it very much as a craft I’m honing.


  4. Cris Edward Johnson says:

    For me, blogging is an exercise in personal expression, not a vocation or semi-vocation. Yet many friends who are using their blogs as vehicles for their professional lives run into the frustration you present: ideas don’t always flow. Bloggers have the same problem as other writers who have regular deadlines and every writer experiences blocks in inspiration. The pro’s I know (print journalists and bloggers) keep a log of ideas as they come. The begin a piece and then save it to develop later on.

    Bloggers must be careful not to “over-blog,” for the blogger has a unique problem. A steady (but not overwhelming) flow if ideas is crucial to their success, but what can be worse is popping off 5 or 6 posts and then running dry. Keeping a list of ideas and in inventory of works in progress seems to be the best way to keep the blog vital. Most set a weekly or biweekly schedule for themselves.

    Oh, and they never post a blog entry from a handheld! LOL

  5. Blue Dog says:

    Good point. On the surface, blogging always sounds like an excellent idea. But it can also turn into a nuisance when you have the normal stack of client-based work piling up.

    Most great blogs I read out there reek of passion that’s fueling the writer, so hats off to those that can write so freely.


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