On Writing When You Aren’t Sure What to Write

New growth on a treeI need to write what I call a spare blog post, that is a post that I can send to the editors of the Bedford Bits blog to use one week when I’m sick or overwhelmed and don’t have time to do my normal, weekly post.

At NCTE, we called these evergreen posts, a post or article that could go up any time of year, something useful to teachers or that teachers were always looking for. For our purposes there (usually to be included in the INBOX newsletter), we leaned toward topics like grammar and persuasive writing.

Try though I have for two days now, I simply cannot think of a good, long-lasting idea to write about for my spare Bits post. I can come up with some timely topics that would be great for today or next week. I can think of ideas that would connect to current events or articles about education.

But a generic idea? I’m just out of them. I feel like I’ve used every good, generic idea I have ever had. All of them. I’ve spilled them out into Lists of Ten, Inbox blog posts, and my other writing until there’s just nothing at all left. What do you do when that happens? What do you do when all the ideas you had stored up seem to be used, and yet the looming deadline says that you need one more?