Without a doubt, I like discussion posts. I mean, I started my book blog writing reviews and I’ll always love reading books and reviewing them, but I love how community can come together over a discussion. Whether it’s a discussion on how to make friends who love books or discussions outlining the differences between zombies and vampires, a discussion post brings people together.
But while it’s easy to participate in a discussion, how do book bloggers come up with their discussion posts?
For me, they come from plenty of places:
- The world around me.
- A bookstore.
- My head.
- My books.
- My friends.
- A quote.
Really, an idea for a discussion can come from anywhere! Have you ever sat down to read a book and wondered something to yourself? Maybe something about the genre you’re reading, or something about a situation that seems to happen in a lot of books you read? Or maybe you’re in a bookstore and you’re seeing trends somewhere, or on Twitter where you see an article pop up about some bookish topic that makes you think.
A discussion can come from anywhere!
For me, the best way to keep track of these ideas is to write them down as soon as I think about them. Case in point, the last few days I’ve had a few ideas for discussions and haven’t written them down, which means they’ve flown from my head to someone else’s. I hope they come back to me at some point, but for now I’ll deal with the ones that I’ve written down.
When you write down your idea, you can be simple and write down just a few words, or you can write a few points underneath it so that the idea is somewhat fleshed out when you go to write your post. The more information you give yourself can make it so much easier to write the discussion!
Of course, if you’re still having trouble coming up with discusson ideas, why not try the following:
- Brainstorm! Write down an idea on paper and write a word tree from there, writing out words or phrases that come to mind — who knows, you might come up with lots of ideas this way!
- Ask your readers. I have a form up on my Discussions page for readers who may have an idea they want me to talk about. No one has submitted anything yet, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
- Ask a friend. Seriously — sometimes friends have the best ideas!
- Read. There are lots of articles around on various bookish topics — some tame, some controversial. Find the ones that put a spark in you and go from there.
And once you’ve written your discussion post, make sure you ask a question to engage your readers — something to get the conversation going. And always — always! — be sure to give credit where credit is due. If an article is what gave you the idea for your discussion, be sure to link back to the article! If a friend gave you the idea, let your readers know.
How do you write discussion posts? Are you a brainstormer, or a fly-by-your-pants kind of discussion writer? Do you keep a notebook for discussion ideas?