sly : marketing

What to write about when you have nothing to write about

I live in a beautiful town in Norway. I’m proud. And I will keep telling the world about Halden, especially during the winter. Just a few hours ago, I was standing next to the harbor. Looking at the fortress, and looking at the water covered with ice. I decided to look for colors; blue, red, and yellow. I found them and I ended up taking a picture.

halden harbor covered with ice

Now, I’m cold. I’m standing outside in the darkness. I’m about to walk home from the office. I’ve been working all day, and all evening, and it’s about time to get back home. But, right now, I’m thinking about the darkness, and how much I enjoy it. Norway is different. It sure is. The summer is all about the light, and the sun stays up forever. During the winter, the darkness is surrounding me at 3 pm, and it’s completely dark while walking to work at 7.30 am.

I decided long ago that I want to embrace what life has to offer, and make the best of every situation. This means that, even when I’m standing here, outside in the darkness, I’m smiling and finding comfort in the cold.

jens darkness

It seems that during the darkness, I remember things differently. What happens is that I turn everything I see, everything I hear, and everything I smell into stories. I still remember the summer, when I found a fake deer and a troll, they are just now coming alive. They’re standing right in front of me. They’re smiling at me. They keep watching me as I walk.

I haven’t decided what to do with them just yet. But, eventually I’ll turn them into another story about marketing. I’m looking at them and I’m thinking that marketing isn’t that hard. Just:

I keep writing about things I remember. I keep writing about things I have experienced, or things I want to experience. I keep twisting and turning, until I discover something that’s part of who I am. That’s how, like today, I discovered what to write about when I had nothing to write about.

29 responses to “What to write about when you have nothing to write about”

  1. Ben says:

    Hi Jens, I particularly like the first photo in your post. πŸ™‚

    When you have nothing to write, you can always take photos and share those instead. That’s what I’ve been doing on my personal blog.

    I also believe that if you have nothing to write about, there’s no need to force a post πŸ™‚ I think I’ve learned it’s better to publish one great post per week than stretch to three posts that are average at best.

    • I agree Ben. That’s usually the reason why I mostly just write and don’t publish what I write. But sometimes I feel that I want to share something, but I don’t know exactly what. So I just write and see what happens πŸ™‚

  2. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, I love that picture of your harbor. Did you use special effects with that photo?

    You’re right, sometimes it’s difficult to know what to write about, but there’s nothing like a long walk to inspire you. That and a shower. I do my best thinking in the shower somehow.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I took the picture of the harbor using my iPhone, and didn’t use anything other than the regular camera app. It took me about 30 seconds πŸ™‚

      I do a lot of thinking in the shower as well πŸ™‚

  3. Irwin says:

    When I find myself out of ideas, I try to go outside. Now, I don’t live in a town as beautiful as yours, but I do get some ideas when I step out of the house, while on a treadmill, or inside a moving vehicle. I can only imagine how much inspiration I’d get if I live in a place like yours. That kind of place will surely inspire my creative muses.

    • Hey Irwin,

      I believe what’s most important is that when we’re out of ideas, we do something about it. Many people are just stuck and they keep doing the same thing over and over again, and it won’t make them find any new inspiration or ideas. So, no matter how the scenery is, just go outside and things will start to happen, that’s what I believe in πŸ™‚

  4. Joseph Hipolito says:

    It’s nice to see this page I love to read your story in here Sir Jens, because all you say in there are really true…

  5. Hi Jen,
    I never been at Norway and love to visit. During old school time, we red “Sun never sets at Norway” and I wish to see πŸ™‚

    Indeed, You wrote very simply and nicely. I love the way you have described and just it comes from your heart.

    The picture makes more perfect with that yellow and red buildings and the mountain background with natural brown. That’s really very nice.

    When I come across nothing to write I read my passion domains and surely will trigger your thought.

    Thanks for sharing the nice pic and thought flow.

    • You should definitively visit Norway. And it’s very different in the north of Norway compared to the south. At various times of the year, it’s true that the sun either never sets or that it’s always up. But where I live it’s different. At the moment, the sun is up from like 9 am to 3 pm and that’s not a whole lot if you love the sun like I do πŸ™‚

  6. Lisa says:

    I love the photo too Jens, it looks full of rich history there. I love taking pics because you never know when they can be used for a blog post. Much better thank stock photos I used in the past. I’m another one that comes up with most ideas in the shower or on walks. Amazing. We just need to unplug a bit for the ideas to flow. I also didn’t realize the darkness and light length of time there, that’s different from here. Fascinating and thanks for sharing some of Norway with us!

    • Hey Lisa,

      Unplugging is the important part of finding new ideas. I try to structure my workflow, and every single time that I discover that I’m stuck. No matter why I’m stuck or what the problem is, I deal with it by unplugging. I usually go for a walk, or I just do something completely different.

  7. Adrienne says:

    Oh my gosh Jens, that water looks like it’s complete ice. I know that I’ve seen videos of you walking in the snow and boy, that really looked cold but that ice on that water really says it’s some kind of cold. You’re brave but I guess if you’re use to it then you grow accustomed to it. Beautiful photo by the way.

    I agree with you that when you think you have nothing to write about let your surroundings or perhaps conversations grow into a story. Now I’m not the best storyteller there ever was but I do use real life experiences which I believe helps people relate to whatever they are doing or going through as well.

    I think a lot of times we’re way more hard on ourselves then we should be. Just let it flow and you can actually surprise yourself.

    Great share Jens, as always… Enjoy your week and stay warm.


    • Hey Adrienne,

      Yes, the water is complete ice. And now, it’s even colder than it was at the day when I took the photo. It’s too cold to record a video outside πŸ™‚

      I am not sure if it’s easier to find new ideas by walking outside during the winter than when I’m walking during the summer, but it sure is beautiful during the winter. I just wished it was a little warmer πŸ™‚

  8. Josh says:

    Hi Jens,

    I have to visit Norway during the Summer. I might not ever go to sleep, but I love the idea of visiting a place where the sun is up all night long.

    Some of my favorite posts have come when I have had nothing to do other than to just start writing to see what happens.

    • Yes, you should definitively come during the Summer Josh. Actually during May would be the best time, the weather is usually great and on 17 of May, you’ll be able to be part of our national day πŸ™‚

  9. shan says:

    Incredible. All of us simply need to disconnect a little for your tips to circulation. I additionally did not understand the actual night and lightweight period of time generally there, that is not the same as right here. I could just think about just how much motivation I would obtain basically reside in a location. Certainly, A person published simply as well as perfectly. The style can make more appealing. That is truly excellent.Interesting as well as very good showing all of us!

    • The reason why the light is so different where I live is that it’s far north, and during the winter it’s close to dark most of the time, right now as I’m writing this it’s 8.30 am and it’s still not light outside πŸ™‚

      Later today I’ll be out skiing and I’m sure I’ll be getting some new ideas πŸ™‚

  10. Tim Bonner says:

    My word Jens, that is a fantastic picture of the harbour.

    I love the snow and ice and I think it would be so cool to see the sea freeze over and then steadily thaw in the spring.

    It’s cold here in Scotland and I can see snow over on the hills across the Firth of Forth from my kitchen window. Nothing like Halden though!

    Some of my posts have been inspired by what you have taught me and this is not an exception. Sometimes I worry about what it is I can write about but there are tonnes of things, I just need to write!

    • I’ve never been to Scothland, but I’ve been fairly close. I’ve been to England several times and to Dublin once. I’ve seen some movies from Scotland and it looks awesome, and it reminds me a little of Norway.

      I get inspired by unplugging most of the time. But usually the problem isn’t inspiration, but the workflow and getting the work done. When I’m out walking, I get a ton of new ideas. I capture them on my iPhone (by using Things), but when I get back to the office, I get things done, but not nearly enough.

      I’m still trying to create a system that will help me get even more things done. And to me, this is especially important since I’m working as a solo entrepreneur.

  11. Hajra says:

    You do live in a beautiful city! We get close to 12 c and we call it winters!

    I think you are on the right track, you write about what touches your heart and that is the way writing should be!

  12. I think it all depends on your writing talent and how you can speak your mind. Sometimes people write about ordinary and simple things, but it’s still interesting to read them.

    • That’s right. Some people don’t need inspiration, they’ll just write and end up with brilliant stuff. Others, like myself, need to find inspiration by unplugging. I do most of my best writing after I’ve been out walking for an hour or more.

  13. A really usefull post – Thank you very much I wish you will not mind me writting about this post on my website I will also leave a linkback Thanks

  14. Hemanth Kumar says:

    Hi Berget, Nice picture. That’s really good to write something instead of none. Actually personal experiences always reach people at high level. Photos, videos, pod casts works well too. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  15. Tushar says:

    I too get into situations where I will have no content to write. There I will try to explore something new and write my experiences on it.

    • It’s not that hard if we just understand that we should write about our experiences, or maybe just add a fantasy or a dream to what we write. This way we’ll never get writer’s block πŸ™‚

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