Doing Discussions: Where Do You Find Inspiration For Discussion Posts?

February 21, 2017 Uncategorized 8

Personally, I feel like it’s a little more work for me to come up with discussion post topics than it used to be. When I first started blogging, I was doing a little more figuring out how I wanted to blog and how I balanced blogging with reading. While I certainly still face some of the same challenges, there are fewer new questions that come up that I can just jot down to come back to when I want to write a discussion post. To date, I’ve mostly come up with discussion topics by referring to my list of topics I’ve thought about myself. Now I’m looking for ways to come up with discussion post topics more deliberately. I’ll share a few of my ideas and then I’d love to hear how you come up with discussion post topics too!

  • Responding to posts from other bloggers – I know one way people recommend finding a discussion topic is to be inspired by another blogger’s discussion post. So far, I’ve not been able to do this without feeling like my post would be too derivative. I think it could be a good thing to try though and could make blogging feel even more like a back-and-forth conversation.
  • Diving deeper into a specific book – This is something I’ve not done much of either. In part, this is because I think a post like this is really only interesting to people who’ve already read the book you’re talking about and could make the audience for a given post quite small. Doing more this would be in keeping with my goal to read more thoughtfully though.
  • Brainstorming – I’m curious if any of you have any tips or tricks for doing this effectively. I currently just sit down and think about topics I’d like to read about, but I don’t have any particular strategies I use for coming up with ideas.
  • Participate in a challenge with writing prompts – I’ve not found one of these specific to book blogging or more about blogging more generally. Most seem to be targeted at lifestyle bloggers.  If you have any suggestions for a good one, I’d love to hear about it 🙂

And now, over to you! How do you come up with discussion posts? I’d be excited to hear if you have other ways of coming up with ideas or if you’ve had any luck with the approaches I’m thinking about.

8 Responses to “Doing Discussions: Where Do You Find Inspiration For Discussion Posts?”

  1. Kim@Time2Read

    I haven’t done much blogging lately, so am probably the wrong person to ask! But I have done the derivative post thing to respond to other bloggers. Not often, but occasionally a simple comment isn’t enough — I want to respond with paragraphs (like now!). I’ll leave a quick comment and do a blog post that includes a link to the original. Then, of course, I need to update my original comment to link to my response!

    I haven’t often done the ‘dig deeper’ but I’ve often thought it would be nice if there was a blog where we could ALL dig deeper. Kind of an initial post and summary of the book. Then readers could link to their review of the book, and come back to the original post and discuss. Just ideas I’ve had with no time to really think about implementing them!

    • DoingDewey

      I really would like to do more writing response posts. It seems like it could lead to conversations that were more in-depth. I love your idea of trying to orchestrate deeper conversations about books too! My book club that I’m in now actually does a really good job reading the book and the focusing on the book at the meeting and I’d love to replicate that experience online.

  2. BookerTalk

    Sorry I can’t help much on the writing prompts front – I looked at these last year and found the same thing you did, they were not relevant.

    Some suggestions for you though that I picked up from a site called problogger.net
    – answer a question. Problogger suggested looking through comments made on your site and finding those where the person asked a question. Then base a post on this. OR you could think of questions your friends typically ask when you are talking to them about books/reading etc

    – take a look at Quora – people post questions on there that might stimulate your thinking. Some of them are very broad like these https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-best-way-to-read-through-technical-books or this https://www.quora.com/Which-books-should-be-read-by-students. But they might get your brain to start thinking in a different way
    BookerTalk recently posted…The Evenings: A Winter’s Tale by Gerard Reve [review]My Profile

  3. Catherine

    I’m a pretty old-school book blogger- 90% of what I do are reviews so I don’t have a lot of familiarity with discussion posts. However, when The Socratic Salon was up and running we did do a lot of brainstorming- just throwing out ideas and questions we had about books and reading that we thought would engender conversation. I don’t think using another bloggers post as a jumping off point is derivative, especially if you mention them as being the reason you’re writing. I’m always interested in hearing more on topics that engage me.
    Catherine recently posted…Indelible: A Novel by Adelia SaundersMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      If I don’t push myself to write discussion, I find myself mostly focusing on reviews too. I know not everyone enjoys writing or reading them, but I do enjoy reading and writing them and I still feel like they’re my blog’s raison d’etre. Brainstorming with other bloggers sounds like a lot of fun and I would like to try doing more engaging with other bloggers by writing posts related to theirs. I’ve been nervous about trying it, but I think it could actually be a lot of fun.

  4. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    I have certainly been inspired by other posts for my own discussion questions and I don’t see anything wrong with that as long as one gives credit and is not plagiarizing. Usually I want to say something that is quite different than the other person’s view, so there’s no problem with that. Or even if I’m agreeing, I can bring in my own experiences and reasons. To me, it just expands the forum for discussion and makes it fuller and more interesting. I hope you find can find some way to explore in this area.
    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted…What is fiction for?My Profile

    • DoingDewey

      I definitely think you’re right that this can be done well and can really make a discussion richer. I’m going to try to be braver about feeling like I actually have something to add to a conversation 🙂