I Am Running Out Of Ideas

I have been writing about perfume almost every day for two years now. This blog and the people who read it are often the best thing about my day. For the first time since I started Scents of Self, I don’t know what or how to write. I am hoping that finally being able to refill my ADHD medication will help some, but for now it is honestly kind of scary. I don’t feel that this blog’s time has come yet, so I’m turning to you for help. I need ideas,  y’all! What kind of posts do you want to see? What subjects or topics would you like to be covered? I will consider (and probably implement) any and all suggestions. Thank you very much in advance.

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39 thoughts on “I Am Running Out Of Ideas

  1. Create a fictional perfume for us – your dream scent, your Holy Grail of Fumes!
    Tell us about your worst find. Scrubbers. The one that turned on you.
    What perfume surprised you the most?
    What are your favorite smells as you go through your day? Which do you remember from your childhood? Which natural scents turn you off?
    Maybe beg/borrow/steal some samples from a line you’ve never tried (there are lots of small lines on Etsy, for example) and tell us what your experiences are. Only, don’t really steal the samples. That would be wrong.
    xoxo

  2. Second Jen on the fictional fragrances. I LOVE speculative perfumery! Every day, pick the most improbable event or moment you experience, and write a perfume brief that expresses it. Then tell us how you’d market it, what would the campaign be? 🙂

  3. I am not sure if you’ll like this, but I love reading about perfume everyday life. What you’ve been wearing and how did you like it.

    Also, related thoughts about perfume as a hobby?

    of course, there’s always new samples. I am atrociously slow with mailing stuff, but I’ll be glad to mail you something to write about when I get the packages I promised to mail this year AND last year (Yikes!) out the door.

    xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Warum, that’s such a generous offer! I love reading about perfume everyday life too, and often troll the MakeupAlley boards for it.

  4. I like all of Jen’s ideas. And I really liked your perfume diary. The one where you met the lady who ate your food. I found it humorous and light hearted. And it put a smile on my face that day.

    And if you need to take a break or reduce the number of posts per week that would be OK, too. I’d be patiently waiting for your next post.

    1. I’m so glad that you liked that feature, because I have a million stories like that. You meet the strangest people here in Baltimore. Thank you so much for your offer of patience, I appreciate it so much.

  5. Do you really have the need to write every day? Or do you think your readers expect to see something new here every day?

    You could do your diaries posts “as you go” and not in the end of the week.

    If you’re reading other people’s blogs you could do reviews of reviews, week’s/month’s trends or rebuttle posts.

    1. Usually I have more than enough material to write one post a day, and sometimes have trouble confining it to just one! That’s why I’m so freaked out by this sudden lack of ideas. I suppose I do not need to, but getting to write for half an hour each day is often one of the best parts of that day.
      Thank you for all these ideas, I especially like the rebuttal posts because I am obnoxious like that. I do read lots of other perfume blogs. Do you think anyone would mind if I did reviews of their reviews? I suppose it would be polite to email them first and ask.

      1. If I were doing a blog, I would certainly preferred you to email me and ask first, but everyone is different. It is great to read reviews of reviews though, so I would’ve 99.99999% said YES unless it were a review I felt really odd about for whatever reason.

  6. or even post another wonderful photo of your amaizing Zelda and just let us know you’re OK
    we ( your readers) came to very much care for you..

    1. Irina, thank you for this incredibly sweet comment. Most of the time I am okay, but I am in a tough environment that I am not a very good fit for. Thank you so much for reminding me of how incredible my readers are.

  7. I agree with Undina that posting less often might be a way round it – works for us! Or the diary idea more often. I mean, stuff is going to keep happening to you, much of it funny, and I am sure I would always want to read it. Inquiring / nosey minds and all that jazz…

  8. Just like to thank for your time and efforts to produce all this. Rock on!

    As a plain reader, I make time for what’s important to me – it’s about priorities, not about time, it’s about choices.
    The truth is that there isn’t time to read everything. I can’t have it all (We can’t do it all!). I just can read ‘some’ of everything. Then, one of things about blogs is that you will find your specific audience, since they are interest focused. But… am I really so much interested in Perfume every fuckin’ day of my life?… not really. I’m certainly quite a lot interested in Perfume most of the time, but please gimme a break… I have many other interests too!! Ideal to me is a blog covering various topics, film, literature, philosophy, music, art, LIFE, and why not? more in the context of reviewing perfume, so that’s ok… I think you perfectly fit the bill!
    Main thing after all, is that I like your writing style, your ‘takes’ on different subjects, your comments, your opinions. The question is that I LIKE YOU.

    So please don’t feel any pressure and pace yourself. Whatever you write, I will read.
    Really, we all know that a Blog takes work, and work takes time. Take your time and Relax about any self-imposed thing= it’s just a break. If you end up writing once a week, it’s going to be once a week. I don’t think you’re going to lose your followers and readers AT ALL.
    I think coming up with particularly shiny new ideas can be exhausting, stressful, and very difficult.
    You are doing well, we can put together a list for you to use when you need a bit of inspiration.

    If you want to update daily articles, I think you definitely need more REGULAR posts or CATEGORIES, like the Diary. It’s a good help for a day by day covering!
    SOME EXAMPLES…

    —> Featuring regular (once a week, a month) favorite smelling things in ordinary life, plain & simple -not necessarily in a Perfume point of view-
    —> Featuring regular preference short quizs to commenters! 😀
    —> Featuring Famous Person of the Week (writer, artist, actress/actor, etc etc…) or just a Fictional Character of the Week!!! and make Perfume associations
    —> Writing about weird questions like ‘Have you ever smelled something in a dream’? or ‘What does rain smell like to you?’, or ‘If I were a…I would wear THIS PERFUME’…. It’s bullshit, but it’s funny. You can name it ‘Bullshit meter’.

    Just some random thoughts

  9. Oh dearest… You just have to make up your mind whether you want a commercial blog (in which case you should have a plan and you shouldn’t worry about what to right next) or a personal blog (in which case you can write whatever the heck comes to mind or choose not to write because you do not feel like saying anything). You don’t want your readers to just click in your blog because their reader tells them there is something new. If you do not really feel like writing give it a rest or just write about this… not being able to write, not being inspired by perfumes, feeling tired with perfumes… Or right about perfume memories you have or olfactory memories. Whatever you do just get out of this “I got to write” mood quickly!

    xx

    1. Thank you so much for the advice, Christos. I have no intention of making this a commercial blog (in other words, making money off of it through ads or anything). However, I do want it to be a fairly successful blog so that when it comes time to try to get someone to publish my perfume book, I have this blog as a selling point. I like your idea of turning my writer’s block into a topic in and of itself!

      1. That’s interesting, because Olfactoria is starting to write a book, and is another very regular poster, so that might help her too. Is frequency of content of direct importance to publishers appraising your “body of work”, do you suppose, or is it more a case that google likes regular content in terms of its ranking algorithms? I sense that as regards your readers, we are happy to go either way as long as you are not too stressed by the rhythm you settle on. .

  10. You’ve got enough on your plate, with school and everything… write when you feel like it. I think posting a diary entry every day, if you think you should post something Every Day, would work just fine – and then you can add other reviews or posts as they come to you.

    Have you interviewed everyone you’d like to have interviewed?

    1. OH! Or participate in a joint blog project? I notice that a number of bloggers have done a “winter 2011” post round-robin today… I just wrote something like that a few days ago and decided to post it the first week of February. Want to do something like that?

      (Anybody else too?)

    2. I wish I had more on my plate, to be honest! With only one class right now (and a pass/fail class at that) I just have too much time spent sitting around doing nothing. I’m hoping the structure from the spring semester’s classes will help things a bit.

  11. You’ve gotten some great advice, and I’ll echo in particular what MemoryofScent said above: if you are writing for YOU, don’t feel pressured to write every day. If you want to write something, I definitely agree with everyone who said they enjoyed your Diary of a Mad Perfume Blogger.

    Also, from experience, I personally had trouble keeping up with my old livejournal blog when I was a senior in college – there was so much to do, so much fun, and my classes were kicking my butt… I don’t remember if you’re a senior, but that could apply even if you’re not… I picked right back up after graduation and everything was back to normal.

    1. I am a junior, and I can only pray that my senior year will be as fun as yours sounds! My boyfriend is, though, and is currently a nervous wreck as he waits to hear back from grad schools.

      1. what’s he applying to grad school in??

        keep in mind that the rejections usually come earlier… I got 2 rejection letters in February of my senior year and was freaking out. Then I got 2 acceptance letters in mid-March!

        1. He’s applying for Political Science PhDs. He is a bit of a nervous wreck right now, but I know that he’ll be getting in somewhere great.

  12. I really enjoyed all the blog interviews you did when you were studying for finals. If you don’t have a particular idea to write on, or you just don’t feel like writing on a particular day, just leave us all a note letting us know not to expect anything that particular day. You are not going to lose readers just because you have an empty day on the blog calendar.
    I have always enjoyed having you write about yourself, your boyfriend and about Zelda. We have all become attached to you just like your a part of the family. The last thing in the world you need is stressing yourself out over your writers block. Know we are all here to support you with whatever you decide.

  13. Oh, please don’t say the blog is near it’s end! I only just discovered it and have really been enjoying it and think it’s filled with hilarity and fresh perfume perspective.

    Personally, my favorite perfume writing is the that which is based on perfume in the real world. I love reading posts where the edges between the everyday (relationships, work, self-perception) and technical perfume reportage blur. Your perfume diary is a perfect example!

    That said, I would also agree with everyone who says it’s okay to take a break if you need it! Stepping back to renew ones interest in a topic is often beneficial if not necessary to rekindle creativity and passion. We won’t disappear if you take off for a bit or post less frequently!

    1. Meg, I have no intention of closing this blog any time soon. That’s why I wrote this post: I wanted to share what was going on and collect ideas so that I wouldn’t have to stop! I’m really happy to hear that you like the perfume diary- those are my favorite kind of perfume writing, too. Other blogs do technical perfume reviews much better than I ever could, so I prefer to stick to talking about perfume through my experiences. Thank you so much for the advice and the kind words about this blog.

  14. I agree with everyone else – don’t feel pressured to write every day. While I enjoy clicking around and seeing new stuff to read, I know how much work it must be. I’ve thought about starting a blog (not perfume, just kinda stuff I like of all sorts), but then I start thinking about setting it up, getting photos and links and then I don’t bother!

    And it doesn’t have to be strictly perfume related. The Posse has been more about smells (non-perfume) and food and books lately and I love it. Scented memories – perfume or just regular old smells, diary posts every few days instead of just once a week, more book reviews, any of that kind of stuff would be great!

    1. Thank you so much for the support and the encouragement. This blog has never, ever felt like work. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to talk about perfume and have so many wonderful people talk back! I like and agree with your idea of a perfume blog that goes beyond perfume reviews- those are my favorite things to write and read, too!

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