(first published as Book Review: No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog by Margaret Mason on Blogcritics.)
As writers of all different styles and genres, it’s quite difficult to come up with an idea for a plot or a topic to dig further and explore through words without seeing some kind of a trigger that would let your creative noggin do its work. The trigger that I’m referring to is what we call inspiration. We see something at random in our everyday lives that from out of the blue we may find interesting — something that we can expand from being ordinary to extraordinary.
Not all writers, however, are out-of-the-box enthusiasts. Many of these types of writers would rather stay in their small comfort station, reading through the news and other blogs in the internet to find some interesting and unique topics that they can find to get their creative juices flowing. Though this method works also, it’s also difficult to come up with something original out of an original written piece about the same topic without getting sued for plagiarism. When stumped, there is another effective way for writers to search for ideas for their writing pieces: writing prompts.
Today, there are plenty of these available, from the public library to websites. There are also a few books available that are strictly dedicated to a list of writing prompts: various topics that many (professional) writers in general rarely or never think of in the first place. One of the earlier publications that only consists of a list of ideas is the 144-page No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog by San Francisco-based professional writer and entrepreneur Margaret Mason, famous in the blogging world for her Mighty Goods shopping blog.
I’ve always been a fan of writing kits and reading books or websites dedicated to ideas for writing prompts, and I have added this book to my collection. I purchased it just a few months after it was first released in 2007, and although I don’t always refer to it for ideas, it still is a fun pleasure read. The book presents specifically a hundred ideas for prompts for your blog entries or your creative writing. The entire list is broken down in to different categories (five chapters) and each topic is also numbered per page. (ie. “#1 — Reign Supreme,” “#71 — Become an Expert,” etc.) Based on the variety of prompts in this book, it’s already a given that this primarily aims towards writers with personal blogs. This is not an ideal book if you own a blog that only focuses on non-personal topics, such as news, technology, politics, etc.
I think that any beginner or professional writer would get some benefit by getting this book. It is a good reference book to refer to when you are drowning in the sea of writer’s block.