If you can’t write a solid logline to describe what a blog post is about, is it really a post that you want to write?
There used to be a document on my computer desktop full of ideas for blog posts. Any time I thought of something that might be interesting to write about, I’d add it to the list. Most of the descriptions were terribly vague. “Using loglines with blog posts”, for example, or just a single word like “luggage” or a phrase like “five paragraph essays.” I’d go back through the doc when I needed a topic, and half the time I couldn’t remember what it was I had wanted to say. The other half of the time I didn’t have anything to say to begin with; I was hoping that if I wrote it down now, I’d find an angle or a premise later.
A while ago I switched over to using a “logline” file instead. I forced myself to take a minute or two to find a hook or a thesis statement that would make the idea interesting to write about. If I can’t come up with a good logline, it’s probably not a good topic for a post. Further, if it’s not a logline that makes me interested in writing it, then why on Earth would anyone be interested in reading it?
The only problem I’ve found in using a logline file over a raw idea file is that potentially good topics might get lost. I have sometimes found those single-word entries and couldn’t recall what my original context or intention was, but they played off of something else on my mind. They served as writing prompts, even if what I ended up writing about wasn’t what I might have originally intended. Loglines kill some of that random creativity.
Anything lost in raw ideas, though is made up for by less clutter. I would periodically delete a raw idea file when I’d been through it a few times and hadn’t found anything especially inspirational. The lack of clarity was a huge waste of time. A solid logline file gives me plenty to write about without the need to free-associate and try to find a context for words and phrases. If I do not a writing prompt, there are plenty of other places to find them without resorting to the junk drawer of writer’s resources.
In the end it comes down to passion and intention. If I think of an idea and I can’t think of a logline on the spot, it’s unlikely to be worth clinging to in the hope that it pans out later. If I can’t think of a logline, it’s a half-baked, half-hearted idea at best and not worth my time or effort to explore later. There are better ideas, ones that I care about, that need my time. If a logline makes me want to write the post, then there’s a hgher probability that you’ll want to read it.