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How to Unblock Writing with Photos

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Inspire me!

Right now is the first time I am drawing a blank in the creativity department.

The well is dry.

The rag is wrung.

The floor is mopped.

Come on  guys, help me out?  – Sixeighty Writing – Author

Every blogger wants to leave a legacy, a piece of themselves. Is it easy?

No! Have you ever had Sixeighty Writer’s experience – Blank Screen Syndrome?

Thoughts clog up and constipate even Patrick and Pamela Problogger’s brains when they first face the white screen, the blogger’s kiss of death.

GOOD NEWS! Unless the screen is caused by a computer malfunction, there are quick fixes to turn that blank screen into your online legacy.

Cure Brain Cramps with Pictures

“Photography is the story I fail to put into words.” Destin Sparks

Many bloggers jumpstart their brains with pictures. Phones, iPads or small digital cameras dominate social gatherings as small as a blogger’s unaccompanied trip to Burger King. The proverbial thousand word picture, found in the drawer, box, computer files, on Google, at the antique store, or in a carousel of old slides, can spark your writing. This article suggests  ways to use photos to support two genres of writing, Memoirs and Poetry.

Take a hint from the Probloggers. Let photos eliminate the white screen of death on your “New Post” page.

Writing Memoirs

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Remember your last family gathering? The women rummaged through Grandma’s boxes of loose photos, grabbed a photo and started laughing and telling the back stories? Soon the men investigated, and joined the fun.

People blog to tell their personal perspectives, not to repost the latest news.

My brother and I took a 2,000-mile train trip back to our home state of Indiana for his sixtieth birthday. He brought a huge suitcase packed with seven or eight old family albums. After touring all day, at night, we laughed and puzzled over old photos. The photo albums, animated by our stories about them, entertained us for hours.

But where do you start to write those posts? What story do you tell?

EASY – let the pictures tell their own stories.

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” Eudora Welty


Uphill Both Ways

As a blogger, I started reading J. T. Weaver’s blog because the pictures reminded me of my childhood in the 50s and 60s.  He turned his blog into a book, Uphill Both Ways. During an interview on my personal blog, he shared how he did it.

“At first, I just began writing a story.  … Then I found the picture album my parents had made for me and wrote a story about one of those pictures.  I honestly was just fooling around with it.  As I was writing, Karen and my college roommate John were both reviewing each piece. … They thought these stories were better than I did.  At one point John said that he thought he was looking into my soul, and because he knew me so well, he was a little uncomfortable with it.  … When I published (the) letter (to his children), the blogging community took notice and my readership exploded.”

Stories fly around the coffee table photo albums. Pick them up when you need an idea.

  1. Do not worry about telling stories in order.
  2. Tell your favorite stories. Let your passion and enthusiasm shine out.
  3. Name names, even if you have to change them up to protect the innocent.
  4. Grab the details behind the scenes.

Try This!

Next time you go home turn on your smart phone and record the voices and laughter. Capture the conversation about the picture. When you get back to your computer, you have a collaborative story just jumping onto the page.

  1. You can record with your phone or computer.
  2. If you need to edit your audio file, download a free program called Audacity.
  3. Edit out “umms” and dead time. Audacity also has numerical markers to make each word easy to find.
  4. To transcribe your mini podcast, try Speechlogger, a free online program. It does not catch every word, but it can save you some time.
  5. You can pay between $.75 – $1.00 a minute for transcription services.

The audio or video compliments Patrick’s personal blog effectively capturing the moment.

Follow the Patrick and Pamela Probloggers’ great advice! Narrate and share your photos to build your online presence.


Bloggers leave legacies. They write memoirs, create poetry, stories, travelogues, tell their experiences. Pictures prime the pump and build a blogger’s public persona post by post.

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12 replies »

  1. Yes, old photos are inspiring – as are the not so old ones. I also fine some music helps me focus – for example if I want to write a piece of creative non-fiction, maybe a recollection of my father, then the music he liked can help get me in the zone.

    I’ve bookmarked this post for future reference – lots of useful stuff in it. 🙂


    • So it sounds like you bring in other senses, which puts another great aid to brainstorming. Blogs that have music often keep me at their site long after I’ve read the piece. I may read all the comments, just to continue to listen to the song because it reminds me of my past or it is just enjoyable.


  2. I’ve been doing this recently – trying to write memes for photos. It’s the ultimate short story that can lead to an idea for a longer story. Great post, Marsha 😉





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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