What inspires you to blog in the first place?

I can't remember a time when I wasn't documenting.

There was a journal in elementary school. Scrapbooks in high school.

Even when I went through basic military training for the Air Force, I carried with me a tiny reporter's notebook and a ballpoint pen in one of my cargo pockets, scribbling down the things our training instructors yelled at us and my fitness scores.

Documenting history as a Pentagon writer for the Air Force, circa 2005


I didn't want to forget anything. When I became engaged to my German soldier in the summer of 2001, it was a natural evolution for me to begin a wedding-planning website so friends and family from around the world could follow along as Martin and I decided table settings and music to reflect our two cultures.

That was 10 years ago, and our site www.julieandmartin.com has grown in ways we never imagined, and has also opened doors to countless opportunities in our lives. Throughout the years, though, its purpose has remained the same: to document our lives through writing and photography and share it with friends and family.

Blogging just isn't something I do in my free-time, though.

I am now a professional blogger and web content manager for the Department of Defense, working with a team to maintain the most popular of DoD blogs, the award-winning Armed with Science. It's a blog that brings the vast and exciting world of military-involved science and technology to the public, and present it in a cool and interesting way for anyone to understand.

By day, I might juggle conference calls with NASA or a service academy, and seek upcoming topics involving medical research that saves lives, or a sailor's trip to the Arctic to study the weather, or how fuel conservation efforts could save the government millions, all while brainstorming ways to best document and showcase this incredible information.

By night, I might be juggling conversations with my oldest regarding her math homework while making sure the crusts are cut off my two-year-old's sandwich as my husband reminds me that the dog is in serious need of a bath. It usually isn't until after the girls are in bed and all is quiet before I can sit down and breathe, and recall what it was about the day I want to document on our family blog.

Capturing my sister's joy after she graduated from the police academy in 2008.


With both the professional and personal blog, it's like an ebb-and-flow with the ideas. A feast or famine.

Some days, the ideas come fast and I'm typing even faster.

Other days, you can practically hear tumbleweed rolling through the empty void in my brain where imagination once played.

It's a challenge to find the balance between that feast and famine, but over the past decade, I've collected advice and techniques that sustain me and my creativity, and starting next week, I'll be posting here on BlogHer a series of posts about the things I do to keep my blog ideas fresh and original.

I'll be sharing the tidbits I've learned from others, too - ranging from my high school English teacher to those who've worked for top government leaders as writers and photographers to authors who publish books about zombies - and I'll share the resources I go to often to make my writing better.

In the meantime, share with me: what inspires you to blog in the first place???

I'm Speaking at BlogHer '11!


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