Most writers eventually hit a dry spell. Ideas just dry up and creating an article or blog post is like squeezing water from a crouton. The pressure of deadlines or regular blog content can cause panic or exasperate a writer. I know there is an overabundance of “writer’s block” articles, but I wanted to share some simple ideas to jumpstart the creative engine. Look at these ideas with fresh perspective and they may trigger new ideas to help you write that next article.
1. Keep Lists of Article Ideas
We all write ”to do” lists and shopping lists. Why not write a list of ideas that pop into your head throughout the day? Carry a notepad to list ideas that you can further expand on in an article. Conversations with others or something you see on the news may provide fuel for an article. Maybe you visit a restaurant or museum you can write about. A running list of ideas tucked away can help you during those creative dry spells.
2. Ask Lots Of Questions
Put on your journalist hat and dig in deeper. Without be overly intrusive or rude, ask questions. When you are traveling or in a tourist role, ask the tour operator or owner questions about the structure. You can even do this in your local city – at the grocery store, the cafe, or even church. How many people have more than ten items in the express lane? What is the most common beverage choice? Was the pastor’s message relevant in your life? Every question leads to a potential article idea.
3. Listen to Others
During conversations, participate. Put on your listening ears and tune into the topics. What are people concerned about? What makes them laugh, cry or get angry? Sometimes you can just ask someone what is on their mind. Tell them you are trying to come up with an interesting angle on an article. That will spur conversation. Most people have an opinion and want to talk about it, so why not ask what they would like to read about. There could be an idea that will fit.
4. Be Observant
Asking questions and listening to others is a great way to spark ideas. However, sometimes, just being an observant bystander may help you in the creative process. Being along in your thoughts, watching others, and taking notes is great fodder for an article. Keep your eyes and ears open wide at all times. Pay attention to everything, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. You never know what will fill you with inspiration. Life is interesting and if you observe for a while, something interesting is bound to cross your path.
5. Read A Lot
You have heard it already, but it works. Instead of staring at a blank screen, walk away and read. Anything of interest to you, a newspaper article, a blog post, a book of poetry, a story, or a list of quotes. Good writers feed off each other. The simple act of reading will get your brain to start thinking, which can in turn lead to creative ideas. Try reading something that challenges your values or opinions. This will flood your creative engine and generate potential article ideas for you.
Keep your ideas written down, and you’ll be able to turn to them whenever you find the need! This is why it is important to keep a notepad handy. If you don’t write it down, it may be lost forever. Ideas for articles and blog posts can be found in everyday life, if you start paying attention.