I’ve long thought that my greatest asset as a writer is my ability to quickly generate unique ideas. There’s not enough hours in the day to ever hope to cover them all. If you find yourself struggling to come up with original ideas, I can help.
Start an Idea Notebook
This is the most important thing you can do. If you only take one thing from this article, make it this. Start an idea notebook today.
An idea notebook doesn’t have to be a physical notebook. Feel free to use any digital program you’d like. There aren’t any special requirements other than it has to be a place where you can keep all of your ideas in one place and refer to them often. If your program allows tagging then use it for added ease of use.
Add to it regularly, ideally as soon as an idea occurs to you. There’s no pressure to flesh the idea into something useful yet. Just add that little seed of an idea you have. You never know when that seed will blossom into a fully formed story.
Follow Industry News
Whatever your speciality, keep up to date on all the newest developments in the industry. This will help you write timely articles and ensure that you aren’t using outdated information. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to write about trends and have new content as often as there are developments in your field.
Examine Ideas for Further Potential
Whenever you come up with an idea for an article, consider other spins you can put on it. You might have an idea to write about roller derby. You could write about the history of the sport, local teams, or interview some of the players.
This will maximize your research and ultimately save you time since you won’t have to research new information every time you write a new article.
Along those same lines of reasoning, never discard old research notes. You might think you’ll never want to cover that subject again, but you never know when you’ll be offered an assignment on the same topic later. Having the research already done will make it much faster to complete the assignment.
The Magic Question
Learn to ask yourself “Is there a story in this?” whenever you encounter something that interests you. You’ll generate a constant influx of ideas if you look at everything around you for inspiration. For example, if you just saw a movie you could earn back the price of admission by turning that experience into a movie review.
Most people have varied interests and specialties. Combine them for unique new ideas. If you love home decor and making crafts, try writing a tutorial for a fun project and double your readership by appealing to people from both audiences.