Finding Ideas For Writing

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Having writer’s block? Can’t find inspiration?

Depending on the topic of your blog, it is normal that at some point you run out of ideas to write about. Even more so if your blog is about a very specific topic and not about, for example, recipes. But even if a hat shop is able to post original content related to hats, you shouldn’t be any less able 😊.

Some people start a blog because they have many creative ideas they want to share, so what better than a blog to do it? Some love to write, but they may find it hard to get inspired. Others simply write because they see it as a necessary evil to increase sales for their business. Whatever your profile is, when you’re in a slump, it may be useful to have some tips or tricks that help you be more creative and make sure that you never run out of ideas that will attract visitors.

Get inspired

Here are some tricks or habits recommended by bloggers or writers on how to increase creativity. As you’ll see, these tricks are based on the idea that your creative capacity increases when you lower your stress level.

Read a lot

Read about diverse topics that arouse your curiosity and your capacity for reflection. They don’t necessarily have to be just news about your topic. Sometimes, reading a great classic is what can help clear your mind the most. And reading will not only help you to be more creative, it will also improve your writing style.

And as an idea for a new post in your blog, why not, comment on a book that inspired you? I recommend as an example, David’s post on Norman Doors, The Design of Everyday Things, and Better UX.

Surround yourself with creative people

Connect with people who inspire you and help you relax. They can be people from your professional background … or friends and family with totally different points of view. Listening to their views and opinions are always a great source of inspiration.

Watch old and new movies and series

Movies encourage dreaming. They can also be very useful for finding fun gifs and giving a less serious touch to a post.

Like book writers, many screenwriters have already thought and written very good ideas that work and, if they are good, why not copy them?

Or maybe writing a movie review may also fit into your blog, I don’t know! 😇

Have a nice glass of red wine

Some writers recommend that you drink three glasses of wine, but since I would not be in a very fortunate condition after drinking all three glasses, my recommendation is that you start with one. Of course, make it a good wine. Well, if you prefer a glass of cava, surely bubbles can also inspire.

But if you’re feeling too relaxed, sometimes a wake up may be needed. In that case, have a good coffee, which will be the best stimulant.

Sing in the shower

And in the car, while walking, in the kitchen … recommended by several bloggers to disconnect for a while and lift up your mood. It’s clear that a cheerful person can be more creative.

Personally, my concept of a shower is more connected to the process of moving from the state of “groundhog-sleeper” to “be-a-little-person”, but here I leave it.

And if you are not a great singer or those around you prefer not to hear it, listen to music. Whether it’s to relax or to concentrate as you write, your neurons will appreciate it.

Do some physical activity

Swim, run, bike, do yoga, wander … whatever you like. It is scientifically proven that it is not only good for your physical health, but also for your mental health. If one day you are totally blocked, do not obsess. Go out and exercize to clear your mind. And of course, do any other activity that helps you de-stress and keep your mind fresh.

Keep your ideas

Let’s look at some tricks that will help you remember your next big idea when your light bulb turns on.

Make lists

I’ve already talked about how to be more productive on your blog. One of the strategies that work best is to make lists. On the one hand, you make sure that an idea on the list is no longer forgotten. On the other, once annotated, your mind can “forget” about it and be ready to generate the next one.

Carry a notebook with you

Use the Guillermo del Toro’s method and alway carry a notebook with you.

One of the pages of a notebook of Guillermo del Toro
One of the pages of a notebook of Guillermo del Toro

Write all the ideas you can think of. Make drawings, scribbles, write possible titles, etc. Writing everything down will help you to turn your ideas into something more concrete. Your only problem would be if all your ideas come to you at precisely the time you can´t write, say when you’re singing in the shower… 🤔

And, hey, if you are a big fan of notebooks, do not just have one: you can also have a notebook for readings, another one for quotes, another one for press clippings, etc..

Even so, are you out of ideas?

If after following all the previous tricks you are totally blank, do not despair. The tips below may seem a little more boring, but they work and I assure you that they are also applied by the most creative people.

Use Feedly

Or any other RSS reader that allows you to have your favorite blogs listed, which do not have to be of your topic. It is not a question of copying the contents that others write. The great advantage we all have is that, no matter what subject you want to talk about, you can always give it a personal contribution that offers a point of view that complements what others write.

Recycle

In the same way that reading blogs from other authors can inspire you, old posts in your own blog can also be a source of inspiration. More importantly, if your blog is a few years old, surely the audience you had in the first years was little. I’m sure you’ll find very good posts that many people did not read because they didn’t know about your blog yet. And if your blog is already quite old, you will also find posts that would be much more interesting if they were updated. Recycle your great ideas?

Plan your list of post types

It’s also a good idea to make a list of the types of those you want to write on your blog: interviews, tutorials, resource lists, news, talks and conferences, etc.

Editorial Calendar in Nelio Content
Editorial Calendar. The Editorial Calendar shows all your published and scheduled posts, as well as other elements related to your marketing strategy.

For example, as you see in the image above, in Nelio we publish an interview with a WProfessional of the month every Thursday of the first or second week of the month. Conducting an interview is more work than writing a post but it’s still one less idea to think about.

Generating vs. writing ideas

Generating ideas is no easy task. One of my most important recommendations is to separate the process of generating ideas from writing them. If you have to think of an idea for an article on the same day you’re supposed to write, you might not have time to finish.

Always save time for the generation of ideas. We prepare the planning of the posts we want to publish one or two months in advance in one team meeting, when the three partners sit down and brainstorm. The generation of ideas has to be a fun process in which you take the opportunity to share the topics you think will interest your audience, help you improve your SEO or topics that you simply feel like talking about.

Then, after the initial planning, unforeseen events may occur.

Está claro que los imprevistos están a la orden del día en cualquier tipo de empresa
It’s clear that unforeseen events occur everyday in any business

But if you use a tool like Nelio Content, making changes to the initial plan is never going to be a problem.

Conclusion

Not every day you are just as inspired or have the same time to write. But define a strategy that helps you ensure that you regularly publish on your blog and efficiently promote your content on social networks. If your posts are of quality, you will see how visits to your blog increase in a natural way. And, allow me to insist, for us the infallible strategy to ensure we are never blank is to decide the subjects we are going to write about in advance.

Featured image by Matthew Payne

by

Ruth obtained her PhD in Software Engineering at UPC and did a Master of Information Systems at DePaul University (Chicago). She has professional experience in the business world and at the University. Ruth has been University Lecturer at UPC, Vice-Dean for Corporate Relations of the Barcelona School of Informatics, and Associate Lecturer at ESADE. She specializes in software engineering and information systems management. She is also certified in Inboud Marketing.

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