Need New Ideas? Look for New Angles
It happens to the best of us. No matter how much experience we have or how deep our expertise, we all must occasionally face the fear that we have finally written about everything possible about our niches.
When clients come up against this wall, the most direct way to break through it is often to turn to vendors specializing in content services. Frequently, relying on a freelance writer while enjoying a short break from content creation is all a client needs to find her second wind. For freelancers, getting past this feeling is a little trickier. After all, when your livelihood hinges upon your ability to produce copy – and no one can take your place – any kind of block can be a disaster. Fortunately, when ideas seem to be few and far between, looking for a fresh angle is often all it takes to get the words flowing again.
In the writing world, an “angle” or “slant” is simply the way you choose to approach the set of facts that make up a story. For example, if you are writing about how to buy a car, you could use the same set of facts to write about how to tell if the car is mechanically sound or focus on how to tell if a shady salesman is trying to cover up an engine problem. Taking it a step further, you could write for teens buying their first set of wheels or experienced drivers who feel like they were burned the last time stepped foot on the car lot.
To generate new angles, consider your basic story idea and think about the various audiences that might be interested in the general topic. Ask yourself how you can you tailor your story to the needs of each of these people. Then, consider the viewpoints of the parties involved in the story. Each of these viewpoints could be a separate story. Think about how the facts you have uncovered affect consumers, but also consider how they affect society as a whole. Ask the traditional who, what, where, and why questions we all learned about in grade school.
The possibilities are endless. By systematically looking at a topic in as many was as possible and trying to make new connections between the facts you have uncovered and your existing subject knowledge, you will soon find that writer’s block really is a just a myth. There is always a new story slant to explore. When you get comfortable with this truth, take a deep breath and dive back into your niche with confidence. You have more writing to do.
Matthew R is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.