There’s another side to creativity that not many people talk about. Where most people fear writer’s block and want to know how to generate better ideas, some of us article writers are so overwhelmed with ideas it’s hard to decide which to dive into. My writing drawer is full of them, and not just for articles, but also books. How does one deal with too many ideas?
The attached article has nine ideas for dealing with ideas, some of which would generate more ideas for me, but might help you organize them better. Following these are techniques of my own:
- Imagine a Red Dress – Most women at most parties wear black. If you were to assign your ideas to a dress, which would be the red one? Write that one first.
- The Stupid One – Often the idea you think is stupid sells best. Why? People can’t figure out why you wrote it, so it must be funny (or some other extra) or because they don’t see the logic that you do. In defending the stupidness, you also come up with great ideas to include.
- The One That Moves – When you go running or exercising and get ideas, which one hits so hard that you want to stop and write it down? Take a tablet with you.
- Assign a Deadline – Some ideas are more timely than others. Which needs to be written NOW, because it’s in the public eye? Give yourself a deadline.
- Mind Over Mind (or Chicken Soup) – If you put all your ideas in pots on a stove, which are closest to being soup? Write those first.
- Give In To Passion – This is one I use. Which do you feel most driven about? Which keeps repeating itself? Which won’t let you go until you write it?
- Organize Visually – Put your ideas up on a bulletin board. Organize them and see how many fit together. Could you write several articles as a group?
- Get Metaphysical – The author uses tarot, I use meditation. Take your ideas to a quiet place and use whatever tools you have to connect with your higher intuition for guidance and prioritizing.
- Friends – Bounce several ideas off friends you can trust. Which make them excited too? Why? Write those first. Use your friends’ excitement to help guide the writing. You are, after all, writing for the public to read.
Here are two of my own:
- Use SEO – Throw a main keyword for each article idea into Google Adwords. See which gets the best response. Check for low-competition keywords. If they fit, make up a title and test it with a search engine (in parentheses). How many other articles come up? If hardly any, then you’ve got a winner.
- Magazine Queries – Analyze publications you most like to read. Which ideas are not being covered? Send out several queries to magazines that hire writers. Might as well get paid, while you’re writing.
Try these all and see which works for you.
Susette H is a sustainability writer with many ideas, some of which she can express through Writer Access. She can’t wait for the day that more “green” companies start hiring writers here.