What to Do When the Idea Well Has Run Dry

Posted on August 23, 2015 by Amy F

writersblockGenerating ideas can often be more difficult than actually writing a piece, especially if you’ve been writing for years and years. After a certain point, you might find yourself wondering what else you can write about for a client’s blog and might seek out content writing help that focuses more on coming up with with ideas than with the actual construction of a piece. The longer you’ve been in the writing business, the more difficult generating ideas can become. One of the first things to remember when you’re facing a big ideas block is that there’s nothing new under the sun. No idea will seem perfect or will necessarily be brand spanking new. But, if you can give it a new twist, you can get create something that absolutely delights your clients.

Give Yourself a Time Limit

When you’re in the midst of a block, giving yourself a limit might seem like the worst thing you can do. But, it’s actually very helpful. Set aside 30 minutes one day and start jotting down anything that comes to mind about a project or about an on-going client. Go about this project with an attitude of “so what?” You will probably write down some really terrible ideas in those 30 minutes. But you might also write down something amazing. Even if you don’t come up with an earth-shattering idea, you might get the kernel for something that you can develop into a full piece.

Get a New Perspective

Ask 10 different people an opinion question and you’re going to get 10 different answers, since no two people think exactly the same way. When you just can’t think of another thing to write about, ask someone else. Let’s say you write the blog posts for a dentist’s office. Ask a friend what he or she would want to read on a dentist’s blog. You can also ask the dentist him or herself if there are any topics he or she wants covered that you haven’t gotten to yet or ask if he or she is doing anything new at the practice that is worth covering.

Another way to get a new perspective and generate new ideas is to see what other people are doing and what they are covering, then put your own spin on it. For example, if you write a beauty blog, you could share your opinion about teenagers getting lip fillers, in response to the news about Kylie Jenner getting lip injections. Paying attention to what others are doing also makes you look like you’re paying attention to what’s going on around you, which can make clients pretty happy.

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Sometimes, one idea can easily lead to another. If you’re stuck, write down one word or phrase on a piece of paper. For example, if you’re a travel writer, write down the name of a city or country. Then, list all of the things a person could possibly associate with that place. For example, if you write down London, you can also jot down Royal family, theater, expensive, cheap, and restaurants, then go from there.

There will be times when you feel completely stuck and that the ideas just aren’t coming. In those instances, it can help to take a step back and take a break from writing. Feeling blocked is frustrating, but after a time, the idea engine will start up again.

Writer Bio: Based in Philadelphia, Amy F has been a freelance writer since 2007. She hopes to never run out of ideas.


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