HOW TO FIND BLOG IDEAS QUICKLY
So … you’ve resolved to get on with your blog this year, but how do you find blog ideas quickly? If there’s one big drawback to blogging it’s the time that writing it takes away from your business.
KEEP A NOTEBOOK
The most important thing in becoming a regular blogger is that you develop a writing habit. Experiment with different rituals – for example, a certain kind of music, venue, time of day, arrangement of pens, books on the desk and so on.
The best way to save the ideas that pop into your head throughout the day, however, is still the good old notebook. Here’s how to use it.
- Buy a notebook that is big enough to scribble down ideas as they come to you during the day – one that appeals to you and that you can fit in your bag, but nothing too small or tiddly.
- I carry around different coloured Post It notes in pockets and whatever bag or laptop case I’m using. They often help when it comes to organising random thoughts during a busy day in a large notebook later. They’re brilliant for travelling light, too …
- Get used to jotting down snippets of anything you see or hear that infiltrates your consciousness at first; later, you’ll filter out the less interesting ones automatically and note those that really provoke your imagination. After a week of being a sleuth, you’ll be amazed at how much more alive and aware you feel to everything that’s going on around you. Eckhard Tolle talks about “The Power of Now” … you’re about to tap into it as a writer!
- Set a regular day to transfer the notes each week to your computer. This is very important, as you’ll expand a little on each idea as you type them up. If you leave it for longer than a week you’re likely to forget the ideas or lose the notes.
- Sort through the notes, choose five of them (or more if you’re a naturally fast writer) and expand on the ideas into blog headlines and loose structures. Spend no more than ten minutes on each at this stage – this is first draft stuff and is supposed to be woolly. Your subconscious mind will carry on refining them over the next few days before you return to polish them up. Let ‘em stew!
In her book, “The Artist’s Way” (Tarcher, 1992), Julia Cameron discusses the benefits of creating the habit of scribbling down everything that comes into your mind for several minutes at the same time every day – preferably early in the morning before others start making demands of your time.
This scribbling doesn’t have to be focused on an idea of any sort – it is merely an outpouring of the gunk that is going on in your conscious mind. Spilling it out and onto the page and letting your thoughts drift freely lifts the film that covers your deeper, creative thoughts – and these are the ones you can work with later either during writing or in your daily life.
The book is written for artists in general – not just writers – and she claims that many businessmen and women have adopted the Morning Pages routine to great effect in both their professional and personal lives.
Give it a try!