As a writer, I often find it challenging to find ideas to keep writing my stories. If you are a writer, you probably can relate.
However, it does not always have to be so difficult. One moment I am empty, and the second after, I have a brilliant idea to write about. Moreover, I am not pretending to be full of pictures every day, but I make sure that I am thinking about something all the time.
A good idea might appear.
Usually, I write short pieces, so not extensive research, and these following techniques will apply to these kinds of writings, but if you want to use it for longer articles of research, that is entirely up to you.
Re-use previous content.
This technique has helped me generate new writing ideas, so make sure you save all of your previously published articles or drafts. You could use your pieces to write new works.
For example, you are writing a research piece on Communism in the Eastern European States, and you had already written works on this topic, you might want to re-use your articles.
Another way to re-use previously published content is to pick a topic you have covered in the past and elaborate on that specific topic. You could generate many more stories with this technique. Maybe you have gotten some questions from your audience on your piece and could write an article on that particular question.
However, there are lots of other ways to turn your previous work into new stuff.
Reading, Reading, Reading.
Reading might seem a little obvious, but it is a real creativity-bomb. By reading yourself, you can come up with more ideas than only thinking about generating ideas. You could apply the techniques of elaborating on a specific topic from another person’s article or writing your opinion about the article, and even giving your perspective.
If you have learned something from an article, you could use that knowledge to explain your evolution to your readers. They might find it helpful.
So ask yourself this question after you have read an article:
“What did I learn and how can I apply this knowledge to improve ‘something’.”
Reddit, Quora, and Twitter.
As you might have noticed, social media is full of content every day. Every day hundreds of millions of posts are made on social media channels, so there must be something interesting to read about, isn’t there?
Go on Reddit and analyze the trending topics and think of something that would relate to an article. If you can find a topic that is discussed a lot, you can write about it. Same with Twitter, find out about the popular topics, and with Quora, the benefit is that this is a platform where several users ask several questions.
If you can find a frequently asked question, you can turn that into an article by answering one of them.
For example, I go on to quora, and the first question that pops up is:
“ How skilled is Elon Musk at programming?”
Which could result in an article/research called: “The programming skills of Tesla-founder Elon Musk.”
You can also use Facebook or Twitter-polls to gain topics for your writing, asking your audience what’s going on in their lives, what inspires them, or what they’d want to achieve in their lives.
Ask the people.
Now, there are a couple of things you can do to communicate with people about actual topics. As in classical journalism, you could go out on the streets to ask people what keeps them busy.
Another option is to combine all the above.
- Take a previous work from yourself and think of a topic to elaborate on.
- Go online and do some research about the value of this topic.
- Ask people in your neighborhood if they know something about this topic or if they’re interested in learning more about it.
Which I stated above works for me, which doesn’t mean it’s a proven success formula. But I think these techniques can help you find your writing ideas or at least allow you to develop your own ‘content-creation-mechanism’ in your brains.
I hope I have inspired you.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
— Ernest Hemingway