|Written on 9/24/2008 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. You can catch him at Jeet Blog where he blogs about different Web 2.0 apps and online tools and how they can help you become more productive.||Photo Credit: re birf|
If you are a writer, I’m sure you have faced situations when your mind seems to go blank and you just don’t know what to write. Every writer or blogger, amateur or professional, encounters this situation every once in a while. This situation is termed as writer’s block and if the writer is not able to get over it quickly, it could easily strip motivation and become very frustrating.
Writer’s block is basically a polished term for a lack of ideas. If you don’t obtain ideas, you simply can’t write. Keeping this in mind, I’ve decided to list 15 ways to get those elusive ideas and capture them. I’m sure after reading this article you’ll have enough ways to come up with new ideas that get turned into great articles.
- Your Computer
Yeah, your very own computer which has been begging for attention ever since you purchased an iPhone. It wants you to go offline and explore it. It has so much of stuff, ranging from documents, pictures, ebooks, presentations and so much more to get you the ideas for your writing.
- Your Bookmarks
We all have a habit of bookmarking nice sites that we come across and building a long list of bookmarks that are never revisited. So whether you’ve got your bookmarks in your browser or in your online accounts like Delicious, this is the time to check them out.
- Social Media Accounts
If you love digging, stumbling, redditing, sphinning and mixxing, now is the time to stop and go back and check the stuff that you’ve stumbled, dugg or reddited. Just dive down deep into your social stuff and you’ll be amazed to find the wealth of information present there.
- RSS Reader
Personally, Google Reader has been the best source of ideas for me so far. One of the reasons behind that is I subscribe to tons of RSS feeds and also manage them in a way that I can extract relevant information from them easily. I think if you can manage RSS, it could be a great source of ideas for you too.
- Newspapers And Magazines
Yep, old media to the rescue. Your daily newspaper and weekly magazines are a never ending source of ideas. Odds are you have been neglecting them so consider reading something that is not digital for once!
- Reader Comments
If you facilitate user interactions on your blog through comments, those could be a great source of ideas too. Many readers love to leave elaborate and engaging comments which could easily spark an idea for a new article on that subject.
- Flickr And YouTube
Apart from being popular sites for entertainment (pictures and videos), Flickr and YouTube can be wonderful source of ideas too. In the past many of my articles have been inspired from videos that I have watched on YouTube, especially some tutorial videos on tech related stuff. Similarly, an image on Flickr could inspire you to write your next article.
Yeah, I know this is a no-brainer. Then why are you procrastinating ?..Just go ahead, wipe the dust off your bookshelf and start reading !
- Chat And Twitter
Conversations spark ideas which later convert into great posts. So why not start chatting with your friend on IM or phone and ask him for some advice. Also, twitter is another good source of carrying out such conversations and extracting ideas out of it.
- Old Emails
Gmail tells me that they have given me enough space and I don’t need to delete any email. I trust them and hence I have tons of emails which I’ve already read in my inbox. These prove to be an unconventional source of ideas in crisis situations.
You may have ditched your old friend for the world wide web, but it still is a huge resource for all kinds of stuff which you’d love to watch. While watching you might get something going on in your mind.
Participating in discussions in forums, especially the ones which relate to your line of work could be a good exercise to get the ideas flowing.
Listen to some podcasts. When your mind doesn’t want to work, hearing others speak could give it the push and it could start churning out new ideas for you.
- Your Surroundings
Your surroundings could prove to be a nice resource for generating ideas. For example, I was facing problems due to the clutter on my desk and hence decided to clean up my home office. And while doing that, I came up with idea to write the post – 10 Steps To Rejuvenate Your Messy Home-Office.
- Brainstorming And Mind mapping
Finally, you can brainstorm and do some mind mapping to get new ideas. Sit down and think. Check the articles which you’ve written. Brainstorm those topics and see if you can come up with something new. I’m sure the creative juices will start flowing sooner or later.