A good stock of article ideas can keep you churning out articles at a steady pace. That’s what you want if you’re writing for article directories, magazines or blogs. It’s always better to dream up your own ideas than to imitate others. How can you feed your imagination?
Nine Places to get article ideas
1. Read books and magazines related to your topic. For example, if you write about dealing with negative emotions, Psychology Today will cover that issue and many more. Read everything and try to relate it back to your topic.
2. Read books and magazines that are almost related to your topic. To continue the psychology example, books and magazines focused on the other humanities can give you unique ideas.
3. Watch TV shows and movies. You’ll notice what inspires and what doesn’t. Plan to watch more of what works for you.
4. Read blogs, web forums, and business websites related to your subject.
5. Draw on your personal life experiences. How does your past relate to your subject? What have you been doing lately that could be the jump off for an article?
6. Talk to people working in your subject area. Join associations, comment on blogs, and visit professionals.
7. Use swipe files, including writing you saved before you ever heard of swiping. Never heard of swipe files? They’re examples of good writing similar to what you want or need to write.
8. Review your own writing for ideas, especially your journal.
9. Your files of One Line Ideas and Plots/Outlines should be a wealth of additional ideas besides the ones you’ve already written.
What do you do with your ideas?
It’s no help coming up with lots of ideas if you don’t know where to start. There are a few ways to go about it. Daydreaming is one of the worst methods. Time passes and you have nothing written. Instead, just write everything that comes into your head on the idea.
When you seem to have finished with the inkshedding stage, review your work. Any obvious junk needs to go. Does what’s left make a sensible article? If not, do some rearranging, add subtitles, and work it into a first draft. Now move on to the next idea. Avoid inertia at all costs. You need to get your writing done so you can move on to other parts of your life (or more writing).
Give your rough drafts at least a day to settle and come back and rewrite them until they do the job. Keep tweaking them until you know they’re ready for publication.
Article by Ivan Izo.