Writing ideas for the uninspired – seven quick writing tips

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Even seasoned professional writers experience writer’s block. It’s inevitable if you put too much pressure on producing vs. enjoying. You’re doing it wrong if it’s not fun. Below are some writing tips that might help your prose flowing.

  1.  Inspiration rarely comes when staring at a computer screen. Find an activity that helps you relax, recharge and reinvent how you look at the challenge. Some of my best client solutions and associated writing or marketing ideas come to me when I’m getting dirt underneath my fingers nails in the vegetable garden, interacting with the horses (or mucking stalls – it’s amazing how thought-provoking a mindless activity can be) or just being quiet outside and absorbing all that nature has to offer. It’s different for everyone. Find you peace and use it to open your mind to creative writing strategies and possibilities.
  2.  Writing ideas come when you least expect them. Even if it’s only a quote, a thought, a paragraph or a link another has provided, consider starting a hopper file (particularly if you’ve committed to frequent blog posts or are a paid regular columnist for a publication) with what occurs to you in the moment. If you don’t have a computer handy, start a journal (you can buy bound and lined composition books for less than $1 each for this when you’re on the road or away from your desk or laptop).
  3. Reading can be huge when it comes to developing writing ideas and insight toward challenges. Sometimes moving away from your industry, interests or typical choices can provide amazing insight to help you get unstuck.
  4. Relate what you have to say to a current event or relevant historical happening. This works great if you’re developing a media release designed to entice a local paper, radio program or TV station to spotlight you in a story, but can also be an effective approach for bloggers, marketing professionals serving clients and those promoting a local charity. Striving to make your writing idea relevant to what’s going on around you is also a great way to improve your writing skills.
  5. Brainstorm with others. Of course if you’re working on a confidential project for a client, it’s not appropriate to share. But, for most media articles, speeches, blogs or other assignments, simply talking it out with someone who has a fresh perspective can help generate great writing ideas.
  6. Draw or doodle. Sometimes there’s nothing like a picture to help you paint the words. If prose isn’t flowing, try letting your imagination express through art can be great for writing strategies that help spur the creative juices.
  7. Find a picture for inspiration. It may seem odd to have your writing skills drawn from an image, but it’s amazing how effective this can be in getting your thinking going in a different direction.

If you’re still challenged finding writing strategies that bring forth great writing ideas, come back in a few days and read the comments on this blog post. I imagine many with writing skills will have interesting experiences to add as you seek out more writing tips.

4 Responses to Writing ideas for the uninspired – seven quick writing tips
  1. Cymber Lily Quinn
    July 17, 2012 | 11:55 pm

    Aloha from Hawaii!

    I love the idea of getting away from the computer screen. I’m a life-long dog walker, who frequently forgets her tiny notebook, especially when the ideas are flowing. But I also have an arrangement with the water company to put great ideas into the water, so that I get them when I shower. 🙂

    I also have a writer’s block routine that has formed over the years. I start by wondering how I will think of something to say. Then I start avoiding the computer…I do laundry (more water), dishes (more water), and sometimes walk the dog again. All the while, I keep circling back to my desk to see if I feel like sitting down again. Eventually, if I keep doing this, I will get the words flowing again.

    The key to this process was to *allow* it. I used to flog myself for not being able to come up with pithy comments on a moment’s notice. It was Brenda Ueland who gave me permission to get up from my desk after being so well trained as a schoolkid.

    Looking forward to hearing from others…

    • Nanette Levin
      July 18, 2012 | 1:13 am

      Water’s a huge one for me too. Amazing how inspiring just being quiet and listening to flow can be, isn’t it? Thanks for checking in and commenting, Cymber!

  2. Alan Miles
    July 26, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    I’m trying to think of something useful to add, Nanette – but I’m stuck.

    There, see, you just inspired something. I’ve started …

    Engaging with others … thinking of a person or group of people you’re writing to/for … not getting hung up on a word or phrase … writing just like you speak.

    • Nanette Levin
      July 26, 2012 | 5:28 pm

      Great additional ideas, Alan. I think most people usually forget to ensure what they’re trying to say appeals to the perspective of the reader. Thanks for the tips.

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