Before you can write anything—a book, a Web page, an article, a post—you must create a concept to intrigue readers, emotionally grips them, and keep them reading. “The idea” serves as the foundation for your content.
Suffering from a lack of inspiration or imagination? Here are my tips for getting started:
Picture your audience
- Treat this as THE starting point, always. Don’t start to write anything without knowing the exact reader you want to reach with your message/story. Picture one person in your mind: their look, their economic level, their interests, their need (as addressed in your writing). You may even want to give them a family, a background and a pet. The better you know this reader, the better your writing will flow.
- Begin by jotting ideas by yourself, create an outline, use stream-of-consciousness writing until “the idea” hits you.
- Ask a friend to join you in bouncing ideas around. This happens nicely over a cup of tea.
- Seek advice from a professional to help you with a strategy session. Although, my Videan Unlimited Marketing Strategy Session descriptions are geared to marketing rather than just writing, looking through them might help you see how strategy help can move you toward an idea.
Participate in blogs/listservs
You don’t have to come up with the idea yourself, you know. We build networks for a reason. Use them! A couple of my favorite places to find writing inspiration and ask questions of other authors include:
- Writers’ associations, or a group like my ALWAYS writer’s tribe
- FictionThatSells on Yahoo Groups
- The Technorati Web site. This is where to find other pertinent blogs on topics relating to what you’re writing.
Other ways to inspire ideas
- Listen to music.
- Look at artwork or photographs.
- Take a walk or do something away from “idea generating” for a while.
- Read others’ writing.
Tell us your favorite ways to generate ideas.