How You Can Write Great Content and Never Run Out of Ideas
When I first told my wife about the idea for the 1500 Days blog, she thought that I was off my rocker. Her first response was, “You’ll quickly run out of things to write about.” After blogging for 18 months, I have the opposite problem. I have over 100 posts in some form of draft waiting to be published. Writer’s block is something that I never suffer from. Here are my best tips for writing good and creative content:
Carry a notebook or install a note-taking app on your phone.
I don’t even want to think about all of the ideas that I’ve lost because I didn’t write them down. Every time something pops into your head, no matter how minuscule you think the idea may be, write it down!
Go for a long walk in the woods.
I don’t know what it is about walking, but it’s an elixir for the brain. The ideas flow like a raging river in the spring after a big rain. I’ve come up with 10 ideas for posts in just one hike. Better yet, walk with your significant other and bounce ideas off of each other.
Let it simmer.
Have you ever written a post that just didn’t seem up to par? Me too. Don’t delete it. Instead, revisit it every once in a while. One day, the idea that puts the icing on the post-cake will come to you.
Read like mad.
Warren Buffett’s investing partner, Charlie Munger once said, “In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.” Reading will make you a better person as it certainly has for Mr. Munger (richer, too, in his case), but it will also provide you with lots and lots of ideas. Go to your library. Read newspapers. Read magazines. Read books. Just read.
The camera is your best friend.
Someone once said that a picture is worth a 1000 words. It turns out that 1000 words is a pretty good length for a post. Always have a camera with you. This is easy in the age of the smart phone, so you have no excuses. Also, your own photo is much more interesting than a stock photo.
Go with the flow.
Sometimes, I can sit down and write for hours. I’ve been known to crank out 5 posts in one key-banging session. Other times, my brain just isn’t in the right place. Be in tune with your mind and your moods to maximize creativity and productivity.
Close your mouth and open your ears.
There is inspiration all around you. Some of my best posts have come from a random conversation with a neighbor. Others have come from a chance observation while pushing through the daily grind. Pay attention always.
The best writing advice I ever received was this: Write for yourself. It’s true; find your voice and stick to it. When I find myself straying from my voice, my creativity and the quality of my writing takes a nosedive straight into the turf. It’s because I’m trying too hard to be someone else. This doesn’t work. Just be you and the rest will take care of itself.
Carl writes about personal finance and his early retirement dreams over at 1500Days.com. When not in front of the computer, he can be found enjoying family life in the mountains in the beautiful state of Colorado.