This morning, an e-mail came in asking, “What do I do when I run out of ideas to write about?” His problem, based on the question, isn’t that he’s run out of ideas, but that he’s locked himself into a box with a lock on the inside. What he needs to do is take the key out of his pocket and unlock the door.
We all have experienced this problem, and in time find our own key. If you haven’t found your way out of the box, here are a few tips that may give you a key.
Change focus: Another way to put this is to change direction. If you write business articles, and you think you can’t write another word on business, try nature. Not only do you open yourself up to a new market, but you may just give yourself a fresh take on business you never even considered.
Change source material: If you get all your ideas from newspaper headlines, try another source. You can go for a walk and see what a little kid playing can teach you. You can get ideas for business writing from the help wanted section, or an idea for a novel from a garage sale.
Find a new angle: In this blog alone, I’ve found a few new article ideas alone. A good example of this is; the business article writer’s attempt at nature can yield articles on how business can model itself from nature, or an article on eco-friendly companies. The beauty of a new angle is that you can turn to older material, and still give readers a fresh look.
The most important thing you can do to break out of your box is always carry a notebook with you for ideas. You never know when an idea will hit. I know I’ve said this in previous blogs, but this idea is too important not to put it in.
Challenge: Look at a past article, blog, or even short story, and write down three new ideas for future articles.