Member Update: Running Out of Ideas

4 minute read

Do you worry about running out of things to write about?

I know a lot of writers have that fear… at least every once in a while. Even me, and I have a system for making sure I never run out of ideas.

If that’s been something you worry about, let me share three ways you can keep your idea bank full.

Be Deliberate About Capturing Ideas

This method alone can spawn more ideas than you’ll ever get to.

You need a notebook, a document, or a tool like Evernote. And then you need to get into two habits.

First, take a half an hour once a week to just daydream about things you might write. Note every idea you come up with. This doesn’t need to be a rapid-fire brainstorm — this is a slower process of letting your thoughts meander. Then, when something interesting pops up, write it down. With practice you’ll find that you probably come away from these sessions with five to 10 new ideas. And over time, you’ll probably start to see that this slow, no-pressure type of brainstorming yields some of your best ideas.

Second, make time each day to read two or three articles. These can be from within your industry, but they don’t have to be. When you finish each article, think of three things you can write about that are sparked by your reading. It could be a question you thought the author left unanswered… it could be a completely different approach to the same topic… it could be something adjacent to the topic you found yourself thinking about as you read. With this strategy, you’ll come up with six to nine new ideas every day.

Have New Experiences

Try new things. Go new places. Learn new things. Meet new people. Read new books.

Everything new that you do requires a little bit of creativity on your part, which exercises your idea-generating muscles.

And everything new that you try gives you new ways to make connections, develop analogies, and share insights.

That all adds up to new ways of talking about things.

Revisit Themes and Topics

Here’s the biggest secret of all behind not running out of ideas. You don’t always have to write about new things. You can revisit topics you’ve written about before and approach them in a new way. If you have a blog or an email newsletter, or you write these things for a client, look back at what you wrote a year ago.

Would you cover those topics in the same way now?

If not, it’s time to revisit them, either by updating and republishing the existing piece or by creating something new.

If you apply these three strategies to your idea generation, you’ll always have something to write about… and you’ll have a fresh, unique angle to take as well, which will make what you do more interesting than most of the other work being published on the topic.

New on Digital Copywriter

Do you offer content writing services to your clients? In our newest Web Content & SEO column, you’ll find three new ways you can offer content services to help your clients succeed and to make yourself stand out more in the market. You can find those here.

Lots of freelancers realize they need boundaries after they’ve been in business for a while and start to notice they’re busier than they want to be, or their projects aren’t quite what they’d hoped for. If that describes you, take a look at this article from Divya Agrawal on how to set boundaries with your clients so you have more freedom and more satisfaction from your work.

And our new Reality Blogger, Jennifer Ayling, shares her first post of the year. Inside she talks more about her goals for the year, and the first steps she needs to take on her journey. Plus, she shares an important mindset lesson any freelancer can benefit from. Give it a read!

Events You Won’t Want to Miss

January 27: Don’t miss our Ask the Expert interview with Rebecca Matter. Rebecca will talk about the big opportunities she sees for writers right now, the best advice she can give to someone getting started, and her favorite tips for helping writers level up their business. Join us!

February 1: Our first Challenge of the year is underway, and this live event is meant to help you make the most of it. Get your year off to a strong start by putting together a clear, simple marketing plan that aligns with your goals, and that you’ll enjoy implementing. Join us for this webinar to see how easy it can be.

February 7: Our next Monthly Member Update is right around the corner. Join us for this fun, fast-paced webinar on new tools you can use to help you write better and faster. Plus, we’ll look at top, new content, exciting things coming down the road, and answers to your most pressing questions. I hope you’ll join me!

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