How to Generate Ideas
We’ve all been in this situation. You’ve been asked to post something on the company blog or you’ve committed to three social media posts a week for your own business. You put it off because you’re so busy, then finally, you sit down, fire up the lap-top and stare at the page…and stare…and stare. It’s really frustrating because now there’s a time pressure, but, of course, you can’t think of anything. This is because creativity isn’t always waiting patiently for you to tap it on the head. Sometimes you need a few writing tips and tricks, like my 7 steps below, to nudge it into life.
Relax… and set your goal
Yes, this is easier said than done, but it’s important to remember that you’ve got this. They’re only words and you use words all day, every day.
So, set your goal and remind yourself why you are writing. Are you writing to boost sales? Do you need to do it to keep your job? Are you celebrating a great review from a happy customer?
Write your goal on a piece of paper and place it somewhere you can see it while you write.
Free write for 5 minutes
Write down everything you know about the topic for 5 minutes flat.
Don’t take your fingers off the keyboard. Don’t edit. Don’t judge.
Use a mind map if you prefer. How you do this doesn’t matter. The idea is to get everything you know about the topic on the page as quickly as possible.
Remember, you’ve got this.
Organise your notes
Use headings to organise your thoughts. Then number the paragraphs to group ideas together.
You might find that new ideas spring up as you see the overall picture.
Delete things that don’t meet your goal. Add more content that does.
Remember to be amazed at how much you know about the topic.
Think about your reader
Your reader is busy. They’re probably scrolling whilst making a cuppa or sitting in on a Zoom call.
Make it easy for them to find what they want.
A set of subheadings can help here. It also makes the information look much more manageable.
Ask for feedback
If you can, ask a trusted person to read your work and give you feedback.
Ideally, they should be in the same group as your potential reader.
Listen when they point out jargon or assumptions, and alter the text accordingly.
Check your facts
This is REALLY important.
Ask yourself, are all the facts right? Do you have the right dates/prices/times?
At the very least, do a spellcheck.
You don’t want your document to reflect badly on you.
Once you’ve sent the document out into the world, reward yourself for a job well done.
Remember, you deserve it.
Go for a walk, make a mocktail, pat your pets.
Whatever it is, take the time to enjoy the reward.
Heaven knows there’s little enough time to celebrate success in these locked-down times.
Ready to find out how I can help coach you and your people in content creation?