If you plan to make any moeny working as a freelance writer, you can’t afford to run dry on ideas. As a writer you need to have a bank of great, interesting ideas readily available.
Ideas that you can write short, quick articles about and ideas that are a little meatier that you can pitch to magazines and newspapers.
So how do you ensure that you become a unstoppable ideas machine?
1. Start being nosey.
If you aren’t curious about everyone and everything around you, now is the time to start. Anywhere you go, look out for possible article ideas. Listen in on conversations – eavesdropping is a great source of possible feature ideas. Find out what people are talking about and what interests them, then think of a slant to the topic that you could write about.
2. Read…A LOT
You may think you already do this, but I mean read everything a lot. Pick up unusual publications anywhere you go and have a look through. You probably walk past a multitude of free publications every day… waiting rooms, restaurants, cafes, any time you see a printed page, read it.
When you read it, think ‘How could I write this better?’ And that’s your next article.
3. Carry a notebook and pen
The golden rule. It’s great generating all these wonderful ideas, but they’ll be soon forgotten if you don’t write them down. You might feel a little awkward scribbling in public places, but hey, you’re a writer, start behaving like one!
Pretty soon you’ll have a pile of ideas, all at your fingertips and ready to be written up. Some ideas will be better than others, so remember to edit them before you start writing them up. You could also do some preliminary research before you start writing so you can get a handle on where you might want to pitch the idea.
Don’t limit yourself to one article with an idea, often your notes will generate two or three wonderful article ideas and you won’t have the time to write them all down.