Finding Ideas For Articles Or Fiction

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Every writer knows that moment, the moment when they open their favorite word processor to a new document and freeze.  Call it writer’s block, blank page syndrome, or what have you, but all writers go through it at some point.  Getting past that moment can be tricky, especially since the “I’d rather be at the beach” feeling follows soon after.  These feelings are often created from the writer’s fear of failure or even fear of success, rather then any talent or ability.  To get past such moments, one needs a few tricks up their sleeves.  Personally I call it tools in my toolbox, but you can call it whatever you want.  There are many different ways to handle this moment, without making a beach run (unless you plan on bringing work materials).  Sometimes the moment is caused by a lack of ideas, and just the desire to write.  The combination of these can be deadly to the writer’s career, and compounds the problem.
Read Other’s Writing – Especially if you are competative.  Sometimes the boost of anger or adrenaline is needed to get you writing.  There is always something out there to disagree with, or that is completely false.  Nothing beats anger for overriding fear, and emotions can sometimes generate your best ideas.
Keep A Notebook At Your Side – This is a tool every writer needs.  I wrote a previous article on keeping a Catch All Journal, and that is especially important for the creative types.  We all have absent minded professor moments, especially when engrossed in a project.  And what writer hasn’t had an idea for another scene or even story while writing their current work in progress.  Keeping this notebook nearby at all times will allow you to capture those rapid thoughts on paper, so they can stop clogging the brain, and so that brilliant thought is not lost.  There is also less pressure with a notebook page then a word processor page.  So use the notebook to freewrite and remove any thoughts of perfectionism and kick that fear of failure to the curb.
Freewrite Often – At least daily for the full time writer.  This gets you in the habit of sucking.  Sure there are brilliant ideas in the midst of the crud, but this exercise isn’t about that.  This gets you writing regularly.  It releases the pressure, allows your brain freedom of thought, and I’m amazed every time the pen flows over the page effortlessly, especially after a difficult writing session.  Freewriting can also solve writing dilemmas, since the brain tends to use writing and thought to talk out its problems.  I’ve had many scenes work their way out this way.  I personally like to end the day with freewriting, but others like to start their day.  Try both and pick one that works for you.

Every writer knows that moment, the moment when they open their favorite word processor to a new document and freeze.  Call it writer’s block, blank page syndrome, or what have you, but all writers go through it at some point.  Getting past that moment can be tricky, especially since the “I’d rather be at the beach” feeling follows soon after.  These feelings are often created from the writer’s fear of failure or even fear of success, rather then any talent or ability.  To get past such moments, one needs a few tricks up their sleeves.  Personally I call it tools in my toolbox, but you can call it whatever you want.  There are many different ways to handle this moment, without making a beach run (unless you plan on bringing work materials).  Sometimes the moment is caused by a lack of ideas, and just the desire to write.  The combination of these can be deadly to the writer’s career, and compounds the problem.

Read Other’s Writing – Especially if you are competative.  Sometimes the boost of anger or adrenaline is needed to get you writing.  There is always something out there to disagree with, or that is completely false.  Nothing beats anger for overriding fear, and emotions can sometimes generate your best ideas.

Keep A Notebook At Your Side – This is a tool every writer needs.  I wrote a previous article on keeping a Catch All Journal, and that is especially important for the creative types.  We all have absent minded professor moments, especially when engrossed in a project.  And what writer hasn’t had an idea for another scene or even story while writing their current work in progress.  Keeping this notebook nearby at all times will allow you to capture those rapid thoughts on paper, so they can stop clogging the brain, and so that brilliant thought is not lost.  There is also less pressure with a notebook page then a word processor page.  So use the notebook to freewrite and remove any thoughts of perfectionism and kick that fear of failure to the curb.

Freewrite Often – At least daily for the full time writer.  This gets you in the habit of sucking.  Sure there are brilliant ideas in the midst of the crud, but this exercise isn’t about that.  This gets you writing regularly.  It releases the pressure, allows your brain freedom of thought, and I’m amazed every time the pen flows over the page effortlessly, especially after a difficult writing session.  Freewriting can also solve writing dilemmas, since the brain tends to use writing and thought to talk out its problems.  I’ve had many scenes work their way out this way.  I personally like to end the day with freewriting, but others like to start their day.  Try both and pick one that works for you.

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