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So… What do you write about when you’re fresh out of ideas?

ideasIdeas? I haven’t one in my head this morning when it comes to writing this blog post. Coming up short on ideas happens to most writers from time-to-time.

One of the reasons I’m idealess is I’m physically tired.

I’ve been rearranging my home for a roommate – haven’t had one of those in ages and while it isn’t as bad as moving, the cats and I have managed to occupy every possible corner of this space. Which has meant a lot of cleaning as well as emptying one bedroom, including closets. I’m legitimately physically tired (and the extra moving and cleaning has been good for me physically.)

I’m working on a white paper for a new way to mill lumber that, if adopted, could reduce greenhouse gases significantly. I’m excited about that project and want to get to it.

Here, however, is the real reason. This morning I just discovered and downloaded a free ebook by Ken Wilber called Trump and a Post-Truth World: An Evolutionary Self-Correction. It’s about 80 pages and I’m half way through. I just want a second cup of coffee and to finish reading.

Another truth is I wanted a break from Wilber’s fascinating and not always easy ideas, so here I am.

Ideas are everywhere

I’ve written about how ideas are literally everywhere. Of course, we’ve got to get present enough to notice them. Here’s what I mean:

Yesterday I was up early enough to see at first light the morning star shining brightly – that’s such a treat. When I couple it with the sound of the birds and the freshness of the air I become almost poetic.

Right now, my two cats are washing each other’s face on the bed. If the bed were made I’d be tempted to take a picture and write about them.

A close girlfriend just called me to ask about a web address for a low-income housing project – I could write about friends, web addresses, or the frustration of finding affordable housing.

I could tell a story about getting a roommate – probably several.

I’m know I could shape each one of those ideas into something about freelance writing – see, it’s easy to do. You just say so.

What I did to generate the idea of ideas

This morning I rather sullenly stared at the screen for several moments and asked myself why I was having trouble coming up with an idea to write about. I told myself the story of being tired, the white paper, and the ebook. I realized running out of ideas is pretty common to writers and my approach to solving it today might be interesting and maybe helpful.

So there you have it.

What do you think? How do you generate ideas when you’re feeling stuck?

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • I generally write about traveling. Its m niche. and passion. Really love it 🙂

  • Hey there Anne, loving your article!

    Personally when i’m out of ideas, I find that simply writing something down can often help!

    I’m a blogger myself, and one tactic i’ve come across when i’m struggling for good ideas is just to pick ANY topic (relevant to my blog of course!) and begin researching and just writing all the stats and data and points as I go.

    Then in just 10-20 minutes, bam! I have a good image in my head of what the overall article will look like, with all that’s left is simply to connect it all together and make it look good. 😉

    Anyways that’s just something I like doing. Regardless, awesome work Anne with the article. Keep it up!

  • My problem is that I come up with ideas when I can’t write them down; like in the middle of working at a regular job, food shopping, or some other time when writing something down is just not an option. Then I forget about them.

    I really do need to figure a way to carry a small notebook or use my phone to record things.

    • Hi Bill, I’ve ended up using a 3×5 card in my purse, usually several actually. They seem to fit more places than a notebook.

  • I think everyday I finding ideas for better life . Yup, ideas are starting of many thing . Sometime , I feel tired so I finding an idea to take me out the lassitude .
    Whatever , this is very nice post , I love it . Thank you .

  • I actually put a Slideshare presentation on my approach. that was inspired by my 2011 post shown below.


    The Slideshare is here => https://www.slideshare.net/camscorner/5-simple-mind-mapping-tricks-for-more-creative-blog-posts

  • Sue Chehrenegar

    Your blog post illustrated the value in sitting at a computer and hitting the keys. You go your mind working, and coming up with ideas. You managed to develop a significant amount of momentum.

    Overcoming a writer’s block demands developing just such a momentum. It is like the way that the person on a swing works up momentum using his or her arms and legs. Eventually, the swinger starts going quite high.

    • Yes, it does require sitting down… or standing up… and actually writing something.

  • Hey Anne,
    Ideas are the base of everything.
    I wonder that when I am tired I get amazing ideas and I turn my laptop on at the moment and start writing especially I try to post a guest post on other’s blog to get even more exposure and love from the community.
    But in your case, it looks like when you are tired you don’t like to write in fact you like to you like have rest.

    Whatever, a great post.
    I loved to share this with my own social community.

    • Glad you liked it and shared it Fahad

      • Thanks for the reply, I am happy that you engage with your commenters because most of the bloggers and freelancers don’t.
        Have a nice day.

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