Yes, there are secrets that help you work with freelance writing ideas. Okay, not all of these tips are actually secrets, but a few are. The rest are just darn helpful.
1 – Recognize that freelance writing ideas are everywhere
Sure, sometimes I think I run out of ideas but so far it’s never really been true. Freelance writing ideas are literally everywhere. It’s mostly a matter of recognizing them and then honing them so they work when you want to write about them.
2 – Write ’em down or send a recorded note to yourself
A major problem with freelance writing ideas is they tend to disappear pretty quickly. We get distracted and poof, the idea is gone. Sometimes it will come back, but if you want to be sure you don’t lose it, you need a way to get it recorded in a way you’ll be able to find it again. I use an idea file on my desktop.
3 – Set up an idea file so you have access
Of course, you need a way to store your ideas so you can find them when you want them. A desktop or laptop folder will work. So will Google docs or any number of places you can work on and store your writings, often for free. Bonus tip: When I use an idea from my file I run a strike-through through it, date it and note where/how I used it. It’s amazing how often I reuse ideas in a slightly different way, and this helps me keep track.
4 – Write a 10 purpose statement about your idea
A 10 word purpose statement gets me started on track and helps keep me there no mater how short or long the project is. For example: The purpose of this article is to show 10 ways freelance writers can capture and use ideas. Ten words exactly the very first try – practice does help. For more details see Every Writing Project Needs a Purpose Statement.
5 – Noodle with google to get a sense of what’s happening out there
Take your idea and google it to get a general sense of how the topic has already been covered. Try rewording the idea several times and see what results you get. This type of research takes 10 minutes unless you get stuck reading. I find it useful.
6 – Make a list of what you want to cover
List the topics you want to include in this piece – probably nor more than three or four for a blog or most magazine articles. Longer lists will be needed for long articles and book length manuscripts.
7 – Order that list
Simply take your list and put it in the order you think you want the writing to go. Your list will guide you as you write. It might even make a table of contents if your piece is long enough.
8 – Get ready, get set, WRITE!
With a nod to the Great British Baking Show – it’s now time to write!
Write well and often,