Mum and I are both authors – she writes fiction and I write non-fiction.
In deciding what to contribute for a guest post, I asked mum what subject she would find most useful. She answered that her greatest challenge was coming up with new ideas.
I can certainly relate. I often struggle with generating ideas for my blog. In today’s world, where we self-publish online in blogs and social media, producing fresh content on a regular basis can be quite challenging.
So, mum gave me the idea of writing about… well, ideas and how to get them. Here’s nine to start the conversation, I’d love to hear your ideas too.
1. Ask your audience.
It may be helpful to ask your target audience – for me, that’s other writers – what they would like to read. If an audience member suggests a subject (like my mum did) other readers will probably relate too.
2. Tell the story again.
American journalist Barbara Grizzuti Harrison said: “There are no original ideas. There are only original people.” Even if a subject has been covered a thousand times, you have a unique voice and perspective. As a writer, your voice is your greatest asset. So, be yourself, feel the fear and do it anyway.
3. Start tweeting.
If you’re a writer, you have to be on twitter. Twitter is like Disneyland for us. There are so many wonderful people and so much great content, it’s a virtual treasure chest of ideas.
4. Share a secret.
In her autobiography, Australian publishing icon Ita Buttrose disclosed she was once so angry with a former boss that she wrote his name on a piece of paper and stuck pins in it. This confession not only surprises the reader but shows Ita’s humanity. Readers empathise with human frailty. The truth is very powerful.
5. Think like a journalist.
If you generally write opinion in your blog – and most of us do – get inspired by journalism. You could produce a feature about a local event or interview a person relevant to your readers and write a Q&A piece.
6. Explore a new genre or medium.
Writers are artists, we use words like a sculptor uses clay. Experimenting with a different genre or medium can be fun and produce some interesting content too. If you usually write non-fiction, why not try fiction? How about photography or producing a video? You may even discover a hidden talent or passion.
7. Voice your views.
Share your thoughts about news and current affairs. Even if everyone is talking about the Royal Wedding, for example, you bring a distinctive voice to the conversation.
8. Find inspiration in the everyday.
French author Anais Nin said: “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” A poem on a fridge, a conversation with a friend, a sentence in a book – all have inspired ideas for my blog.
9. Don’t Google it.
The first thing writers tend to do is research. But if you Google your idea, you’ll find it has already been written about. So, just write from the heart. Even if the idea is unoriginal, you are an original person. Your writing will be original if you write first and Google later.
This post was originally written for American publishing house Our Little Books. Our Little Books is dedicated to producing educational, inspirational and fun little books with a big message. You can follow @ourlittlebooks on twitter or like Our Little Books on Facebook. Here is the orginal post: Nine ideas for original writing