How to Get Ideas

Some of the most basic rules of blogging are quite simple: content is king, write every day, and commit to a regular posting schedule.

All of these rules are not easy to follow. They’re quite frustrating, in a way. After all, a three word rule shouldn’t be that difficult to follow.

Or the fact that the secret to being a successful blogger is all about producing great content. Regularly. On daily basis, if that’s possible.

Which begs the following question:

How are you supposed to keep dreaming up great ideas to write about?

A plethora of well-known tactics will ensure you become a writing machine:

  • You should always write down your ideas when they strike so you can remember them later.
  • You should do as Hemingway did and finish every writing session mid-sentence so you can effortlessly pick up where you left off.
  • And on, and on, and on …

And all of that is good advice. But what if your biggest problem is finding ideas to write about?

Read on, because we’re about to dive deep into the psychology of content creation. 

The muse is not mystical

Even the best of writers and bloggers tend to approach the act of writing as some sort of mystic experience. They do not know what they do when it’s good, they do not know what they do when it’s bad.

It seems as if they somehow developed the rituals to keep writing no matter what, and that somehow worked for them.

And even they sometimes suffer from writer’s block.

Why?

Because they never bothered to figure out how the process works. What is creativity? Where does it come from? What experiences enhance it? What experiences stifle it?

You’ll never run out of fantastic ideas to write about when you understand how your brain works. Want to know the best way to come up with brilliant ideas? Then you must be willing to ask yourself the right questions.

Here are three questions that will surely help you better understand the creative process …

1. What questions is no one in your industry willing to answer?

If you want great content that magnetically attracts your audience’s attention, just answer this question.

Every time you realize there’s a question no one in your niche dares answer, you can be the person who finally does. Your audience will thank you for it.

2. What does nearly everyone disagree with you about?

This one has been used time and time again by Peter Thiel, billionaire co-founder of Paypal and Facebook investor. He uses this question to get entrepreneurs thinking about world-changing business ideas … and it works.

The question is designed to mine your brain for disruptive and uncomfortable ideas that challenge the status quo. By answering it, you’ll be able to see behind the scenes. You’ll catch of glimpse of all the misconceptions and weird behaviors that govern out lives.

Question the unquestionable, and everyone pays attention.

Don’t be afraid that adopting a strong controversial stance will make you look stupid. You don’t even always have to be right. In fact, being bold and occasionally wrong wins you a lot more attention than being boring and always right.

In the event that someone vehemently contradicts you, simply thank them for contributing and remind them that dialogue makes us all smarter. After all, a public argument is fabulous publicity.

3. What do you believe will happen in the future that other people consider impossible or unlikely?

We humans are paranoid about missing the writing on the wall. We don’t like to be late to the party or left behind. So put that writing out there for them, and you’ll win their interest.

Examples of these types of content ideas going viral are countless. As a matter of fact, you probably won’t even be right most of the time, but when you offer a prediction that makes your reader proudly tell dinner guests what to expect in the next few years, you’ve got yourself solid gold for a post.

Don’t lose yourself by getting too “meta” …

The basics still matter. Writing magnetic headlines, building irresistible narratives, and focusing on problem solving blogging are still important.

But by continually asking yourself these three questions, you’ll get some great ideas flowing.

So, what are you waiting for?

Sit down and punch those damn keys.

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2 thoughts on “How to Get Ideas

  1. People have asked where I get ideas for some of the elements in the stories I write about. I tell them, and then they get this weird look in there eyes, and ask, “Why do you get those ideas!”

    Truth be told, the ideas are all around me. Some of them I’ve lived through and I take the anger, the pain, whatever the emotion was and write about it.

    Example. I’m working on my second novel, Family Secrets. I established in the first book that Will is at odds with his family, though I never explained why. In book two, I’ve drug stuff in that was painful to think about, specifically an incident where a cousin of mine tried to kill my mother when I was young. I could never come to grips with the failure of my father to do anything about it.

    As I was writing, I began weaving together all these other memories and realized, he had done something about it. I put the words of what I’d weaved together into the mouth of another character.
    To Will, his father was an alcoholic. To this other character, Will’s father was a Hero.

    What his father did also explains why this character who can be best described as a vigilante type, has allied himself with Will. Will’s father never really had the power to do more than he did. Will has the power to crush something horrible.

    Will walks away seeing his father through different eyes.

    So, we already have the ideas in us. Sometimes we just have to stop being afraid of them and mine them out.

    Liked by 1 person

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