Fleeting Inspiration

I think the most ironic part of writing is the whole process of inspiration. I know most writers have been in the situation where you are in the middle of something at work or you are running an important errand and then all of a sudden an inspiration for that next book or article comes along.  Did it come when you were focused and brainstorming?  Nope. Did it come along while you were outlining? No again.

I have found that my inspirtation always comes when I am not equipped to act on it.  I even have a notebook with me for these moments, however many times you can’t just stop what is going on. So why does this happen?

Research from an article I read in Psychology today  suggest that not only are we more creative when we least expect it, but we come up with creative answers when we are least alert or not totally focoused on coming up with an idea.  Maybe trying too hard creates a block for us rather than a quick solution. Could this be why some of our best ideas come just as we are falling asleep?

So, what can we do to harvest those fleeting inspirations that are just too good to miss?  One idea is that if you aren’t able to jot down your ideas ( maybe you are in a car or you are without a pen and paper) you can use your phone’s voice recorder to campture the inspirational moment. Another idea is if your inspiratioal was visual, take a photograph of what inspired your idea.

Just like writing itself is a creative action, capturing that fleeting muse takes creativity as well.  What are your ideas to capturing an idea when you aren’t able to jot it down?

N is New Content #AtoZBlogging Challenge

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word NEW today. We’re well in to the New Year and we’ve had some new goals. We’ve made some new friends in the blogging challenge. We’ve tried some new writing techniques along the way. 

Today I’ll look more specifically at New Content. As we go along this challenge and we follow a theme, we want to be sure we are not just restating the same post in a different way with a different letter. 

So, we rack our brains to find new content. Many times we may be at a loss, especially if we blog every day. Even if we know we are posting new and interesting posts, we may still feel that something is off or that our posts are becoming “dry”. 

So what are some ways we can come up with new content?  We can try some frequently suggested tips such as brainstorming and free writing. Do you know how many times I started writing a post and then had to change my title or even the whole thing? It usually happens after about 200 words. I start writing about something and the thought comes to my mind: “Wow, I should have written about…” Then BOOM! I would erase everything and start with my real content. It does work.

Another tried and true option is to carry a notebook with you. You never know when your ideas will “hit” you. I could sit in front of the computer screen for hours trying to come up with something interesting to write about. However, sometimes the content or ideas hit me after I stop thinking about them so much. 

Still not sure you have your new content? Another idea I try is googling an idea. I aim to at least have a concept, idea or even a key word. For example, I knew this post needed the letter N. I thought to myself, “Let’s see what happens when I google New Content for a Blog.” I read a few posts and found a few suggestions.  

What if you aren’t even sure of a topic? I actually googled, “writing words that start with the letter N”.  Now, that really yielded nothing, but it got my brain thinking and seeking. Eventually that led to my new content idea. 

I also searched to see what other previous A to Z bloggers did. I didn’t take their ideas, but I read what they had to say. I watched how they tied a certain word or phrase to the challenge. Some ideas I liked, other ideas didn’t help much. While nothing from my research physically appeared in my blog, it did spark my inspiration.I started thinking, “If I chose that topic, what would I write?”

Honestly, I didn’t think my topic of new content would yield much of a post, However, I think it did pretty well. 

How do you come up with your new content ideas? 

Jen’s Writing Tips

I’m starting a new series on my blog called Jen’s Writing Tips. I am still learning along with all the other authors, as we all are constantly learning and growing. The purpose is to help others achieve their writing goals. Each post in the series will hopefully give you something to think about on your next project. Enjoy and good luck! Feel free to leave a comment after any of the posts. Readers may appreciate the feedback.

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com