Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to Write About Anything

Blogging

2010.02.28_WritingOnBeach I was attending an IT group meeting recently when someone in the audience asked if there were any bloggers in the audience.  A few of us raised our hands.  I was surprised to see how so few of my local IT industry’s  leaders wrote about their ideas.

As this puzzle bounced around in my head, someone asked a question that solved my puzzle, “I read a lot of blogs. I feel like all the ideas are already exposed and written about.  How can I come up with something new and genuine?”

At first glance, you might agree with the statement and empathize with the frustration apparent in the question.  However, I implore you not to fall into the trap of accepting that all ideas have already been expressed.  That would be the equivalent to accepting that all scientific discoveries have already been made, and all world problems solved!

The frustration in the question points to a mental block preventing someone from coming up with topics of discussion.  If you feel this way, I’ll offer you the same suggestion I offered the inquiring IT leader: keep a blog idea repository and fill it every day with a mandatory five to ten ideas.

It doesn’t matter if the ideas are new or genuine.  You can borrow ideas, knowing full well that these may not be the ideas you write about or act on. The ideas don’t even have to be about your blog subject.  They could be questions you have, conversations you overhear and find interesting, topics in your industry that others are writing about, news articles or headlines you read, or something you see in nature like a determined dog digging a hole.  The important aspect is to remember to set and keep your daily quota of writing down five to ten ideas every day. 

After a short time of two weeks, you will have anywhere from 50 to 100 ideas.  Now, pick three ideas at random and try to connect them to come up with something new.  Will your idea be revolutionary?  May be, may be not.  However, by completing this exercise, you’ve accomplish a few things:

  1. Create a blog idea repository that you’ll continue to fill every day
  2. Train yourself to pay attention to all that you read or hear about
  3. Force yourself to think creatively by connecting sometimes disparate ideas

How do I know this works?  I practice it daily to generate ideas for this and other blogs, not to mention for new products and solutions for my business problems.  I wish I could say this idea was purely mine.  It’s not!  I learned this as I was reading a book, Thinkertoys, that teaches you how to come up with product and business ideas.  I practiced what the book preached and connected the concept of creating new business ideas to blogs. Voila! a method to create new blog ideas is born. 

What Do You Think?

Feel free to share below your ideas on how to come up with ideas.

Photo Credit: Photos8.com