UPDATED April 2, 2015 (see bottom of the post).
Writer’s block is very real, folks! You can clear your schedule, set up the perfect environment for your ideas to flow, relax and begin writing. Then it hits you … you’re completely out of ideas! You’re squinting more than writing, forcing your creativity to reveal itself. Many times it’s not that you’re out of ideas, it’s that you’ve been sticking to your usual routine and your creativity tank is on empty.
Stop and think about the strategies you’ve used to generate new content. It’s likely the same thing, over and over. Sometimes you simply need to change your strategy. You need to get out of your comfort zone and look for new content inspiration in unusual situations. You won’t have to go far; content for your next article could come from a walk or run down the street.
If you need a boost in this department, we’re here to help. Take a look at our list of fun places to ignite some ideas for you. See if any pique your interest!
1. Yoga Class: Taking a yoga class is a perfect opportunity to get to know people on a personal level. Don’t be shy, place your writing pad on your yoga mat for easy access. Before and after poses, try to whisper questions to those close to you for valuable input. Ask them what they’re feeling, what they’re thinking and if stretching is taking their stress away. Open up your mind by going outside the box for uplifting ideas. Lighten the mood by giving compliments to anyone who shows good form and grace. Namaste!
2. Traffic Lights: The next time you’re stuck at a red light, examine your surroundings to stir up some ideas. Think of the environment around you and write down whatever appears intriguing. Take pictures of buildings and the beautiful nature around you. If there are other drivers next to you, take pictures of them too! Study their faces and take note of their vehicle. Where are they from, and where do you think they’re headed? What kind of mood do you think they’re in?
3. A Junkyard: The expression, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” carries a lot of weight, especially in the mind of a writer. You never know what you’re going to find at a junkyard. Snoop around and see what others have deemed “unwanted.” There is a filthy, mischievous feeling to this practice, sure, but the rewards can be huge. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty, be willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top!
4. Hockey Games: Sporting events can be a thrilling, impressive place to experience hard work and talent in action. Hockey games in particular have a more physical, chilly vibe to them. The risk involved with slick ice, sharp blades on skates, and the chance of a fight all add to the excitement. Attend a hockey game and take in the danger! Listen closely and write how it makes you feel. Do you really feel safe in the bleachers? Be bold and get in on the action; capture the attitudes of the players by standing right in front of the glass if you can!
5. Funerals: While funerals can carry a dark, depressing tone, they can also provide a sea of emotions for your next piece of writing. People are hesitant to speak their mind because of the setting. Use this to your advantage; jot down what you think they’re really feeling and how you could help them. The writing you get from a funeral will be filled with powerful emotions and strong ideas. You may be witnessing the end of someone’s fulfilling journey, but it could start a new beginning for your writing!
6. A Closer Look at Your Neighbors: For those of us with neighbors close by, we all have that one family that seems too good to be true. You never know what they’re up to, but you have a good feeling it’s something interesting. When you have time, scope out your neighbors from your bushes (or other hidden place) and take notes of the action. If you happen to get spotted, just explain that what you’re doing is crucial to your research as a writer. If you can, try and do it from your own yard. Binoculars are very handy in these situations. You need to keep your distance and take in what you can. Do you have a suspicious neighbor you’d like to know more about? Well, you know what to do!
7. Running (Marathons): If you’ve ever walked or jogged for a long period of time, you know your mind can be all over the place on various things. Next time you’re going for a run, or better yet, participating in a marathon, bring a voice recorder! Examine your surroundings and approach other runners on the trail. If they are going at a slower pace (or walking), feel free to stop them to get a piece of their mind for a moment. Ask them questions such as, “Why are you running today?” or “What are you really running from?” Ask simple questions at first, but get more intense later in the questioning. Try and get them to release their energy — it makes for excellent writing!
It only takes one of the above places to open up some creativity to your writing. Even if it’s out of your comfort zone or if you feel strangers’ eyes on you, take a chance. They don’t need to know what you’re up to, maybe they’ll read about it later in your next article!
Have any unique places to add to this list? Feel free to share a few of your own in the comments section.
It’s time to tell the truth about this post… APRIL FOOLS!
While some of the places listed above could be suitable for the extreme author, we DON’T recommend trying to generate ideas from our list. Some of these are dangerous and would be distracting (and annoying) to the people involved. However, we DO have a few blog posts with REAL tips if you’re looking for great content generation ideas. Check it out!
If you’d like additional help brainstorming and organizing article topics, check out our collection of Article Template Packages!
Thanks for having fun with us. :)