How to generate effective writing ideas

Tip’s and tools I use to make sure I always have writing ideas ready

Sounds simple right?

Just sit down and start writing. As any writer will tell you, if only it were that simple.

Sometimes the word’s flow and other times its a struggle. Having a stash of writing ideas ready to use is no bad thing. Especially when you are struggling to write.

The first thing I do is loosen up by writing creatively which I’ve described in this story:Taking the first steps in PoetryPoetry is another great way to flex your writing muscles. Its also one with few rule’s!

The process of writing creatively with no pressure opens up and loosens the

mind. If you can get rid of the risk of writer’s block before you start then that’s a good first step.

For me, that exercise gets me into the mindset to get my ideas on paper. Something else may work for you.

Once that’s done then I follow these steps:

  • I use a Saturday as my ideas day, which gives me a specific time and day where I focus only on idea creation. It means I have a purpose-built time to focus only on that work. It also gives me a week to think about my writing. That breathing space lets my subconscious get creative.
  • I get my list of ideas out. For this is an A4 legal pad because I like to still write with a pen and paper some of the time. An excel spreadsheet or word document may be an upgrade on this.
  • Normally I’m able to come up with at least 5 of those ideas myself. Once I get through the ideas in my head, I move to social media and look at what’s trending. If I feel I can write about a topic then it goes into the list.
  • I like to try and list out around 10 ideas at a time. If I have more then that’s great, but 10 is the minimum. These can be anything and everything. I never limit myself to the topics I could write about.
  • The next step is to run my idea’s through google. Anything that people are searching for is worth writing about. If it’s only you that’s searching the topic, then chances are it’s not going to be so interesting.

Those are the steps that work well for me. I have been using this system for the last 6 months. It’s given me the tools I need to write consistently and without the pressure to generate ideas out of thin air.

Like anything else writing is a process. Starting with step 1, if there is a consistent process and approach to idea generation. Your chances of success will increase.


The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard

Maybe, Maybe not, but it is at least fancier…

Maybe I’m old fashioned but I love a fountain pen. There is something so functional about their design.

Then there is the way they feel when your writing on the page.

But they are a bit like listening to music on vinyl.

If you’re into it, then its the purest way of indulging yourself and your hobby.

The main issue is it’s a pain to set them up and get going. Then there is the cleaning and the maintenance.

A keyboard is just much easier and quicker. Which is a shame because you don’t get the same feeling.

I used to try to write my first drafts with my beloved pen. It took ages, then I had to type it all out. By the time I had done that it was an hour or so wasted.

Plus I would be editing as I went which was a nightmare. I quickly changed to using the keyboard and haven’t looked back.

I still use my pen for notes and for day to day business. But it’s no longer a writing tool which is a shame.

I’m interested to know if you’re taking the time to read this what your opinion is?

Do you prefer a pen or keyboard?

Please leave a comment I would be interested in your opinion.

I tried Grammarly, here is why you should too

It’s a great tool to learn how to improve your writing

Let’s get this out of the way first. I’m not being paid by nor am I in anyway connected to Grammarly. I simply tried the free version and saw a huge improvement in my writing. Because of that I wanted to share.

Writing tools, they are everywhere. So is the advice on what to use. It can be confusing, there is so much information online.

As someone who started writing online recently. I resisted that advice for a long time.

Why would I want to write in a program where a computer tells you how good your writing is?

It’s a valid question.

There are people who will insist that it’s pointless and won’t help you in the long run. They believe that the computer will take over writing for you.

For the rest of us though, these free to use tools can be invaluable. Many of us who decide to write don’t have a formal education in it. Writing is hard enough without having to worry about structure and grammar all the time.

While we should edit our work without mercy. There is nothing worse than our internal editor showing up to ruin the writing process.

That’s where free writing tools come into their own. You can write in them without distraction. Knowing that when you are finished the software has run through your work. There is a list of tips there that you can action to start the editing process.

This approach works for me, for two reasons:

1. I love a long sentence. These programs train me to keep it short and structured.
2. I struggle with Grammar, if I don’t have help then my writing is hit and miss.

For structure I use another program called Hemmingway which I wrote about here:Trying HemmingwayA game changer for writers?

Once I’m done writing the story and reviewing it in Hemmingway. I move onto Grammarly.

Once that review is done, I move onto Medium and format it there. The last step is that I then read out loud, make any changes, and publish.

How Grammarly helps me in this process is:

– It gives me suggestions to clean up my spelling, grammar, and punctuation
-It gives direction to the clarity of my writing. The direction, the engagement, and the clarity of what’s on the page come from the suggestions provided by the software.

As a free resource (there is a premium option) it’s fantastic. I don’t know of any other resource, that helps me as much in my writing.

Over time, my writing has improved. My understanding of grammar and punctuation has also increased and it’s helped me find my voice.

As a result, I spend less time using these programs to edit, which leaves me more time for writing. The engagement in my writing has increased and as a result, I find myself motivated to write even more.

If you have read the advice about these tools and thought it was all just hype. I would say take another look and spend 5 minutes exploring them.

I think you would be pleasantly surprised at what they have to offer and the lessons we can learn from using them.