We all at some time find ourselves stuck for idea’s when writing. Sometimes it lasts a few days, sometimes it seems to last forever. Here’s my two penneth!
What do you do when you your idea’s for articles have dried up? I think unless you are very special, this happens to everyone of us at some time! This has been happening to me just lately. It sometimes helps to grab a pen and note book, and head out doors. It’s amazing how just being out and about clears your mind, but also by what’s happening round us, can inspire an article.
Another way of course is to read, books and newspapers, and watch T.V. There are even websites that have special scripts where by just clicking on buttons, it generates random sentences. It might sound like a crazy idea, but it sometimes works. There are software programs that will do the same thing, one that comes to mind is ‘Write Sparks’. You can even download a ‘lite ‘version for free. Like I said you can’t beat the old pen and paper though.
I do now and then use a method I used at work called ‘Mind-Mapping’ you may have heard of it, it’s not new, it’s been around for thirty years now. This again can be done with a pen and paper, but there are also commercial software programs available, and at least one, to my knowledge that is freeware (freemind is a free, Java application. I have tried it on Windows and Linux, and it runs fine). Mind-Mapping is just getting your thoughts down in some sort of order. Basically you start off in the centre and add branches, these branches have sub branches and so on. If it’s software you can even have pictures and icons fastened to the branches and you can have hyper-links as well. At work I used this method for planning a project I would be in charge of. Because it was maintenance related, one side of the map would be geared towards safety aspects, and the other side leaning towards the job in hand, and people. Mind-Mapping can be used for anything you can think of, try it! or take a look on the web at an on line version at thinkature.com , and gliphy.com , both of these work from your browser on-line. Below is just an example; I used a program called ‘view your mind’ it’s a free program that runs on any Linux Desktop.
When I am really stuck I use an idea taken from an interview with David Bowie I once watched. In the interview he was asked how he came up with some of his fantastic lyrics? He said he gets some magazines and cuts words up lots of words! He then scatters them onto the table and re-arranges them, to see what it comes up with. It might take time, but it works for him.