5 Ways to Tap into an Endless Wellspring of Creative Content Ideas

5 Ways to Tap into an Endless Wellspring of Creative Content Ideas

And you really, really don’t want to write this $%&# post today. Because the best way to have more ideas is to capture more ideas. When you capture as many ideas as you can on the fly, you’ll find that your brain starts to make more ideas. Option #1: The notebook or bullet journal Some of us just really dig paper and pen. I keep a few index cards tucked into a wallet or bag if I don’t feel like carrying my notebook somewhere. Unlike my bullet journal, it’s very easy to find things again when I need to. The process of making words with ink has a kind of magic in it. You capture them out in the wild, however happens to work for you in that moment, and then you systematically move them to a digital system that allows for immediate — and permanent — access. But the running list of blog post topics should probably get updated to your digital system once a week or so. Creative Foundations interest list Name Email Address Interests I create content for self-expression or a personal project I create content to support my own business I create content as an employee working for a company or an agency I create content as a freelancer None of these really describes me

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We start out with the best of intentions.

We’re going to publish more content. Stick to a schedule. And, of course, make sure all of it is high-quality stuff that people actually want to read.

The first week or two are good … and then …

You fire up your WordPress dashboard. You click to add a post. And you spend more time than you want to admit staring at that depressing expanse of blank white space.

You don’t have an idea. You don’t know how or where to get an idea. And you really, really don’t want to write this $%&# post today.

It sucks — but it rarely happens to folks who write for a living. And that’s because they have a “secret weapon” that you don’t have. But you can get it … today, if you want to.

That “weapon” is a solid, reliable process for capturing content ideas as they float past your head.

Because the best way to have more ideas is to capture more ideas.

When you capture as many ideas as you can on the fly, you’ll find that your brain starts to make more ideas. It’s like there’s a part of your brain (Stephen King talks about the muse in the basement) that has the job of coming up with ideas.

“Hmm, it seems my person is very interested in ideas these days. I’d better start making more of them.”
– The muse in the basement

Some of your ideas will be total garbage. Not a problem. Capture them anyway. A few of the really stupid ideas will turn out to be the seeds of something interesting. And the rest won’t do any harm sitting there in your system.

If you want a fun, creative jumpstart, challenge yourself to write down 10 ideas today. Give yourself permission to include the wildly stupid ones. Do that for a week.

At the end of the week, you’ll have a bunch of okay ideas, a few nutty ones, and a couple of gems.

Do it for a month and you’ll feel a genuine shift in your creative productivity. And it’s easy and fun to capture 10 ideas a day.

Different writers approach this task in different ways, but nearly all professional writers have a trusted system that lets them catch that lightning in a bottle.

Here are some options.

Option #1: The notebook or bullet journal

Some of us just really dig paper and pen.

I use a hardcover bullet journal to keep track of what I need to do, when I need to do it, and the tools or resources I need to get it done. And I keep a running list of ideas for all kinds of content — from lesson ideas for our courses, to blog post ideas, to podcast topics or video ads.

It’s also a great place to doodle, scribble with colored pencils, and use a half-dozen different fountain pens (all running different colored ink).

Some people have gorgeous Instagram-ready bullet journals with fancy headers and beautifully designed “spreads.” I have the other kind. My notebook is ink-splattered, coffee-stained, scribbled, lumpy, and defiantly messy. Just like (in my opinion) a creative journal should be.

A writer’s notebook is like a painter’s sketchbook. It’s a place to hold ideas, develop them, capture new ones, and spark experiments and creative connections. It’s not a place to hold yourself to an unreachable standard of perfection … although if you want to practice your calligraphy in there, go for it.

If you use a physical book to capture content ideas, it’s helpful to have a way to find them quickly again. I use a dedicated color…

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