A lot of people want to know where I get ideas for my newsletter and how I’m able to write something half-way intelligent every weekday without fail.
They think its alchemy. An amalgam of pixie dust, good looks, and a lot of luck.
Not at all. I’ve simply trained my mind to produce a steady stream of ideas.
How? By a daily dose of reading and watching videos and taking notes.
A good percentage of what I write comes from reflecting on what others have written or said and putting my own take on it. Someone else thought it was an idea worth writing about and that’s often good enough for me.
But sometimes, often, actually, I start with something much simpler.
I’ll see a quote I like, hear an interesting statistic or fact, or, as I did yesterday, I’ll start by asking a question.
Yesterday, I asked myself, “Is it okay to tell a client you don’t know?”
Just a question. No article to play off of, no notes, no stories, no questions from subscribers, nada. And no idea what I would say or even what I thought about the subject.
I had the question in front of me. Other than that, I was naked.
Sometimes, I realize I have nothing to say about the subject and the idea goes back into the idea pile. And sometimes, a simple question is enough to ignite the kindling and before I can say Jumpin’ Jehosafats, I’ve written hundreds of words.
After I wrote down the question, I thought that admitting you don’t know tells a client you’re honest, not trying to fake things. It shows respect for the client. And I asked myself, “What if you should know the answer?” and “Doesn’t it make you look weak if you admit you don’t know?”
I had a place to start.
Naturally, I thought about how we tell clients not to guess, that unless they’re sure of their answer they should say they don’t know or don’t remember, and I had my lead.
The rest kind of wrote itself.
Because I basically asked and answered a few simple questions, put my fingers on the keyboard, and let my thoughts spill out of my head and onto the page.
If you’re not writing as often as you’d like to, this same “seat of the britches” method might work for you, too.
Try it. Write down a question that pops into your head, or a question a client asked you recently, or a quote or story or idea that catches your attention. Something you’re curious about and think other people might be, too.
Write it down, play with it on paper, and see where it takes you.
Imagine you’re writing to your mom, a good client, or a friend. Someone who will listen to you merely because its you. Say what you think about the subject or what you’d like to know.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you have to say.
If nothing happens, if your brain just won’t cooperate, let it go and try something else tomorrow.
Before you know it, you’ll be writing a post about where you get so many ideas and how you’re able to write so often.
How to get more writing ideas than you can shake a stick at here