Generating Innovative Ideas for Writing

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

There is nothing scarier than staring at a blank piece of paper with a deadline quickly approaching. Whether you're writing a column, article, or essay,repparttar following ten techniques will help you findrepparttar 129465 topic or angle you are looking for. 1.Read

You can read anything ? a newspaper, book, or milk carton. Jumping into an environment that already has lots of ideas in it may lead to new ideas.

2.Surfrepparttar 129466 Web

Start on your favorite site, and follow random links for a few minutes until you come to something strange to you. Reading about something new, unconventional, or out of your comfort zone will get your brain moving.

3.Seek Help From Coworkers

Two heads are better than one. And three heads are better than two. Ask some coworkers if you can bounce ideas off them. As you speak, have them respond with their own ideas. Soon, you will have several working topics to write about.

4.Exercise to Stimulate Your Brain

Sitting in front of your computer in your boring corporate office will drive you nuts. Go for a walk or torepparttar 129467 gym and get moving! The oxygen and adrenaline in your system will stimulate brain and body will inspire you to write.

5.Go Somewhere New

Again, sitting betweenrepparttar 129468 familiar four walls of your office is probably what dried up your ideas inrepparttar 129469 first place. Go to a park, a museum,repparttar 129470 mall, orrepparttar 129471 gym. Being in a different environment will stimulate new ideas.

6.Listen to Music

I don't often recommend listening to music while you're trying to concentrate. However, immersing yourself in sound will allow you to free associate. Let your mind wander off. It may wander intorepparttar 129472 garden of writing ideas.


This is Doug Hall's (author of Jump Start Your Brain) term for an exercise you may have heard of. Put your main idea inrepparttar 129473 middle of a blank sheet of paper. Think of three or four possible topics and branch them offrepparttar 129474 main idea. Allow each "branch" ofrepparttar 129475 "tree" to grow its own branches with related ideas. Soon, you'll have a messy page filled with lots of useful thoughts.

"Business Writing Checklist"

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

You're ready to do it. You've accepted an assignment from your boss, agreed to put together a sales presentation, or were asked to write a report about last week's meeting results. Where do you begin? Before you venture off intorepparttar land of writing for your job, be prepared withrepparttar 129463 items on this checklist.

1. Adjust your attitude. Writing doesn't have to be like drawing blood. In fact, many times in business writing, much ofrepparttar 129464 work is already done for you. Your job may be as simple as rewording or organizing information that you already have.

2. Quiet. No matter how much you like your music or AM radio talk show it is best to work in a quiet spot. Even if you work in a noisy place like a newsroom or a cube farm, reducerepparttar 129465 amount of noise around you so you can concentrate better. Wear earplugs if it helps you!

3. Your thinking cap! Colored markers, pencils, or a large easel pad may help you with brainstorming. Or, you may find it easier to work with a team first to generate ideas and then have one person writerepparttar 129466 first draft. Whatever works for you, make sure your brain is in creative mode, not editing/criticism mode. Creativity comes first; editing and refining later.

4. Eliminate distractions.

Turn offrepparttar 129467 phone, close your office door, and don't check your email every 10 seconds. Have your assistant tell everyone you're in a meeting and you can't see him or her unless they're dying. For at least 1 hour, work with no interruptions.

5. Computer, pen, scratchpad, or other tools you like.

You may prefer writing longhand; it can help you connect with your thoughts and emotions. Or, you may be quicker at typing directly onrepparttar 129468 computer. Either way, don't expect a perfect draftrepparttar 129469 first time. You will be scribbling a lot (or cutting and pasting) at first.

6. Contact names and phone numbers, etc.

Be sure you have handy a list of people you might need to talk with to verify information. For example, if you are writing an article for your company newsletter, you may need quotes fromrepparttar 129470 CEO.

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