Vision: A Resource for Writers

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How to Become an Idea Factory

By Patricia Fry
Copyright © 2009 by Patricia Fry, All Rights Reserved


What do writers and bloggers need more than practically anything else?

Ideas!

Sometimes ideas flow nonstop—in fact, faster than we can use them. And other times we struggle and squirm trying to generate an idea for an article, story or blog post. I’ve written often about ideas and how to come up with them. But this article goes beyond the techniques for locating and creating ideas to write about. Instead, I want to attempt a more amazing fete. I hope to instill in you the skill and the habit of thinking outside of your self-imposed boundaries when it comes to generating ideas.

A client told me just last week, “I’m not good at coming up with ideas. I need someone to give me the idea and then I can write about it.”

Of course, that’s not the way it works when you’re trying to establish a freelance writing business or you want to write articles to promote your book. Magazine, newsletter and ezine editors need you to present your ideas to them. Rarely, do they give you the ideas to write about.

So what does it take to become an idea factory? What attributes, skills, habits, talents do idea people have in common? 

·         They have the ability to explore beyond any self-imposed boundaries.

·         They are curious and have a strong desire to learn.

·         They value the ideas they come up and will note them when those ideas arrive. How many times have you thought of a good idea, neglected to write it down and promptly forgot it before you could use it?

·         They acknowledge all of their ideas even those that might be off the wall, seem like too much work to implement or that might be unpopular with others. They may not use the idea, but they acknowledge it because they know that good ideas sometimes come from a whole list of bad ones—as in brainstorming.

·         They look ahead at what might be. They focus on possibilities instead of always looking only at what is. If we act on only those ideas that make sense to us in the here and now, just imagine how bland our lives, businesses and relationships might be.

·         They have confidence in their ideas. Recall one of the grandest, most successful ideas you ever came up with. How did you come up with it? How did you use it? Remember the accolades, praise, pay bonus, award you received for that idea. Or simply remember how you felt when the idea that you generated resulted in success. If you have a picture of the result, post it near your work station or on your refrigerator. If not, write a list of the compliments you received from others about your idea or write all of the ways your idea has helped others. Post this where you can see it every day to remind yourself that you CAN come up with good ideas.

·         They are not afraid to share their ideas. Keeping ideas inside and not utilizing them tends to negate the ideas before they are ever tried. When you share an idea and get validation, or not, that idea becomes more real. By vocalizing or documenting it, you’ve given it life and meaning. Now, if it is, indeed, a good one, or it could become an excellent one with a tad of tweaking, at least it has a chance. Keep it inside so it can’t experience the light of day and it may expire and end up in your graveyard of never tried, abandoned ideas.

How can you become an idea factory? Give these 7 attributes of idea people some thought and start applying some of them to yourself. Afford yourself more credit when it comes to generating useful and unique ideas. Try some of your ideas on for size and see what happens.

Patricia Fry is the author of hundreds of articles on a variety of topics. She is the author of 29 books, including “The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book.” And she is the president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) www.spawn.org. Learn more about Patricia and her work and services at at: www.matiijapress.com. Visit her informative blog often: www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.