How To Get 5 New Writing Ideas Every 24 Hours
We all have 24 hours in every day.
And they’re full of writing ideas.
When you get good at spotting them, you can write down 5 per hour — but we’ll start off slow and teach you how to write down 5 new post ideas per day.
First Off, Where Can We Find Good Writing Ideas?
Let me write down a few places.
- Observing strangers
- Interacting with strangers
- Noticing our own thoughts
- Social media posts
- Social media conversations
- The news
There’s one common thread here.
We get our ideas from people.
People we know, don’t know, and ourselves.
We’re a person, right?
And it makes sense that we get our ideas from other people. Who do we write blog posts for? It’s certainly not for that tree in the backyard (although the tree is probably happy you’re writing on a computer and not on paper).
So we can boil down a complex question — where do we get writing ideas? — into something simple.
We get them from people.
Sometimes we might get them from other living creatures too like dogs or cats, but most of our good ideas come from people.
The 15 Minute Exercise That Will Get You 5 New Writing Ideas Every Day
Okay, so now that we know where we get our ideas from, let’s talk about how to systematically write them down every day.
At the end of your day, an hour before you’re about to go to bed, think back on ANY interactions you had with other human beings.
Did you call your parents?
Did you order a coffee at Starbucks?
Did you text your brother?
Did you give some money to somebody on the street?
Think about it.
Try to remember at least 5 interactions you had with other people.
The more emotion involved, the better.
Let’s say I recently had a fight with my significant other. It’s sad, but that’s a goldmine of content ideas with potential life lessons to impart on others.
Let’s give a lighter example, though.
Yesterday I tweeted something asking for help with growing my Twitter account.
I asked for any advice people might have.
One person responded “Why do you want to grow in the first place?”
It stopped me in my tracks and completely reframed my mindset behind growing on Twitter.
It’s a brilliant blog post idea given to me by somebody else. I could tag them, link to their tweet, and write my own interpretation of their question, taking it in a new direction.
It all starts with writing down the 5 most memorable interactions you had with other human beings at the end of your day.
Then you can ask yourself questions like
“What did I learn from this conversation?”
“What shocked me?”
“What did I observe that was interesting?”
Honestly, there’s a better way, though.
Write Down Your Ideas As They Happen
Just outside my apartment there’s a car that’s been parked in the same spot for years.
Sometimes I see homeless people climb into it late at night to sleep, and other times in broad daylight I’ll see them smoking weed outside of it with blank eyes.
It’s a sad scene.
I could write about the harsh realities of Mexico, human depravity, why I don’t help them, what we can do to help these people, etc. I could write about all that stuff if I wanted to.
For now, I open the notes app on my phone and write down this scene that I observed.
Later I’m deep in thought on my balcony ruminating about my life. I think about my time in the Philippines for a moment. I think of all the things I learned since I moved, and all the people I’ll never see again.
I write that down in my notes app on my phone.
My Mom calls me.
She’s upset about my sister not talking to her. I’m upset, too. I write that down in my notes app to talk about the fact that time with family is precious and should be cherished.
That’s three ideas right there. Like a fisherman with a net, I catch these things as they come.
Writing about them will give me some kind of solace, but for now I write them down as they come in my notes app.
You got to get good at this. It takes practice. First, do the end of day exercise to get yourself accustomed to writing down ideas. Then, as you get good at detecting good ideas, write them down as they come in your notes app.
Welcome to my newsletter, 150 days to blogging mastery. This is the fifth of 150 lessons, which we’ll publish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the end of the year. Please subscribe on Substack or here on Medium.
For the next month, we’ll be talking about how to generate great writing ideas.
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