Writing Tasks That Aren’t Writing

Writers Write; Except When They Don’t

Darryl Brooks
Feb 23 · 5 min read

Go Through My Old Stuff

This is one I learned from my photography. I have been shooting longer than I have been writing. And instead of hundreds, perhaps thousands of articles, I have tens of thousands of photographs. It’s the same with writing, I try to keep my pipeline full. This means plenty of fresh images yet to be processed.

Go Through Your Old Stuff

Well, maybe not yours, but everybody’s. I go to all of my writing and reading sites and scroll through all the articles. I pause on each one for just a few seconds. What pops out at me? A new idea? A different take on their piece. Or sometimes, something totally unrelated pops out.

Stream of Consciousness

Sometimes, I just open up a blank page and stare at it. I look around my office. I stare out the window. I daydream. How many jobs let you daydream for a living? As my eyes and mind wander, things start popping into my head. Random thoughts out of nowhere. I type each one down as it appears. Not thinking about what I can do with it. Just let it flow.

Wikipedia

Come on, admit it. We all use this crowdsourced knowledge base for research, vetted or not. But you can also use it for ideas. Did you know there is a random page generator? It’s on the menu. Just click it, and it will take you somewhere. 90% of the time, it is crap, but the other 10% you can strike gold. Or at least learn something new.

Unsplash

Or Pexels or whatever stock image site you use. I am also a stock photographer and have my images on a dozen other sites, so I have more resources, but I still like Unsplash. It has excellent lifestyle images, and I love to scroll through it. Most of the time, I am looking for my header image. That special shot that will draw potential readers’ eyes to my article.

GoodReads

Goodreads is a great resource for books. I have kept my reading list there for years. But it is also a great place for research. Just browse the titles and see what pops just like on Unsplash. They also have several quotes sections where you can browse famous quotes from books. If one of these inspires me, I will usually use it in the article.

Other Stuff

Besides generating ideas, I will spend a few hours a week researching and browsing tools for writers. I check on the current and new grammar and spelling checkers to see if there is something I like better than Grammarly. I will look at the various headline evaluation tools to see if they work well and for free. I think those are moderately useful, but I’m not willing to pay for that service. I also spend some time studying SEO techniques.

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Darryl Brooks

Written by

Photographer & Writer-I shoot what I see-I write what I feel. Top writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, Productivity, Self Improvement, Business, Life Lessons

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

Darryl Brooks

Written by

Photographer & Writer-I shoot what I see-I write what I feel. Top writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, Productivity, Self Improvement, Business, Life Lessons

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

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