Guest Post: “A Freelance Writer is Always Full of Ideas”Posted: March 11, 2009
Today we have a guest post by Sean Platt, a Long Beach, California freelancer and a prolific writer. All of us — new freelancers and veteran writers alike — can profit from Sean’s insights and his wise advice. Sean has two blogs, writerdad, and ghostwriterdad.
A Freelance Writer is Always Full of Ideas
by Sean Platt
The demands of running an online business or blog can be daunting. The writing requirements are easy enough at first, as our passion is inflamed and mental stamina untested. Soon enough our spirits are tested and we hit that invisible retaining wall that every blogger eventually finds themselves colliding against.
What on earth will I write about today? Our dashboard grows suddenly daunting and we wonder if we will ever pull another original thought from inside us. There isn’t any need to worry, for that is a well that has no bottom.
There are no limits to our thoughts, they are as endless as the breath we draw from the air that constantly swirls around us. In the past year, I’ve written the rough draft of a novel, a couple dozen children’s books, a manuscript for a young adult book, a few e-books, more than three hundred articles and archives of emails I could probably only count with a calculator.
At first, these articles were either written for my main site, Writer Dad, or guest posts related in some way. Once I entered the world of freelance, I was game to tap the keys over just about anything. In the last few months I’ve authored articles on everything from Alzheimer’s to zoology.
Do I ever run out of things to say?
No, of course not, but sometimes I find it difficult to stare down the blank page. That first slap of black smeared across the empty is always most difficult. Once I let my mind start to wander, it doesn’t matter if I’m talking green grass or gas grills, I can always settle on a perspective that is truly my own.
No blogger should ever fret for lack of fresh ideas. Running thought to vapor is inherently impossible. Once you hold the basic mechanics of writing, only your ideas need mining. Believe me, like running water you need only turn on the faucet.
When you find yourself deep in an inevitable dearth of good ideas, kick down the temporary wall in front of you. Head outside your blog and breathe the fresh atmosphere of a varied environment. Hop on the phone with a buddy, take a walk around the block; read a book or listen to some tunes. If you feel like staying in, fine, spend fifteen minutes in a favorite forum or tweeting on twitter, but feed your brain as best you can.
Our mind is easily inspired, but we cannot starve it and then expect it to feel fat.
Don’t worry about saying what someone else has said before. Your thoughts will mutate the message into something unique to you. Similar stories have been spread for thousands of years, but it is the voice inside each that makes them worth retelling.
Don’t worry about repeating yourself. We all do it. I’m doing it right now. Deja Vu doesn’t matter, so long as you’re spreading your message in a slightly different way (hopefully better then the last time) to a slightly different audience. Make sure you’re honest, passionate and fully articulate to the best of your ability.
I admit, the only times I find it difficult to fly is when I have next to zero interest in work beyond the paycheck. Even then the solution is simple. When I find myself faced with a subject that does little to light my imagination, I slip in through the back door. A quick Google search will yield a wealth of stories on any given subject. I find one that leaves me inspired, read it, then hit the keys renewed.
Writing is my profession. Like any job, it isn’t always fun. Sometimes it’s necessary to bend my beak to the page and peck away until finished. Even at my most tired, when fear and doubt and worry come to crawl between my ears and worm inside my mind, at least I know a lack of ideas will never suspend my momentum.
Being a writer means my thoughts are always bouncing about with barely any boundaries. Doing it for a living means I need to make sure I grab hold of every one worth writing about.
© 2009 Laverne Daley
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