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Writing Help from a Freelance Writer

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Every writer needs writing help at some point, whether it be for ideas, grammatically, inspiration, etc. This article will deal with how to become inspired and how to create new ideas and fresh perspectives from everyday life. As a freelance writer for a major newspaper and a blogger I need to constantly be coming up with 4-6 new article ideas each week. Over the years I have learned many ways to ensure I will be inspired enough to get my creative juices rolling, and I would like to share these ideas with you.

One of the things I have learned over the years is that in order to become inspired, you need to step outside of your routine and/or your comfort zone. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Visit the bookstore and bring a small notepad and pencil. Begin in a section that has nothing to do with what you write about. This could be the children's section or science fiction. Stretch your mind by perusing several books that catch your eye. Check out the beginning of the store with all of the new books and authors; get yourself in touch with what people are publishing today, and what the hot topics are. Then visit the section of the bookstore that has to do with your subject matter.
  • Do a subject area search on Amazon.com or at a bookstore, and read the titles of books in your industry. This is sure to get your juices rolling.
  • Pick a few random words out of the dictionary, and write them on a whiteboard or blank sheet of paper (one per page). Free Associate with these words: whatever enters your mind first, write it down. Then write the next thought down, and the next thought, and keep going until you have no idea how you got to that point. It is important to be non-judgmental when doing this activity, and to literally write down wherever your mind takes you.
  • Search for any new white papers or studies in your area of writing. What are the trends? What did the author leave out? Is there an area in the article that was out of the scope for that article, but that could branch off and become an article on its own?
  • Websites that spit out random writing prompts are useful to stretch your mind and creativity.
  • Visit an art museum, a place that has nothing to do with words but tells a story visually alone. Make sure to bring a notepad and pen for when your ideas and associations come flying out.
  • Read the blogs and articles of your colleagues and other people in the area you want to write. You will undoubtedly come up with a few ideas.
  • Write somewhere out of your routine. If you typically write at home, go to a coffee shop, a library, the park, or in a different room. Change the angle of your desk or location so that you have a different view. Change the time of day that you normally write from morning to the nighttime, or vice versa.
  • Keep a pad of paper and a pencil with you at all times, even while going to the movies or watching television. You'll be amazed at the thoughts and ideas that you have while watching other things.
  • State a problem outloud, and wait for your subconscious to come up with a solution. For instance, if you don't know what to write next, or where to go in your story next, state that outloud. Your new idea could come at anytime, like in the shower, or even in your dreams (I always sleep with a pad of paper next to my bed).
  • Go to an author's reading, or a lecture.
  • Sign up for a writer's group.
  • Travel.
  • Exercise.
  • Experiment in your life, and write about your experiments. Decide to use only coupons for a month and write about this experience. Decide to live like a hermit for six months and write some articles about this. The sky is the limit, and the more creative, the more passionate you will be about it and the more interesting it will be to others.



Oct 30, 2010 6:34pm
Great article. I love all the "off the beaten path" ideas that work well after one feels they have exhausted what they already know.
Nov 27, 2010 9:55am
Love all these tips, well done!
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