We’ve spoken before about generating ideas for blog posts, and how one of the crucial elements in the process for me is capturing an idea when it arrives.
It’s all too easy to come up with an idea (or have an idea spontaneously appear in your mind), think that you’ll remember it next time you sit down to write, then forget it entirely a minute later.
Sometimes you forget not just the idea itself, but even that you had it in the first place!
How many ideas fall by the wayside, never to blossom, because they’re never captured by their creator in that initial state of blooming?
This is why for 20 years plus, I’ve noted down ideas in some way when they arrive, either in a notebook, on a scrap of paper, or as a text draft or note on my phone.
What’s evolved from this habit in recent years is being able to then write the majority of a blog post in my head.
Now I don’t mean I have the ability to perfectly retain a sequence of five or six hundred words in my head.
But if I talk out the words in my mind, I can start to build the structure and content of the post.
Once I have the title (or a working title), I then think about the opening line. Then the main direction I want the post to go, the main point(s) I want to share.
All of this can be talked out (in my head) as if the post is already complete, and I’m reading it back.
By doing this (and repeating it a few times), I can fairly quickly have a new post formulated, without having typed a single word.
Then when I do come to type (which I ensure is soon after, or too much is forgotten), it’s not like writing a new post completely from scratch, with that fear of the blank page many of us have.
It’s now more like recounting a familiar fairy story to a child.
Of course it will never be word for word identical each time.
But the main elements and characters and point will be there. Because this time you’re telling it is not the first time you’ve told it, it’s the third or fifth or fiftieth.
Once the blog post is written, I can return (either immediately or at a later date) to edit, correct any errors, and polish up some of the more bland vocabulary and clumsy grammar, before sharing it with you.
But going through that process of writing the post in my head a few times first, makes it hugely easier when I do put fingers to keyboard.
Do you write blog posts in your head in a similar way? How do you capture ideas for the creative pursuits you’re involved in, so they don’t get lost and forgotten?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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