Writing is Easy.
Ideas are Hard.

Writing is Easy.
Ideas are Hard.

It could be writing a post for your company’s blog. A brochure or content for a website. Or even a 140-character outburst on the Internet. You always have to start with a thought. An idea. And that’s the hardest part of writing.

Putting two words in front of the other, then a third? That’s the easy part. Making sentences and paragraphs? Sure, it’s often slow work, but once you get rolling, it’s a piece of cake.

Now, making things perfect – editing, rewriting and rewriting again – is a bit harder. (And perhaps the subject of a future blog post.)

But when it comes right down to it, coming up with the idea in the first place is the hardest part of all. (Unless you want to count having the courage to pursue it…thanks, Jazzy.)

Here are some tips to shift your perspective and get your word juices flowing.

Think outside the box.
Sure, it’s an old cliché, especially in the ad biz. But let’s be literal for a second. What kind of breakthrough prose are you going to create sitting in your cubicle? Go somewhere else to think. Watch people. Watch the world. Try to imagine what it’s like to be somewhere, and even someone, else.

Do the opposite.
Are you strictly business? Hang out with the artists or engineers for a bit. Are you a designer? Try reading or writing. A writer? Draw something or take a picture. A loafer? Run. A runner? Loaf. Just do something different – and enjoy the new perspective.

Ask a question.
What’s keeping you up at night? Find the answer. Don’t settle for yes or no answers. Always be looking for more information in more places. Your questions don’t even have to relate to your project at hand. Just get used to being inquisitive. The more you know, the more ideas you’ll have to explore in your writing.

Use different words.
Ah, yes. It seems so obvious. Use words to write. But which words? Your standard go-to words could be holding you back. Use words your audience or customers might say in everyday conversation. Write like you’re talking to a friend or family member. To put it another way, don’t start by using keywords – think in real words.


Rich Heend

Rich Heend

Rich Heend is a senior copywriter for Atomicdust, helping us develop engaging websites, print materials and, as you can see, the occasional blog post. Basically, he reads and rights writes for us. (Oh, and he edits too.)

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