When I first started freelance writing, I was always at a loss for article ideas. I struggled with thinking of things to write about and the ideas were few and far between. From time to time, I would think of something, then forget it before I got the chance to go home and write about it. At one point, Greg bought me a notebook for my purse so I could write things down, and that helped quite a bit. At the encouragement of a couple of friends, I started brainstorming on specific topics, and that seemed to get the juices flowing.
Lately, I've found that ideas are constantly coming to me. I go to the store, drive down the street, go to the dance, go to a horse show, ride my horse...no matter what I do, an idea seems to pop in my head. Sometimes I remember to write it down, and sometimes I don't, but with the abundance of ideas, some of them are bound to stick! The other day, I ran out of summer topics for the Suite101 Summer Sizzles contest. I asked Michy for some ideas, and she gave me some...and through the course of my research came up with several ways to dissect each one or thought of tangents that will keep me going for a while.
I mentioned the contests the other day...having something like that to narrow my focus also helps generate ideas. Now eHow is having a summer home & garden contest--you get $75 if your article is featured on the front page! Now, that's some motivation...I have been pleased with the number of page views and revenue share I've gotten on the piddly number of articles I have there.
So, today's challenge: through the course of your day today, find one thing that inspires an article, whether for a print magazine or an online content site, it doesn't matter as long as it gets you writing. Once you find that one topic, either dissect it into three parts or find two tangents/related topics you can then cover.