How To Get Blogging Ideas When You Are StuckPosted by Mert Erkal on Apr 21, 2008 in Blog, Personal Development | 16 comments
(Did you know that 21st of April is celebrated as World Creativity and Innovation Day (CID) since 2001? Below post has been written to celebrate all bloggers Creativity and Innovation Day!)
“Imagination is better than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, but imagination embraces the world.” – Albert Einstein
Have you ever considered why some bloggers are more creative than others? How can a few bloggers lead millions of others ? Is it because they are lucky or too smart?
According to Italian economist Pareto, all the world could be divided into two main types of people. These are the speculator and the rentier. The distinguishing character of speculators, according to him, is that they are constantly preoccupied with the possibilities of new combinations.
When it comes to blogging, the blogosphere could also be divided into two main types of bloggers. These are the top bloggers (or the Trend Setters) and the imitators.
Now, the question is, what type of a blogger you are?
Can You Become a Trend Setter Blogger?
If you know how to produce ideas, why not? For the last couple of years I read many books related to idea generation and creativity. I usually apply the common idea generation principles to my blogging. Am I a Trend Setter blogger? Not yet, but I know what it takes to be: Innovation and creativity.
To be creative and innovative, you need to change your mindset first. You should believe that you can produce unique ideas. The good thing is you don’t need to be genius to do this. All you need is to apply some certain techniques. I will give you a simple technique later. Let’s start with the basics first.
What Exactly Is an Idea?
- An idea in Greek is an image existing or formed in the mind.
- Idea is the Bee Gees’ third album on the ATCO label, released in August, 1968
- Idea is a genus of butterflies known as Tree nymphs or Paper butterflies
- Improvement and Development Agency
- International Data Encryption Algorithm
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The list goes on like that. Actually an idea is nothing more than a new combination of old elements. Ideas are new combinations. Similar to producing cars on an assembly line, you can combine your old ideas and produce a brand new idea. (Assuming you have at least a few ideas!)
What is Innovation?
According to Wikipedia, “Innovation” encompasses the entire process, from idea to implementation, of the lard factor for the development of new products, services, methods, management practices and policies. The word “innovation” is often used as synonymous with the outcome of the process, but should not be confused with “invention.”
“It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start” – John Cage, the most innovative composer of 20th century
John Cage was trying to say that there is no perfect beginning; it is only after you start that you can evaluate and build on what you’ve done, shift directions, or start over with the insight and perspective you’ve gained in the process. Innovation is best compared to exploration, you can’t find something new if you limit your travels to places others have already discovered. Don’t limit yourself!
Most of the people believe in”Eureka!” moments when innovation is concerned. Most probably they are affected by the popular tales like Newton’s discovery of the gravity force with a falling apple. However they don’t know that Newton dedicated his entire life on these kinds of discoveries. It wasn’t a sudden discovery. It was the result of dedication and hard working for years.
My laptop’s keyboard I’m typing on now is the result of many ideas and innovations. It is a combination of typewriter, electricity, written language, operating systems, microprocessors, and binary data. It took 40 years of innovation to develop the Internet. Rome wasn’t built in one day either!
How Innovation Starts?
- Hard work in a specific direction (dedicated people who work hard to solve a well-defined problem)
- Hard work with direction change (unexpected opportunities emerges during the innovation process)
- Curiosity (bright minds following their personal interests)
- Wealth and money (most innovations are driven by the quest for money)
- Necessity (individuals who are in need of something they couldn’t find)
- Combination of above
A Simple Technique To Produce Workable Ideas
By applying this simple technique to your everyday blogging you will not only be more creative, but also see the relations between blogging concepts, and generate more new ideas:
1) First of all define your problem very well: In our case being more productive and creative is the problem
2) Collect raw materials related to this problem: search blog posts related to the problem through blogsearch.google.com, read as many books as possible, listen podcasts & online radios, fill your brain with suggested recommended resources at the end of this post.
3) Start digesting the raw materials: If you filled your brain enough during stage 2, you will notice that new ideas will pop up. Note them even if they seem crazy at the very beginning.
4) Now, leave the problem, do something different. Do what drives your imagination. Listen to music, go to a cinema or theatre, read detective stories. Whatever you do, don’t even think a second about the problem. Your subconscious mind will do that behind the scene, don’t worry!
5) New ideas will be generated when your mind is free and comfortable.
6) At this stage test your ideas whether they are workable in the real life.
Recommended Raw Material Resources on Creativity and Innovation
These are good food for thought for every blogger. Your brain is a nothing more than a muscle. The more you push your brain, the better results you will get from it. Have a curious mindset, be a voracious reader, in the end you will see the benefits.
- Books (these are from my own personal library)
In Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot, eminent neuropsychiatrist and best-selling author Richard Restak, M.D., combines the latest research in neurology and psychology to show us how to get our brain up to speed for managing every aspect of our busy lives.
Each hack examines specific operations of the brain. By seeing how the brain responds, you’ll learn more about how the brain is put together.
Literally “Tools of Overclocking Your Brain”
A great book about innovation by Scott Berkun
An easy to read, entertaining guide to idea generation
An applicable technique for producing ideas by James Webb Young
- Blogs & Websites on Creativity & Innovation (I regularly follow)
The latest scientific research and successful management strategies
Title: Ideas come to life at MARS
A great article by Scott Berkun
Stephen Shapiro is changing the rules of Innovation and Creativity
A brilliant post on idea generation by Design Interval
Checking random Wikipedia articles will spark new idea generation
Open Learn provides free higher education for everyone
MIT Open Courseware
A Web site for students and educators in business studies, economics, accounting, leisure, sport & recreation and travel & tourism.
Some related reading:
- Project Management & The Benefit Of Creativity & Innovation
- Online BrainstormingTool: Generate Fresh Ideas With The “Big Dig” Idea Sandbox
- Creativity makes a difference
- How to stifle your creativity in 10 easy steps
- Brainstorming & Creative Thinking: 10 Key Skills for Session Facilitators
- Becoming Creative: 6 Easy Steps Toward Becoming Creative
- Three Easy Ways to Expand Your Creativity
Join this Facebook group to celebrate CID
- Podcasts & Videos on Creativity & Innovation (I regularly follow)
Podcast about 5 things you can do today for creativity and innovation
The GTA Leonardo da Vinci Awards 2007 video, for inspiration on how businesses and organizations are encouraging innovation and creativity:
I hope my post will inspire you to be more creative and innovative. If you have any resources to share with me and with my fellow readers, please share them by writing to Search For Blogging Forum (under Discussion)