Does your light bulb fail to spark some ideas every now and then? Well, mine certainly has as of late.
Ideas are few and far between nowadays, and as the blogosphere continues to grow, the value of a great idea increases. Right now, there is far too much rehashing of previously created content, and it seems like we are in a vicious loop of content recycling.
Fortunately, people still seem to find new content, but many of the blogs I subscribe to are getting dull. I’d prefer to have someone spend a few days writing original content instead of writing about the same old ideas with new words published on a daily basis.
There are new ideas out there still waiting to be explored, and fortunately, there are many ways to come up with new ideas, but will it be enough?
The Creative Ways
Biographies and autobiographies are great ways to learn more about inspirational people. From Randy Pausch to Steve Jobs, the accounts of people’s lives really can serve up plentiful amounts of information, ideas, and motivation.
Listen To A Variety of Music
Some prefer the calm classical sounds of way back when, but others might be up for the breakbeats and bass of today—regardless, stimulating the creative juices with some sound never hurt. Pandora and Last.fm are two great services to check out.
Express Yourself Another Way
Paint a picture, master a track, sing a hit, or shoot a film. Sometimes it is through the work of other things that help you remain focused with the task at hand. As such, I believe that being creative in general is a great way to keep the mind full of ideas.
The Old Fashioned Ways
Visit A Library
A library is an impressive source of knowledge and ideas. Not enough great things can be said about libraries, and you should not take them for granted. Also, be happy if you have a giant library around—there are bathrooms that are larger than my local library.
Interviewing someone in your niche is a great way to be inspired. Ideas generally follow after inspiration arrives. The interview itself could serve as a way to be inspired and a source of content. For example, check out my interview with David Peralty of PicApp.
The New Ways
Study the Wikipedia
If you can’t find it on Wikipedia, you probably can’t find it at all. This site is probably the most valued and, ironically enough, under-appreciated on the world wide web. It is a scholar’s best friend, and if you are interested in gaining knowledge, it is the first site I would suggest.
Social bookmarking and link sharing services have almost guaranteed that any amazing content on the web will be discovered by thousands of people. Delicious is probably the best example as everyone knows about it, but other services like StumbleUpon and Twine really have opened up new dimensions to finding great content.
Twine, a service I recently discovered, allows people to join “Twines” (groups) that allow users to add relevant links. For example, I have joined the “blogging” Twine, and, as you can imagine, people have been adding impressive articles related to blogging which I have been able to read. If you’d like an invite to Twine, leave a request in the comments section.
The Obvious Ways
Have Some Fun
Sometimes, regardless of whether people admit it or not, it is just time to take a break from it all to get a new perspective on everything. A vacation or short break is just what the idea bin needs. But before you take a break, be sure to have content stored up so that your readers have something to think about while you are gone.
Read A Book or Magazine
There is nothing quite like taking a break from the computer screen to read a magazine that peaks your interest. I am generally a fan of non-fiction material, and I love to read books and magazines which fulfill my need for knowledge. After reading a great article, it can be the gate to one idea which will spawn dozens more.
Forums act as hubs for discussions about similar topics, and the great thing is that you are not limited by who can provide input to your questions, suggestions, and ideas. You should consider joining forums which discuss topics you enjoy so that you can bounce ideas back and forth.
Just Do It
There comes a time when the only way you will manage to get ideas is by developing your existing ideas. It might not be the most exciting way of having that new idea come to mind, but it does tend to work. No pain, no gain, right?
One of the aforementioned methods should work for for most of you, but if there is something I missed, and I am sure I did, I would love to know about it. Leave a comment, and tell everyone what you do to help come up with those great ideas. I’m sure we would all appreciate it.