Infinite Ideas To Write About When You Need Them (Preparation Hack)

Frank Auerbach

“Ideally, one should have more material than one can possibly cope with.” – Frank Auerbach, Born Apr. 19, 1931.

“I can't think of anything to write about.” Some people say that. Baby non-writers do.

Not me.

I am a bottomless wellspring of material.

I didn't used to be. But I endeavored a little to make it so, and it's worth the prep work.

How? You have to keep the warehouse full. So that when you sit to write, you already have something to cover. And to do that, you have to create a stockpile or stream of ideas and inspirations and other mental materials.

Use your smartphones since you have them always at hand, or else have a specific place dedicated to that purpose.

A subject-focused library. A swipe file. A bookmarks folder. A notepad or mind map of hastily jotted idea scraps.

I keep all these things. My office has piles of books and magazines. I could open to a page at random and write about that.

My iPad has hundreds of photos of old advertisements. I could write about any of those.

My inbox has thousands of marketing emails ranging from retail goods to televangelist donation requests. I can pick one at random and write about that.

My feed on Facebook is tweaked to constantly deliver articles of particular interest to me. I can (and often do) write about something I found there.

And it's all topical and relevant. Waiting for me to comment on. I have the opposite problem of never having a good idea to write about. I squander a dozen ideas per hour that I will never ever get to.

It's a way better problem to have.

So… Solve this problem for yourself right now and you'll never deal with it again. Start stockpiling. Start setting up streams.

Maybe your new struggle can be writing something good, or writing something consistently.

But it should never be that you can't think of something to write about. Not anymore.

2 thoughts on “Infinite Ideas To Write About When You Need Them (Preparation Hack)”


    to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
    to use (another's production) without crediting the source
    to commit literary theft
    to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

    Is this how you get ideas?

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