I have Blog posts to write, I have newsletters to write, I have a list of books to write for myself and for my clients and I have to write all the marketing material to make sure what I write, gets read!
The problem is, when I face that blank piece of paper, or computer screen, my mind goes blank. Duh. I can stare at the screen for an hour, just meditating on whiteness.
I know from talking to hundreds of writers, photographers and artists that I am not the only one with the Blank Page Syndrome!
Over the years I have come up with ways to keep MY idea pipeline full. What works best for ME may not work for you. So though I will give you my technique for fighting the blank page syndrome, I encourage you to come up with and contribute your own ideas and techniques.
My blank page syndrome pops into being when I put myself on the spot. The fact that I have created a deadline somehow leads to the diagnosis, “brain dead.”
When I am not facing a deadline, I have an endless stream of ideas. My clients can’t shut me up. I don’t have enough time to implement all the ideas I have for my blogs and newsletters.
My solution is to capture my ideas when there is no deadline looming. It took me years to develop a system for capturing the ideas in a way that is easy, fast. elegant and ultimately useful given MY working style.
I use an online version of Microsoft OneNote to capture my ideas in the form of notes or lists. I can track my ideas by creating sections and pages. For example, I have a section called Proof Positive Blog if I had an idea for a blog post on “writing compelling Kindle descriptions” … I create a new page in the Proof Positive Blog section. Right now I have over 100 pages … some are just titles, others include short descriptions and a few are more fully developed.
If I have 3 to 5 minutes of spare time, I browse through my lists and add to my ideas. For example I might go back to my “Kindle Descriptions” blog idea and add a list of points I want to cover. I might even write a sentence about one or two of the points.
Since my OneNote is online, it is synced for all my computers. It is also accessible via an app on my smartphone. I generate a lot of ideas while on Vancouver’s Skytrain. I simply use my smartphone to access my OneNote files. The app has been glitchy in the past, but the OneNote team has been working hard on improvements and right now I am thrilled by the usability and accessibility. No matter where I am as long as I have a connection I can upload my ideas. IF I do not have an Internet connection, I simply make a note right on my smartphone and add it to OneNote when I can connect.
I still encounter the Blank Page Syndrome, but now the solution is seconds away … I simply open OneNote and choose from the hundreds of ideas I have stored away. Some of them are just a title, others are in point form and a few are almost completely developed.
I’d love to hear YOUR solution to the Blank Page Syndrome!
the IDEA Queen … 625,689 ideas and counting!