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How to Write a Great Hub: Generating Article Ideas
“Your most brilliant ideas come in a flash, but the flash comes only after a lot of hard work. Nobody gets a big idea when he is not relaxed, and nobody gets a big idea when he is relaxed all the time.” Edward Blakeslee
I Have No Idea!
A few days ago, I happened to come across a couple of posts from new hubbers who said they didn’t know what to write about. New members of Toastmasters are often at a loss of what to speak about as well when faced with having to write speeches.
I am rarely at a loss for article or Hub ideas. Rather, my problem is a lack of time to write all I want (or need) to write, here on Hub Pages or elsewhere.
So where do ideas come from?
Our creative juices flow best when we don’t try so hard. You know how it is when you are desperately trying to remember where you placed an important paper? Finally you decide it’s hopelessly lost and give up. You’re busy doing other tasks when suddenly it pops into your head and – “Aha! So that’s where I put it!”
By letting go, unclenching the brain so to speak, you relax enough to let the info come to the forefront of your memory.
So relax, open your mind and let the ideas flow. But if you do need some help generating some ideas, try one of these methods:
Keep a notebook – at your desk, in your car, in your pocket or purse. Get in the habit of jotting down ideas as they come to you. If you catch yourself beginning to wonder about something going on around you, take it as an opportunity to explore it as a hub idea. Irritated by someone in a restaurant who continually takes calls or texts and ignores the people around him or her? How about a hub on cell phone etiquette? The more often you recognize an idea when it comes to you, the more frequently they will come.
Brainstorm -- Without editing or censoring yourself, quickly write for 5 minutes, making a list of topics you could write about. Think about your family, your job, your goals, your childhood, the people you know.... All of these are sources for hub ideas. Now look at the list again. Can you use one of those on your list as a springboard for others? Try combining some into a “Top 10” list or “5 things I regret” list.
Zero in -- Let’s say you love cars and have decided that will be your niche. That’s a very broad topic so you need to find some subtopics. Since this is a subject you probably already know a lot about, start listing everything about cars that you can think of: American’s love affair with automobiles, fuel economy cars, car styles through the years, car ads (effective, funny, best), foreign cars, the most dangerous and safest cars, etc.
Phil Plasma wrote three hubs about generating ideas. Read them – it’s a great series with lots of tips for finding ideas.
My dad was a very creative person in an off-the-wall kind of way (and my younger son is like him). Years ago, my dad had a book called, “A whack on the side of the head: How you can be more creative” by Roger von Oech. He says there are two reasons to be creative. First, what worked a couple years ago may not work today so we need to find new solutions, new answer and new ideas. Second, because it’s fun.
He continues, “Ideas, like organisms, have a life cycle. They are born, they develop, they reach maturity, and they die. So we need a way to generate new ideas.”
The book has been lost but when my sister and I were cleaning out my dad’s home after he passed away, we found a companion deck of cards, “The Creative Whack Pack.”
The pack has 64 cards divided into four groups of different colors: blue, red, orange and green. Each group of 16 cards features different strategies that prompt us to look at the world with new eyes. The blue group – the Explorer – is for discovering resources you’ll use to create new ideas. Other cards provide techniques to generate ideas or give decision-making advice.
I’ll conclude this hub with some wisdom from Oech’s card #50:
“If you think you are creative, you’ll act that way – and vice versa. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. As you think, so you are.”
Read more in my series for new Hubbers:
- How to Write a Great Hub: Generating Article Ideas
Our creative juices flow best when we don't try so hard. But when you need a little bit of prompting, try these tips for generating article ideas.
- How to Write a Great Hub: Lay a Foundation with Excellent Content
Quality content brings in traffic to your hubs. Here are some tips to finding the right title for your hub and how to use the text capsule.
- How to Write a Great Hub: Adding Visual Interest
Add visual interest to any hub or article by inserting photos, uploading videos or creating a sidebar.
- How to Write a Great Hub: Five Ways to Enhance Your Content
Polls, maps, videos, graphs and tables add a little extra to your hub and keep readers engaged.