1. Keep a notebook. It's almost stupidly obvious, but noting an idea as soon as possible is absolutely necessary. Many of us are forgetful creatures, and it's often the case I'm doing something completely unrelated when a random idea pops into my head. I carry my notebook almost everywhere, even when I go to the convenience store or out grocery shopping. I also make a habit of writing what I was doing at the time, just in case.
2. Engage the medium. Another staple of these lists, but important to state nonetheless. Read other blogs, get involved in commenting, don't neglect smaller blogs, etc. Having a dedicated night focusing on rifling through news stories isn't a terrible idea either. Usually, since Sunday is always the laziest day, I take advantage and do lots of reading. Sunday night, if I haven't collected ten possible topics or more, I've failed and must make the total for the following Sunday. With this process, some ideas won't translate into a great post. However, doing so lets us find the topics we're most comfortable tackling and the process steadily becomes easier.
3. Multitasking. Definitely not recommended for everyone. Handling multiple tasks at once allows us to be efficient, and when working productively we're bound to have productive ideas. It's the chain reaction mentality. For example, yesterday I was working on my first-year anniversary post while watching some crime drama on TV. The premise reminded me of Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain, the basis of tomorrow's Silverblade Sunday.
4. Being spontaneous. This definitely doesn't work for everyone. Some writers have a religious process before any words hit paper or fingers hit keyboard, and others are talented enough to write anytime. Spontaneity is simple: describe the first mental image seen in extreme detail to the best of one's knowledge. Personally, I'm always skeptical of attempting this because I prefer to write levelheaded, not after a long day of headaches. But being spontaneous can also mean ranting on a bothersome issue experienced throughout the day, a rude coworker for instance. Writing spontaneously needs to be a daily exercise to reach maximum effectiveness. It becomes routine, providing focus and pinpoint mental accuracy when identifying a prominent issue to tackle.
5. Play games! Though similar to point two, the most productive method is to actually experience the medium. Feelings, reactions, character animations; anything that seems important will resonate. While I play, my notebook is never far from my controller. See a hilarious glitch? Approach it like a story. Overwhelmed by quests? Detail the stress (or the joy) of deciding which ones to complete first. Lots of stories are still to be written, so go explore!
I repeat: these tactics work tremendously for me. Especially after a year of blogging, I've almost perfected what topics relate most to my readers. I'll continue to utilize these as best I can. Jeff out.
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