When writers run out of ideas

Here’s some irony for you: I’ve been wondering for days what this week’s blog post should be about, but I kept coming up blank. No ideas.

That was my eureka moment. Writers run out of ideas all the time. Despite public perception, we’re not necessarily a fount of amazing thoughts, of visions brought to life on the page. Sometimes the space between our ears feels pretty useless for generating anything more than our to-do lists.

For freelancers, this isn’t necessarily as big a problem as it may seem. The vast majority of my stories are assigned to me from editors who already have the ideas. They typically know just what they want, and when they lay out the parameters of the topic I can almost always oblige. Happily.

See, here’s my shameful secret: I’m not an ideas person. Rather, I consider myself an excellent tactician, someone who can skillfully execute ideas in a way that pleases both the thinker and the doer. I’d much rather my editors continue feeding me topics, because I feel it’s a better use of my time than mentally fumbling for something that will light up the page.

When some brilliant thought does pop into my head (obviously an intermittent event), I seize the chance to flesh out a story from the ground up.  I get that fire-in-the-belly feeling that comes from creating the idea that creates the piece. It’s an awesome moment.

But the raw fact is, being the doer instead of the thinker works best for me, and luckily it seems to be a win-win for my editors too.

And that’s my big idea for this week’s post.

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About writearounditall

Welcome to Write Around It All. I’m Maureen Salamon, a freelance health & lifestyle writer who was a WAHM before WAHM was part of the vernacular. Four kids later, my days are a crazy cocktail of research, laundry, interviews, carpools, writing, errands and deadlines. I have it all, do it all and appreciate it all — most days. View all posts by writearounditall

8 responses to “When writers run out of ideas

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