Braindumping – Unlimited Fresh Ideas

by Firefalls on April 2, 2011

I find it much easier to plan my future writing when I have a massive list of potential ideas to draw from. This is where braindumping comes in. I’m going to give you a peek into my routine and hopefully you can assimilate it into your life to help you become more productive.

Let me give you a little background in case you’re wondering whether this can work for you. Currently, I work full time at my regular job; self employment is a goal I’m working towards but I’m not quite there yet. So I know this method works, because between my commute and actual work I’m spending at least 60 hours a week NOT working on writing or any of my own businesses responsibilities.

Ok back to the process. Working in a niche allows you to remain focused on a narrow selection of topics. This is both good and bad. Let me explain. On one hand working in a narrow topic limits the things to write about, so you may be tempted to write about something outside of your niche but you know you shouldn’t or you run the risk of becoming too general. (When your topics are so broad readers might have a harder time identifying with you.)

The good thing is that you know exactly what topics to write about, because your niche warrants it. But the bad thing is if you’re focusing on a narrow niche you may not always have a great idea to write about. This is a problem. You’re inspired to actually write something but you don’t have any concrete ideas about what to write about.

This is where I use Braindumping (the Brainstorming / Capture Method.)

Braindumping

Braindumping - Capture all of your ideas

On the weekends I like sit with a cup of coffee and dump every idea I can possibly imagine out and write those ideas on paper. I may come up with dozens of new ideas or just a few; it really fluctuates from week to week. After I perform a brain dump and write down everything I can think of, I look at the paper and try to formulate what would work for a good blog post (or whatever project I’m focusing on). It may be a combination of a few ideas or a single thought but I list out all the best ideas into small 3 x 5” notebook. (Nothing fancy, I buy a 5 pack for a couple bucks)

That is MY weekend regimen. It works with MY schedule. Don’t think you have to this only on the weekends because that is what I do, that’s just what works for me. You may sit each morning and brainstorm a few good ideas (just remember to write them down !!)

Writing ideas down is so important. I tend to forget things a few hours after I think of or hear something, once I go to work and start my day, all sorts of things can up and we tend to forget things. That’s why I use a small 3 x 5” notebook because I can always carry it with me. It’s in my car or in my pocket or on my desk, it’s always with me. The point is that you’ll never know when a good ideas pops into your head, but you need a system to capture it.

Now when I’m inspired to write I pull out my notebook and there lies a list with dozens of ideas to write about.

The other great thing about writing ideas down is that they become real. What I mean by that is after writing an idea down your brain sees the idea and by “seeing” the idea I mean (and you’ll never know when this will happen) the idea that your brain watched you write down percolates for hours and your mind will start to forulate the whole storyabout that particular idea that you wrote down. So by the time you sit down to write, your story has already been told in your brain, now all you have do is type it out.

So have a go at braindumping with a small notebook for at least month and see how much more productive and focused you become. I use this approach for everything, from writing blog posts to outlining and writing products and/or complete scenes for a novel.

Let me know how this process helps you or any suggestions you have to make this process even better.

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