There is an abundance of topics everywhere, on the internet, in books and even movies, in our daily coversations, and in our heads. You will never have a lack of topics to cover, but you can be prolific from just one single topic.
Check it out, every article is a single idea and there's an infinite number of ideas in a single topic.
Not just that, you can write an idea in every article or you can write an aspect of the same idea in every other article. As long as your message is clear, the rest is a walk in the breeze. Don’t strive to be perfect cause you’re looking for quantity and consistency, over the perfect article that you believe will change the course of history. Rome wasn’t build in a day, and you are definilty not the Julius Cesar of modern times.
The truth is, people don’t want to learn from experts. They prefer to learn from those just a few steps ahead of them on the same path.
Ship 30 for 30
Alright, take out a piece of paper or open up a new note in your phone. Brain dump every topic that comes to mind or you think you can write about. I bet you they will be more than you expected, which is awesome! cause that means you have so much information to give, but still didn’t unlock the writing machine in you. Now that you have this awesome library of thoughts, pick one single topic that resonated the most to focus on for a start.
You don’t have to be an expert, but you definitly have to be specific and credible to a certain extent. Imagine you are writing to yourself 2 years ago, what piece of specific advice would you give yourself that will be relevant and make a difference. The more specific the better, yes not every person out there is your reader but we want those who are walking the same path you walked 2 years ago. This will help generate ideas that is relevant and will solve the problems of your target audience.
What to do next? Simple, you can use 30 Ship 30’s The Endless Idea Generator framework. It’s great, and will help you structure all the ideas you have about a specific topic:
- Pick a direction you want to express your topic in, the 4 directions to pick from are Actionable, Analytical, Aspirational, or Anthropological. This helps you decide the type of journey you want to put your reader through. You want to tell the reader exactly what to expect, the clearer the direction the better your ideas will be communicated.
- Choose the Approach you want to organize your content in, is this a “How To” article or “Lessons Learned”? This will help structure the main points and subheadings, keep things to the point and consistent. We all hate clickbait content, and for the love of god don’t make a promise and not keep it. Your article should be exactly what you say it is.
- Define the credibility point you will leverage, this is simply telling why the reader should listen to you. It’s one of three here, either you are really an expert on the subject, or talked to many experts and curated their advice, or sharing an opinion from personal experiences.
In order to become prolofic, you can’t start from scratch everytime you write. Creativity doesn’t really spring from the void, you need workflows, frameworks, and templates. Digital writers choose thier formats before writing a single word, and this results in creating a frictionless process which results in greater output levels.
All there is to writing is having ideas. To learn to write is to learn to have ideas.
In all due honesty, it doesn’t matter if you follow this framework. As long as you find a system that works for you, and generates a constant flow of ideas to write about then you’re good to go. I like to build an outline of all the different ideas and put them in a sequence that builds up momentum about the subject. Oh, also I always capture any idea be it a title, bullet points, or a full article whenever inspiration strikes. This has worked wonders for me, and the more I capture the more Ideas keep coming my way. As long as you’re curating them ideas, then the grind is on!
🎧 What I’ve Been Up To Lately
I got side tracked a bit, started reading a book called Getting Things Done by David Allen that reshaped my whole productivity approach. It inspired me to go back and flip my system around to focus on actions rather than building a library. That was a little overwhelming cause I already have a whole year of 2nd Braining in my digital verse, but it was so worth it! And with the new year, I wanted to take the opportunity to reevaluate all my personal goals and shift focus on getting some real traction for 2023. Feels like i have a clear picture where to go from here, but I'll let you be the judge of that.
Yah, I also got a bit intimidated by writing, no one said it'll be this hard to be consistent. And priorities in life tilt toward new challenges, so I've been focusing on one thing at a time. Following my curiosities wherever it leads me, even if it shifts my focus sometimes.
📚 Additional Resources
How to generate 112 new content ideas in 30 minutes is a great article that demonstrates some of the things we covered yearlier.
The 2 year test: A Framework for Endless Content Generation talks about how to find your topic and start generating ideas from there.
How To Become a Prolific Writer demonstrates the Endless Idea Generator framwork with a walkthrough and clear examples.
Online Writing Frameworks revolves around 3 key frameworks that can help unlock the digital writer in you.