Making Ideas vs. Making Ideas Good

A lot people approach blogging as an all at once process–like they have to think up the idea, write it out, edit it, and publish it in one sitting–but I have found that there are two distinct activities to blogging.

The first stage is coming up with ideas.

I have specific states of mind where I come up with lots of ideas. Usually, it’s before noon or very late at night. Often it’s when I am drinking coffee, going for a walk, or taking a shower.  When one idea comes it is usually the start of a flood of ideas. I’ll go days without having a novel idea that I’m excited to write about and then come up with five in two hours.

Since I blog every day, but my best ideas come sporadically, it is key that I capture the ideas.

Whenever an interesting idea comes to my mind, I put it on a new note in Evernote. Sometimes just the title, but most of the time I like to write out the logical chain of the idea, like the skeleton of a future blog post.

Even if is very unlikely I’ll write about an idea, I will still take thirty seconds to write it out in Evernote. I tag them all as blog post ideas, so when it is 10 pm and I don’t have anything on my mind to write about I can do a quick search, find an idea that is interesting, and take the second step of writing, fleshing out an idea from a skeleton into a blog post.

In order to keep putting out posts every day, I need to have a backlog of ideas that are organized and ready to be fleshed out. That is why it is so crucial to keep track of ideas in a way that makes them easy to build and communicate later on.

This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned since the first time I did a daily blogging challenge in 2015. I know myself and how I work a lot better and as a result don’t waste nearly as much time or energy late at night stressing about what to write about.

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