3 Techniques to Coming Up With Great Ideas

Brainstorming is fun. I love coming up with new ideas and seeing where my imagination takes me. There is so much to learn and so many ways to get the creativity flowing. Have you tried any of these techniques to come up with great ideas?   Clustering Clustering is a technique I learned in the 90s when I began my correspondence writing course with the Institute of Children's Literature. The idea is to write down a few random words, write new words that you associate with those random words, and then come up with an idea based on all of the words that have taken shape on your piece of paper.   How It Works You pick three words randomly (I draw words from a box filled with slips of paper, one word written on each slip), write them down on a piece of paper, draw a circle around each one, then spend about five minutes doing a "free association" session, writing down words that come...
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How to Keep Your Readers Coming Back For More

How to Keep Your Readers Coming Back For More by Jody Calkins   The other day I was doing some research on an organic insecticide that my husband and I had used on our vegetable plants in our garden. Some of our plants died and the bugs are still thriving. So, I checked out the website to see what we did wrong (as it turns out, we did nothing wrong. More on this in a future post). Anyhow, when I navigated through the company's website, I saw the unthinkable: a 29-line paragraph! Now, I'm used to reading excessively long sentences and paragraphs; the ancient Romans are infamous for preposition after preposition. But that's Latin. That's the way it is, and you either read it or you don't. When it comes to modern-day English and the Internet, people don't have the patience or the time to read a jumbled mess. They like to scan text so they can glean the information they need quickly and efficiently. If you...
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Blogging: To Post or Not to Post

So, you haven't written your post yet... What do you do when you're coming up on your deadline to publish your blog post and, well, you haven't written it yet? Do you write a quick version of the blog post you were going to write but just hadn't gotten to yet? Neglect your readers and post nothing? Or post something completely different--something you think you can write fast? Sometimes we're just not ready to finish, or start, the post we wanted to write. When we force ourselves to write it, we know it isn't the best we could do. And we know that adding more junk to the Web doesn't do our readers any favors when there is so much bad writing and content on the Web already. Things happen... Maybe we didn't try hard enough to keep up with our schedule. Maybe we were working on the first draft and something came up and we didn't get back to it. Or maybe when it...
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