Having a difficult time generating new ideas? It happens to all writers at some point. But when the creative juices simply don't flow, and the postman keeps delivering the bills, a writer must be proactive to survive a dry spell. Here are five tips to help you find sources of income when the well runs dry.
- Reuse old queries. In a perfect writing world, every query a writer mails would be snatched up by a publication. But in the real writing world, some queries aren't the right fit for a publication at that particular moment in time. Every three months, I go through my queries that didn't make the cut, add new research , tweak my approach, and target a new market. In a notebook, I track each query I submit and add information about potential experts to interview, new research, and any notes I will need later. This visual reminder shows me that I am working toward a writing goal and keeps me motivated.
- Turn a sidebar into a story. Since a sidebar is a short burst of information, it's possible to turn the sidebar or the main idea into a full feature article. Look at sidebars you've submitted and consider a new angle.
- Attend conferences or workshops. Spending time with fellow writers is an excellent way to network and discover new ideas. Don't be afraid to mingle and ask questions.
- Keep track of editor changes. Lets say you queried a publication in the past and were rejected. Now, a new editor heads the publication. Resubmit a query. Just because one idea didn't spark one editor's interest doesn't mean the new editor will reject it.
- Look at editorial calendars. If there's a market you're interested in, check its editorial calendar and see what issues are coming up. Sometimes, an idea for a new article pops to mind when viewing themes for upcoming issues. Then, write a query and hit send.
Generating new and fresh ideas - even from old stories - will help generate cash during a dry spell. And, it will spark your imagination.