Generating Ideas

Generating Ideas

I've learned through this short process of writing daily is this: It's vital to have a healthy flow of ideas. Without a wide funnel of idea generation, it makes it that much harder to continue with a writing habit.

I thought I'd get my ideas from reading books, twitter, or the news. But that hasn't been the case. The biggest source of new ideas is through conversation.

A week ago I was in a house full of friends. Even throughout our daily routine we'd talk about all sorts of things: politics, trip logistics, food, health, planning, covid. All of these discussions create fresh sparks of insight into new and interesting things to write about.

It's even better if you are amongst a bigger or more diverse group of people. The varying topics and the differing viewpoints are all fodder for fresh ideas. It's not too surprising. This is what makes cities so innovative.

Another major benefit of conversation is the immediate feedback loop. Not only is it excellent for generating new topics, but it allows you test their value. When someone brings up a new topic, you know immediately how valuable it is by the response of the group. Not only can you test an idea, but through normal debate, you can test the merits of differing viewpoints. It feels like the articles are being written in front of you.

I suppose it's telling that in 2020 I am writing about the value of talking to people in person. Yet even pre-COVID, I think the value of even daily conversation as a vehicle for sprouting new ideas is underrated.

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