Fresh out!

What do you do when you’re fresh out of ideas? How do we stay fresh? These were big questions in conversation with a friend yesterday. Right now, I’m struggling for ideas on what to write about, the thoughts I want to share and how Sense of Learning contributes to other people’s learning. I feel like a supermarket with empty shelves and the sign “We’re sorry for the inconvenience” (Thankfully I don’t feel like a product recall!)

The last post I wrote was in February, and right now I’m empty. I have zero ideas. When there is so much to write about why can’t I find a topic? My personal and professional worlds are full of possibility and sparks ideas constantly, I just can’t seem to turn them into short articles that people might want to read, relate to or find useful.

I remember when I started researching how to write articles and the one snippet of information that has stayed with me – write about the big questions people are trying to answer. If we’re writing about the big questions, then surely our articles will be read, however you need to know what the questions are to be able to start. Then there’s no guarantee that you aren’t the first to answer them.

This gets me thinking about blank and blind spots (back to the good old days of research 101 at university). My realisation – I apply these concepts continually as a way of staying fresh! Whilst they are research concepts, they have a broader application and many of us are applying them unconsciously every day in how we work.

In writing for Sense of Learning, I start with a general topic or question, then as I begin to unpack it, the blind spots appear. These are the “things” the topic doesn’t allow me to see until I start to write. I’m focused on the topic or question too much and as I start writing I move onto a different tangent. This article has done exactly that. Once I finish the article, I’m likely to then find my blank spot – topics this article hasn’t covered and what I’ll write about next.

So this is a great way of staying fresh! Start with a question, find the blind spots and open up to the blank ones. All it takes is an initial spark through conversation, an inquiring mind, a provoking thought or an a-ha moment.

How do you stay fresh?

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