Claire Bradford: Navigate yourself away from writer’s block

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MORE often than not when I come to write this column, my biggest problem is choosing what I’m going to write from a number of possibilities.

However, this week, I was pacing up and down trying to come up with something business-related after a lovely long weekend of sunshine and big parties, and my brain wasn’t playing the game.

When helping people with their blogs, I’m often asked ‘what should I write about if I don’t have any ideas?’. So, this time, I’ve taken my own advice and made a big mind map of inspiration. I started out writing ‘column ideas’ in the centre of the page and made a few larger subject ‘satellites’ around the outside – things like ‘great businesses in the area’, ‘issues affecting women in business’ and ‘personal experiences/opinions’, among others.

Once I had those wide subject areas, I had two or three instant ideas that could branch off each one, and these served to get my brain opening up for a wave of column ideas that should keep me going for a good few months yet.

(By the way, do shout if there is anything you would like to see covered 
in this column – I may have a mind map full of thoughts, but I am always open to more!)

If you find yourself stuck for writing ideas, I highly recommend this mind mapping technique.

It’s simple and quick and often solves the problem – not just for the immediate moment, but for a good while to come, as you will have a wealth of subjects to choose from.

You can do it anywhere you have a pen and paper to hand, or if you’re not a pen and paper type of person, there are several apps out there that will do the trick, too.

Here are some thought starters for you: ‘things my customers often ask me’, ‘how-to...’, ‘common misconceptions about my line of work’, ‘case studies’, ‘the ‘pain’ my clients are in before they hire me’ and ‘difficulties I have overcome’.

You can see how this column has got roots in many of these.

Give it a go, and let me know how you get on at www.facebook.com/womaninbusiness or tweet me @coachbythecoast