Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rainy Days!

I guess I spoke too soon and the rains have begun! Or maybe it was my jig around the block when I landed 5 jobs in one day, that had the Gods mistake it for a rain-dance. Whatever the reason, it's begun to pour. And if getting up at 5am is difficult, so is finding topics to write on. I don't have a case of writer's block, just a burning desire to crawl back into bed and sleep off the rest of the day. Which of course is not going to happen.

So, what do you do when clients, unconcerned with the weather or your sleep problems, impose seemingly short deadlines, which you then have to meet? Usually I find taking a walk quite inspiring or at least, refreshing enough to clear the cobwebs from my head. But it's raining and muddy boots never did inspire me. There are many places online where you can begin your search, including Yahoo stories, www.askjeeves.com, www.askme.com, www.Dmoz.com and a whole list of other newsrooms and Q&A sites. If that doesn't work, try ezine directories such as www.ezinearticles.com or www.goarticles.com. Browsing forums and networking sites like www.twitter.com and www.facebook.com can also help spark a bright idea. If you are visiting the latter though, beware that it's easy to get caught up in chatting with friends and browsing irrelevant links. Set a timer or give yourself 30 minutes to surf these groups and jot down ideas, and then log out.

If staying at your desk is proving to be more stressful than helpful, a good cup of tea (or coffee, if that's your poison) and a magazine is a great way to regain focus. I tend to steer clear of books; if the plot is interesting, I begin to forget I'm supposed to be working. Magazines or newspapers work well in that they're easy to browse through and easier yet to put down.

An Exercise To Get You Going:

Perfect for a rainy day, this exercise gets you going no matter the weather. Take a magazine and at random, cut out an advert. from it. Keep it on your desk. Now set your timer (cell phone, watch, egg timer...anything works) for 15 minutes and begin to write about the picture. If it's a male model selling a cologne, write about the model: what does he look like? What is the message he's trying to convey? Is he young and trendy? Older and more sophisticated? Is he wearing boxers? A suit? Why do you think he's dressed the way he is? Try exploring other angles. Perhaps you can imagine a little bit about the model itself. Is he American? Italian? Does he live in New York? Paris? Milan? Have you seen him before? Do you think he'd be good on the catwalk? Now what about the cologne: Is the bottle design something that catches your attention?

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