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Writing For The Web: More Places To Get Ideas

There are many places all over the place to get article ideas. Part 1 of
this series explored some of the locations on the internet. This part goes
into some of the places you can find ideas outside of the web.

Libraries - Believe it or not, libraries still exist and are going string.
In fact, there are dozens of libraries in just about every major cities, and
most towns have at least one. Even the town where I grew up, Lake Arrowhead,
California, had a small public library.

Libraries are great places to get ideas for articles. I like to just visit
and wander up and down the isles, looking at titles, occasionally opening a
book and flipping through the pages. It's rare that I don't walk away with
at least one or two ideas which turn directly into articles.

Botanical Gardens - A few miles from my house is one of the best places on
the planet - the Huntington Library. This is an awesome collection of art
museums and displays which is not equaled anywhere in the world (at least in
my humble opinion). One of the things that makes this magical place even
more enjoyable is the surrounding botanical gardens.

The library gardens are divided up into different habitats, duplicating most
of the major environments of the planet. I've spent many enjoyable hours
wandering through the place, just looking at the plants and environments,
getting dozens and dozens of article ideas.

Something about the gardens relaxes my mind and causes the thinking process
to become calmer and more organized. Ideas just seem to float up to the
surface, waiting for me to just pluck them up and convert them into

Museums - Of course, museums are excellent places to get article ideas. I
have the pleasure of living just a few miles from a number of excellent
museums including La Brea tar pits (dinosaur and extinct animal articles),
the Air And Space Museum (obvious), Museum of Science and Industry
(technology articles), the Natural History Museum (thousands of article
ideas just waiting to be found) and art museums galore.

I like to visit with a pad of paper and just wander up and down the
corridors, just looking at things. Ideas pop into my head and I write them
down. Quite a few of these become articles (and a few stories).
Magazines - I skim over a dozen magazines every single day, looking for
anything interesting. Sometimes I'll stop and read and article, but mostly I
am looking for ideas for articles of my own.

I must stop here for a moment and discuss copyrights for a moment. The
concept I present in these articles is how to find ideas for articles, not
to copy or paraphrase other people's works. Anyone can do that, and by the
way, it is illegal to "borrow" another person's work.

It is perfectly fine, however, to read an article and get an idea or two for
your own. What I like to do is read an article or book and jot down a few
ideas. I then let it lie for a few days, come back to it and write my own,
completely original article.

For example, I read an article about raising children, and for some reason
thought about how to protect plants from small kids. What a great idea for a
story. So I wrote it down, and one day I'll write an article about it.
So that's the secret. Just wander around looking at things. It doesn't
matter where and it doesn't matter what you look at. Your mind will start
working, and before long an idea will percolate to the surface. This may be
followed by another and another.

A short disclaimer. If you are not used to this kind of creative process,
please understand that it can be pretty frightening. Especially to some of
the students produced by our modern education system, who have been
conditioned to not have original thoughts anymore. Don't worry, that strange
feeling you get when you visit a museum or a library is just your brain
cells waking up from the long hibernation that began when you entered
Kindergarten. It's not dangerous and once you get used to the feelings they
can be quite intoxicating. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

About the Author

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This
website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet
profits, enjoyment and knowledge.
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