If you keep writing every day, you'll have a problem. You'll have more article ideas than you can write. Every day will sprout thirty-fifty new ideas that you can never turn into articles. But when you're starting out, this problem is quite the opposite.
You may wake up and can't think of a thing
Or you may be so tired that your brain refuses to co-operate.
So here's what you do next: You find a few books
You can do this offline, or online. But allocate a fixed amount of time. And here's how you go about it. Let's say I want to write about PHP. I know diddly squat about PHP. So that's the same as waking up and not being able to think of a thing to write.
So since the library is closed at this hour, I go online and look for a Dummies book
And I look at the contents page and voilà—there are a ton of topics just waiting for me. Not just topics, but subtopics. Yipeee-yahooey! Now I have my topics and my sub-topics.
But waitasec, isn't that cheating?
Isn't that plagiarism? Yes it is, if you copy the answers. Not if you copy the questions. The questions are simply the titles on the contents page. So let's say the titles were the following:
Understanding PHP Data Types
Building SQL Queries
Troubleshooting a PHP Script
Setting Up Your Computer for PHP and MySQL Web Site Development
Considering the Various Uses for the PHP Scripting Language
Keeping Up with PHP and MySQL Changes
Use PHP Statements to Create Programs
Communicate with a Database through PHP MySQL Functions
Access and Adapt a Database with MySQL Queries
Knowing the MySQL WHERE Clause Format
Make MySQL Database Changes with the ALTER Query
Special Characters to Use in PHP Expression Test Patterns
Now fifteen thousand writers can take the very same topics and no two articles may be the same. Why? Because you're going to approach the same questions from your level, your experience, your stories, your objections, your style. It simply cannot be the same.
And I found these points in fifteen seconds
You could spend hours trying to dream up the perfect topics and sub-topics, but they're all ready and formatted for you on the Internet—if you just look. So look. Set a timer, and then go for the topics. Cut and paste the topics and then it's time for outlining.
And by this time the expert in you can still be asleep
Because you're still not writing yet, and are in outlining mode, you're just having a party, by coming up with questions. So let me give it a shot with PHP (not that I know anything about it).
Building SQL Queries
What are SQL Queries?
What are the steps to building an SQL Query?
Where do SQL Queries mostly go wrong?
What are the practical applications for SQL Queries?
But surely we can do without SQL Queries…
Now if you're a PHP programmer, I'm betting that you'll be at least slightly interested in my questions. Some may be slightly off base, but most of them, when answered form a pretty good article.
But some answers may be too big. For example: Where do SQL Queries go wrong? So no problem. Just list the places where it can go wrong—yes, just a list. Then start up a new article called: Where SQL Queries go wrong and outline it—and phew—you have another outline!
Your topics and sub-topics don't need to be in your head
They can be on the Internet, in the library or in the contents page of every book on your topic (hey, there's this site called Amazon.com). If you want to write topics on starting a business, it's there. If you want to write on WordPress, it's there too. If you fancy gardening, kite building, even getting a divorce—it's all there on the book stores. And not just one book, but forty or fifty books.
Which is why you need a timer
Because you can get stuck there all night trying to decide which topics and subtopics to choose. One thing is for sure, though: You can be half asleep forever, and never have a problem when coming up with topics and sub-topics.
And that's just for starters. Once you start writing you'll have the opposite problem. Too many ideas and not enough time to write!
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