Sometimes, when you have to write a daily blog, you wake up with no ideas whatsoever. It’s the same with scripts, novels, articles, and even greetings cards (I imagine).
So what do you when the ideas just don’t come?
Going for a walk is good. Especially if you tell yourself that sometime between leaving and arriving back home, you’ll have an idea that will spark more ideas.
Another technique is you just write one sentence.
Once it’s written, it will probably suggest the next one, which in turn will suggest the next, and before you know it, you have a whole paragraph, or even a whole scene.
Doing some housework is wise too, mostly because your toilet needs a good clean anyway. You never know, you might even have an idea as you vacuum. Especially if you plan on having one.
Richard Wiseman suggests playing with Lego for a bit too. Just turning off your brain and focusing on something with intensity frees up the subconscious mind to work on the problem, and halfway through building Hogwarts, you’ll probably have an idea too.
I had no ideas this morning. I started this blog with just one sentence, and now look at it.
There’s an excellent blog post over on the BBC Writersroom by Dan Tetsell, with some sage advice from some great scribes. Of particular interest is this graph, prepared by Gareth Gwynn, breaking down the suitability of Newsjack submissions.
Click to embiggen
There should be another episode of Bashing Keys in the near future, so keep ’em peeled.
This one is a kind of prequel to the first, because I’m chatting to the current incumbent writer at BBC Radio Comedy. As part of the writers’ bursary scheme, Gareth writes for a large number of shows including The News Quiz, The Now Show, I Guess That’s Why They Call It The News, Newsjack and Recorded For Training Purposes.
During our chat we kept returning to the theme of looking at scripts with a fresh pair of eyes. Also, just after we recorded this, Gareth was seconded on a sitcom writing course at the BBC, so I might get him back to tell us all about it.
For the first episode, I thought it would be fun and interesting to talk to Paul Kerensa, a stand up comedian/writer with extensive television and radio credits. For Radio 4 he has written for Dead Ringers, The News Quiz, The Hudson and Pepperdine Show, Bearded Ladies, and the Now Show, and Parsons & Naylor, The Day The Music Died and The Lee Mack Show for Radio 2.
It's Paul Kerensa
Over on the telly, he’s worked on episodes of Not Going Out and Miranda. It’s a shame I didn’t get a chance to talk to him about Miranda actually, because as well as being very very good, it would be an interesting thing to talk about style-wise.