How To Generate Ideas

I recently experienced hard times in filling my urge to write and to satisfy my blog readers and subscribers—assuming that they do exist—need to read fresh post. It has become more difficult lately as I don’t only have time to kill but it seems that from the moment I wake up, go to work and come back home, time itself appears to be staring right at me almost saying, “I’m here Cris, what’s next?”

Once again the reminder: Be careful what you wish for, came in late to be retracted. I’ve wished for blogging time, now it’s all I’ve got. The sad thing about it is that my idea bank may be now reaching saturation point. I think I’ve already reached my writing plateau.

Fortunately, the absence of work at work—the irony—had me exploit some available resources that kept me busy while still maintaining our internet usage policy (wink wink). I previously mentioned in one of my blog posts about SkillSoft Books24X7  and right now I just can’t get enough of it. SkillSoft is one of those brilliant things made available for employee skills development.

Now that I’m done with my explanation and defense, let me go on with some of the things I learned about the writing process.

What I find funny when I saw this material is how I got to it. While trying to keep myself busy one day, I typed MBA on the search field of SkillSoft. A few seconds later I was staring at several ebooks with the word MBA high- lighted. Suddenly feeling overwhelmed by the selection, I scrolled further down and it was then that I saw the most interesting thing I’ve seen so far on that lazy day—Methods of Generating Ideas. Despite wondering why this article can only be found under the MBA topic, I was all eyes on my laptop in no time.

The materials showed the following categories and its suggested methods:

Reading and writing. Obviously, reading and writing are the methods. These after all are why most of us learned about things.  This idea-generating category encourages one to take notes by free writing and making an outline of the desired topic. One tip I find very helpful is that the outline need not even be perfect at the start which I always try to do and most likely the reason why I end up with anything but perfect. The material even suggests forgetting about grammar, composition and correct flow of ideas while still of course at the drafting stage. Correction, it adds, comes during editing and proofreading which contrary to my belief are actually two different things. The former is the term applied to the first phase of refining. The latter on the other hand is applied on the final phase or the read-through.

Graphic.  Not all people work well with words.  Others prefer doodling and I was surprised when I read about it because I avoid doodling as I find it a waste of time. This category employs drawing and sketching of one’s ideas that  could be converted to text later on. I tried applying it and it works as lately my ideas don’t have an immediate word equivalent to it especially if my vocabulary lags for whatever reason.

Spoken.  Besides reading and writing, this is what usually works for me. I like talking especially to those who can converse very well and have so many perspectives of different things. It is during such discussion when my light bulb moments happen. I realize that being one of the most talkative pupil in grade school works for me. I now forgive my teachers and classmates for that frequent demeaning tick mark next to my name for talking in class.

Group. Two heads are better than one, there’s no question about it. In fact, group discussions always generate more ideas…well, especially compared to talking to your own self. It is in this context why brainstorming usually works. Such sessions make everyone feel that their presence in the meeting is important and that their ideas are needed and will be welcomed. This in effect creates a continuous flow of ideas wherein some of it may even be totally out of this world. But then again, remember the familiar phrase “Think out of the box”?

Thinking. Now this last category may sound ridiculous as obviously the writing process does need to be start with a thought – at the very least. Duh! But what made me smile was when I reached the line “think about the subject during unstructured time (such as taking a shower, standing in line and taking a walk).” It didn’t clearly encourage thinking while driving though. Nevertheless, despite being amusing to be considered as a method, I still got some tips out of it.

I now have new methods to come up with more ideas. It is therefore worth remembering and applying the other methods other than mere thinking and just taking notes out of my wild mind. I also now recognize that oftentimes the need to read (stress: read, read, read) or interact with one or more people may be what it takes to have fresh ideas whether I like it or not. At the end of the day what matters most is when all of these are consolidated, selected, refined and written in finality hoping that it will fit the main purpose why the idea was formed in the first place.


Mood: 3/10 Honks!


A Week of Everything But Work

This must be the longest week I ever had. This week felt like it was 24 X 7 plus 1. I don’t exactly know if so many things have happened or it’s just so much time has slipped by.  Either way it’s a shame that both of it have been mostly done in front of the IBM’s flat LCD and inside the cold gray cube.

That’s the problem when there is imbalance between time and tasks. It is during these conditions that nothing productive gets done:

Condition 1: Having less (or the feeling of it) time but with multiple tasks is confusing or alarming.

Condition 2: Having more time but with little or no task on queue at all is just pathetic. If you ask me, I prefer Condition 1.

Since being idle nowadays is as predictable as sunset, this is when having an initiative and a bit of creativeness sets one person one step ahead of the other. It also helps to do at least a short time planning just to preserve self-worth on a daily basis. It’s just what I’ve done so fa, so far.

The good thing is that in spite of lull in workloads, the resources at work remain abundant. It’s both a good a good and a bad thing, like staring at an apple in the Garden of Eden while wondering if God will ever snooze–the temptation to cross the fine line is always there.

For starters, the internet connection is always on (and to mention that it’s way faster than outside) and the printers are functional and readily full of papers. Now if that doesn’t get your mind immediately full of wild ideas, then something is wrong with you. I know that google-heads are green with envy by now.

Times like this good judgment and work ethics come handy. In my case I try to kill time by taking online training. I likewise try to be involved in activities that the company offers.

Skillsoft Books24X7

I have never appreciated the availability of this site more than now. Although I’ve used it years before for my researches and book references when I continued my schooling, since weeks ago I started using it again. This week my usage got more frequent than ever.

My search for MBA tags brought me to results other than books. I find that there are online courses, learning guides and assessments available. What made it even more interesting was that I’ve read and learned about lots of good stuffs with regards to writing. I’m excited to share it soon as this was once my problem when I made my thesis – or I just didn’t have enough time to research then.

Financial readiness seminar

I can’t exactly remember when I attended this one but I was once again among those inside the packed training room. It was estimated that there were at least 300 attendees who listened to the Colayco foundation’s Executive Director, Mr. Bengco. He spoke a lot of things which half I dismissed and half I noted. Part of the things I got so interested about was when he discussed about ways to get rich. It contained only five key items. The crowd’s excitement of knowing what the five ways are immediately died down when most of us realized that the first four isn’t just possible.

Inherit it.

Marry it.

Steal it.

Win it.

Earn it.

A reminder of a bedtime story

There’s a problem  with forgetting very basic bedtime stories–you become a recipient of the moral lesson it teaches. The story of the rabbit and the turtle stung me this time.

It happened during our company’s Smashing Couples badminton match. After I saw the line up where my partner and I were included, I had high hopes that we do have the chance to reach the finals. What inspired me more was when I learned who will be our first match. “We’ve beaten these guys before, we can do it again,” I confidently said to my partner.

The high ego was short-lived. After piling up some points ahead on the first set our opponents consistently capitalized on our unforced errors and soon enough confidence was on their side. The first set reached deuce but the next set was crushing to the rabbits.

I came out of the badminton tournament with the line “and the moral of the story is…” echoing in my mind. Damn turtles. Hahaha. Just kidding.

Congrats Richmond and Arlene.

Everything that flies and crashes

This is another anticipated week for the flying community. Even if I won’t be able to attend the 13th Philippine Hot Air Balloonfest I know that hundreds of people are either already at Clark or just on their way enjoying the SCTEX drive.

Unfortunately, while everyone at Clark enjoys the breathtaking sight of balloons, skydivers, airplane exhibitions, and everything that flies, two places abroad experienced separate plane crashes. One was in Buffalo, New York that claimed 50 lives when a commuter plane went down, initially due to icing, hitting one house. Another plane crash landed at a London airport which thankfully just had minor injuries to its passengers.

It’s a pity that Capt. Sully’s heroic Hudson River landing a couple of weeks ago is negated by two succeeding crashes. It could be disappointing if further investigation on these accidents would point to poor maintenance as the root cause and it could even be more disappointing if it was due to recession. It’s a stretch, but hey, it’s not that unlikely.


Mood: 3/10 Honks!