Can brilliant ideas actually hurt excellent content writing?

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Brilliant ideas.  They are the elusive holy grails that every questing Arthurian content writer seeks.  We would be armed with our excellent content writing and engaged audiences, if only these ideas would blossom before us.  Ah yes, my kingdom for a caravan full of brilliant ideas.

Yet this awful and awkward paradox exists.

The better the idea, the harder it is to execute.

The truth is, brilliant ideas can damage the quality of the writing.  Here’s why.

Reader wants less confusion

Brilliant ideas cause you fever

It doesn’t matter if you are a copywriter or into creating fiction; brilliant ideas can cause fever writing.

The idea has hit you like a right hook, and you just can’t get your fingers flurrying fast enough.  What you try to say just pours out on the page.  Your mind links other ideas on the fly.  The piece you are writing flickers between subject matters, and soon your blog has more twists than the final season of Dexter.

The reader starts to get whiplash bouncing around your blog.

What you are writing about is getting lost in all the excitement.

The reader, understandably, would rather read something less confusing and bounces away.


Because it was such a brilliant idea.

Brilliant ideas are disappointing

Brilliant ideas are hard to articulate

We have all been there.  Or is it just me?  You know, when you sit down to put words on a page.  You know that the subject matter will blow your readers away.  There is no doubt that your analysis is scalpel sharp.  Eyes are going to open, jaws are going to drop, people are going to rise with applause at your insightful genius.

But when the words come, it just feels a little anticlimactic.

The brilliant idea is new and shiny, but language hasn’t changed at all.  It’s all dusty and grimy and killing the sparkle of your copy.

So, you delete.

You rewrite.

And reshape.

And delete again. 

The words just never seem to fall into a pattern worthy of the idea you are trying to present.  Often your copy starts to get more complicated instead of breaking everything down to its most basic form.

The problem with trying to match your language to your idea in such a way, is that you are holding yourself to too high a standard.

A new brilliant idea is hard to argue

Brilliant ideas apply pressure

As well as holding yourself to too high a standard, brilliant ideas apply time pressures.

Because it is so fresh in your mind, we think it will just be a case of sitting down and getting it written.  It should take no time at all.  In short, we get complacent with deadlines and the amount of research we need to do.

We forget that your ideas will still be brilliant next week when you write your next blog.  The idea is so “here and now” we just need everyone to read and revel in the genius.

But a new idea is hard to argue.

It needs backing up.

It needs thoroughly referencing.

This week we could just get away with writing a normal “10 ways to do that thing that we are doing” blog. Especially if it gives you time to research around your idea.

Writing with pen and paper

So, what you mean is, only have rubbish notions

Yes, that is exactly what I mean.  Just pummel out mediocre trash that has been regurgitated a thousand times before. 

Of course, I don’t mean that.

Let the good ideas come.  But don’t turn straight to the computer and start banging away at it.

Let’s choose a good cliché: fortune favours the prepared mind.

Don’t be afraid to get a little old-school with the old pen and paper trick.  Be sure to have a rest every two minutes to relieve the cramp in your wrist.  But, outline your idea and structure the delivery in a notepad.

Then, get filthy with your research.  Finding a credible source to reference lends integrity to your copy.

Make sure you know what you want to say, how you want to say it; then you will be ready to sit down at a computer and batter the keyboard.

Writing is about about balance

Wrapping up

Let’s be honest.  Creating the balance between entertaining writing and informative language is a bit tricky.  Brilliant ideas are rarely simple at first.  So, something must give.  Mustn’t it?

Not really.  Writing has always been about balance. 

If you are writing for SEO, you have to balance between being rankable and readable.

If you are writing for humour, you often have to balance between funny and offensive. 

Or funny and clichéd.

The truth is that a brilliant idea can be written , and probably should be published.

We just need to remember that the trick to good writing is can often be summed up in one word.


If you have anything you would like to add to this article for the readers, or you have a story of your own you would like to share, please comment below.

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