The last nine posts (including this one) were all written in a single afternoon. I was only able to do this because I had all the subjects ready to go.
To me, idea generation is best done all the time. It should be a constant process, a part of your brain that is always on the lookout for good ideas. Whether for a book or a blog or anything else, you should always been on the lookout for things you can use, because if you sit down and try to force yourself to come up with something, it’s hard. Very hard. Some of my most frustrating evenings have come about because I tried to do exactly that.
But once you already have the ideas, it’s wonderful. You’re no longer creating things whole cloth, you’re merely stitching together the ideas you already have. When the act of creation is separated from the heavy lifting of ideation, you can give your full attention to stitching the patterns together rather than constantly having to stop and decide what the patterns you should use.
If you’re writing a book, this means you can write by outline. If you’re writing a blog, it means you’ll always have a post to write, or you can schedule out nine posts and not have to worry about your deadlines for a while.
Always be on the lookout for ideas, so when you go to put pen to the page, you’re not clamoring for your most basic of tools. You’ll have them all laid out in front of you, ready to get to work.