For academic essays I usually wait till the last two days of my deadline and write it with copious amounts of tea and internal sobbing.
I usually get more ideas while writing on my phone or a notebook, which I then transfer to my laptop and gather references.
I used to write drafts of rant-y posts on blogger or Tumblr that I would copy from comments I make on Facebook/ Instagram, but I don’t publish them.
For influences, I really like Narratively and Medium for inspiration on writing your personal voice. I like Slate, AJ+ for news too. It’s often easier to respond to someone’s opinion or a piece of news or something you care about passionately than trying to come up with a totally unique topic or something unrelated to you to write an article about.
I have three academic essays due on the same day next Tuesday and I’m barely halfway in (+nursing a fever and sore throat) so I’m in dire straits at the moment