Idea creation may seem a random and even mystical process, but there are simple and practical ways to increase your chances of how to come up with great ideas for writing.
All writers know it’s impossible to have great ideas all time. Sometimes you feel stuck, and it frustrates you, doesn’t it?
What is an idea?
Everyone wants to come up with a brilliant idea every time it is needed, but have you ever thought about what an idea actually is?
An idea is a connection. Any idea, even the simplest one, is an association with your previous and already known ideas. Our minds constantly form such connections, often spontaneously and unconsciously.
Another interesting feature of these connections is that they cannot be predicted. Often, an idea will be formed when two very different notions merge in an unexpected or unusual way.
Here are six tips that can help you develop an excess of ideas:
1. Expect the appearance of ideas
The first step is to get rid of limiting beliefs such as “I am not a creative person.” Put away the prejudice that only a few chosen ones can create good ideas. You are a writer, you have some readers (whether you write a novel or short stories), and your ideas have worth.
2. Greet all ideas, even those that seem stupid
Never focus only on creating great ideas. Strive for quantity instead of quality at first. Most people fail to come up with ideas because they fear their ideas will be “stupid.” Never mind: ideas that are considered stupid today may become the basis for the revolutionary ideas of tomorrow. And when you finally have such an idea, no one will remember the less fortunate ones.
3. Be open to new experiences
The more you deal with different situations, people, and places, the more fuel you give your mind to form connections. Learn to celebrate diversity of life: travel, try new food, read magazines you do not usually look at. Do not be afraid to do the usual things in a different way.
And read! Yes, the more you read, the more experience and ideas you get. As well-known master of horrors Stephen King said:
If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write. Simple as that.
4. Save your ideas immediately
Develop the habit of recording all your ideas. Use your notebook, tablet, or voice recorder. The manner of saving ideas does not really matter; just make sure you always carry the means to record them. If you fail to write down ideas, you will end up forgetting most of them. Even worse: you will forget you even had an idea. Each time your mind recognizes your attention to its ideas, it rewards you with more ideas.
Don’t be so sure that you will remember all the ideas that come to you. As we all know, the brightest ideas have a habit of arriving in a bed while you are trying to fall asleep: “Hello there! I am your brain and I see you are trying to fall asleep. Let me generate a lot of brilliant ideas you’ll definitely forget in the morning!” Your best companion is a notebook, in which you can write down all your thoughts.
5. Be grateful for ideas
Whenever you come up with great ideas for writing, be thankful for them. By developing this habit, you create an additional positive reinforcement, a stimulus for your mind, which encourages the creation of more new ideas. It may seem a little bit strange, but it works. Just try!
6. Realize ideas come and go
If you find you can’t come up with any ideas for a few days, do not worry—it’s normal. Ideas will arrive suddenly, one by one. Sometimes ideas arrive so quickly you will barely have time to write them down. Always be prepared to take full advantage of the flow of ideas when it begins to gush.