6 Ways to Come Up With Great Ideas for Your Writing

6 Tips to Come Up With Great Ideas for Writing

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.

Tell me your opinion: How do you make your brain receptive to coming up with great ideas for writing?

6 Ways to Come Up With Great Ideas for Your Writing

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About Alex Strike

Alex is a passionate writer, who always tries to improve his writing skills. He respects Stephen King and Ray Bradbury as the best authors ever, and he appreciates every thought on his writing, no matter if it's positive or not.


  1. K.M. Weiland says

    Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Alex!

  2. These are great tips. I normally write down my ideas as soon as they come, but sometimes they come to me at bad times (like when I’m trying to fall asleep). By the time I’m ready to write these ideas down, I can’t remember them. I liked your quote from your brain. Perhaps I should keep a notebook/tablet/phone next to my bed so I remember these ideas, and I definitely agree that writing down your ideas is an important part of this process.

    • Hello Alicia!

      It seems to me that the problem of remembering great ideas comes to every writer. Agree with you as for bad times: I have the same problem, because all ideas usually come to me when I lay in my bed and try to fall asleep. Certainily, I am lazy to get up and write all those ideas down at once they’ve appeared. As a result, it is impossible to remember them the next morning… )) I have my iPad “sleeping” with me now, so, such a prolem does not appear anymore)

      Have a nice day!


  3. There was a woman not too far from here that wanted to be a writer. She died. Now I am channeling her. Unfortunately, she always wants to talk to me at night when I’m trying to sleep. Ain’t that just like a woman?!
    HA HA.

    • Hi Steven!

      Well, you better listen to that woman, even if she comes at night)) It may happen, that she will help you become a great author ;-))



      • Well, you better listen to that woman, even if she comes at night)) It may happen, that she will help you become a great author ;-))



        I hope so, I need all of the help that I can get. In the meantime I will listen to one of my favorite female writers, and a cute one too, K. M. Weiland.

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for this article on ideas. I had to smile because three of your suggestions are things that I already do. I usually record my ideas in evernote or on my notepad on my iPad. But recently, I have begun to take a notebook binder with me also.

    Pertaining to myself, I have noticed that I get fresh ideas between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. I will wake up instantly with ideas dancing around in my head. So, I’ve learned to keep my iPad and my iPhone next to my bed, so that I can record the ideas.

    One more thing, I totally agree with you about reading books. When I read, I am always amazed at an idea that will peek around the corner of my mind.

    Once again thank you. I truly enjoyed your article.

    • Hello Patti!

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your thoughts with us. I am glad to know, that you find my article interesting, and it made you smile)) You know, I think that the majority of authors can confess that they meet good ideas at nights. This is the magic of our brains probably, who knows)) Sometimes, great ideas come to me when I travel by train and take a look at its windows. Nature can inspire me quite a lot as well.

      Have a nice day, and let ideas always be with you!


  5. I practice coming up with them. Waiting for one to come means I probably will write one story a year, rather than the double digits I’ve done this year. I start with a lot of different things to generate the idea — anything from a random object I see, to titles form TV episodes mashed up into each other, a picture, pretty much anything. A story I just sent off was inspired by two candles at a 911 ceremony; one I’m working on now started out with mashing up two titles and adding a setting; another started simply with a setting. My novel started from a marble, though one doesn’t appear anywhere in the story. It just led me in the direction to be able to start writing a story.

    • Hello Linda!

      Wow! You are a great example of an author who can find inspiration and ideas in eveything that surrounds her 🙂

      Thank you for passing by and leaving your comment here!

      Have a nice day!


  6. “Any idea, even the simplest one, is an association with your previous and already known ideas”

    This is so true – one of those things that is so basic and fundamental that we all know it, but fail to recognise it.

    Recognising it can be quite powerful – it’s the reason that number 3 is so important – ideas don’t happen in a vacuum. It also means you can “force” ideas by making a conscious effort to ram disparate things together and see if inspiration falls out (rather like what Linda seems to be doing).

    • Hello Matt!

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad you liked the post and agreed with some items there. Coming up with good ideas is a a quite difficult process, but we can make it much easier if we pay more attention to what happens around 🙂


  7. Doreen Taylor says

    Thanks for this. It will be helpful in the future.

  8. Thanks Alex for sharing your insights on idea creation. My biggest take-away from the post, is to not get upset when the ideas don’t come when you expected them to. Just like in the movie “Field of Dreams”. If you work at it, the ideas will come!

    They may not show up when you expect – like in-laws – but they will come eventually. Best be ready when they do and like you suggested, be ready to copy them down before losing them.

    Best of luck on your writing.

    • Alex Strike says

      Hello Jason!

      Thank you for your comment! Yes, you are right, we should not give up if good ideas do not come to us once we want. One more thing I would add at the moment: do not give up when no one accepts your idea at once. It does not mean, that your idea is bad.

      The best example here might be such writing gurus as Stephen King and Joan Rowling: publishing houses did not want to accept their stories at first. Rowling visited 12 publishing houses with her Harry Potter, and all 12 rejected this story. So, no one would know this awesome story today if she gave up then….

  9. This is definitely the most relatable post on the site, for me at least, so far. I write every single idea I get down, whether its only a sentence or a fully detailed plot that takes 3 hours to type out. It’s true what you say about ideas coming and going though. For example, I thought of a story idea over 7 years ago and have been struggling with how to develop the idea for just as long. I only managed to figure out the story a little less than two weeks ago. Haha.

    • Alex Strike says

      Hello Elena!

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad to hear that my post sounds relatable for you. Ideas are so caprocious usually. We should always be very tender with them, and don’t let them disappear))

      All the best,

  10. I got tired of my ideas coming hard and fast as I was driving. I started using the recorder on my phone and taping what was going on in my head. I started to do this more and more no matter where I am and it beats trying to locate a piece of paper and a pen in my purse and racing to get to it before my ideas are long gone.
    I would love to know if this is true for anyone else. I get my best ideas and the most ideas when something hard is gong on in my life. Emotion, for me, seems to be the trick that lets my creativity flow. If I sit down with the intention to write, nothing comes to me, but if I’m dealing with something, I can’t get the words typed fast enough when I’m a my computer. It makes me wonder, do I have to go through something hard before I can accomplish anything, and why?


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