Learn How to Brainstorm

In my recently released CD Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration, I stress the danger of waiting around for inspiration to hit us in the head with a lightning bolt. Instead, we have to go after it with a harpoon and a fishnet. One of the best ways to do that is to learn how to brainstorm.

Some ways of brainstorming are more likely to put us in the way of viable ideas. Mind maps, “what-if” questions, writing prompts, and free writing are all valuable methods—and they all have one thing in common: they allow us to move past the critical, analytical side of our brains and get in touch with the “dream zone” in the back. This kind of brainstorming is what Robert Olen Butler, in his thought-provoking book From Where You Dream, refers to as “dreamstorming.”

So how do we go about this dreamstorming business? A few tips:

1. Clear your mind.

2. Try not to direct your thoughts too much.

3. Point your imagination in the right direction and let it drift where it will.

4. Don’t censure yourself.

5. Write down everything, even the silly ideas.

6. Listen to your body (if you suddenly can’t breathe, you’re probably on to something good).

7. Put your notes aside for a while to “cool.”

8. When you pull them out, put the other side of your brain to work.

9. Start asking questions: What if? Why not? How?

10. Train your subconscious to continually dreamstorm in the background.

Inspiration is everywhere, just waiting for writers to find it. Once we train ourselves to be open to those ideas, they’ll flood us from every direction until we have so many ideas we’ll likely never live long enough to take advantage of them all!

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website.


  1. Checked out all three blogs. The review of Conquering Writers Block wasn’t posted yet, so I’ll have to go back later to check it out.

    Thanks and have a great day!

  2. Thanks, Susanne! I just emailed Elspeth to let her know the review hasn’t shown up, so hopefully it will be available soon.

  3. Great, Katie! Hope you sell a bunch. 😀

  4. Thanks, Lorna! I hope folks find the CD helpful.

  5. Thanks for sharing dear you are really doing a wonderful job.

  6. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  7. This is a good posting, I was wondering if I could use this write-up on my website:)))

  8. Feel free! Just please link back to the site.

  9. Was reading methods of it recently in James Scott Bell’s book, plot and structure. Awesome advice’s, both their and here. 😀

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