Writer’s block is an all too familiar feeling for most writers. Hitting the wall is often times unavoidable and can sometimes even last for a decent period of time. All sorts of creators, not just writers, experience creative blockages as well. It can be very frustrating, and sometimes will give you that feeling of being trapped like you’ll never have another good idea. A lot of that feeling is just exhaustion. Most of the time your brain just needs a break and some time to refresh itself. I’ve always found that removing myself from something helps my ideas flow later when I come back to it.
Aside from taking a break, another great way to unlock your creativity and generate new ideas is to adhere to a daily schedule. This is kind of contrary to what most people envision when they think of a creative person, someone who is regimented doesn’t really fit the stereotype. But keeping a consistent daily routine can actually be a really good thing for fueling creativity. You may find that when you are doing a certain thing throughout the day, that is when you are most creative. Maybe it is when your mind wanders in the car or when you sit down to have a daily writing session to let your mind flow. Maybe it is when you take your lunch, or when you read before going to bed at night. It can be anything for anybody, but having a daily schedule will help you discover some of these things about yourself.
Jot It Down
One thing I would recommend is to keep a running tab of every fresh idea that comes in to your head throughout your day. Thoughts can occur at the most random times and be gone in a flash! This is something that I try to do with every unique thing that I think of. If you don’t write a certain thing down in detail right when you think of it then it will likely fade away. Then you’ll be left scratching your head later when you can’t quite put your finger on that awesome idea you had, which is the worst! It is a hard habit to get in to, as I still don’t always do it consistently myself. It takes some brain training to start doing it consistently, it sometimes just isn’t a natural reaction to immediately think to write something down after it pops into your head. It is so much easier to forget and let your mind flow.
What if your brain isn’t as inclined to wander? If you need a more actionable and practical way of generating new ideas, rather than just logging daydreams, there are some good writing habits and strategies that may help you fuel your brain’s inner fire. Freewriting is a great one that a lot of people know about but I’m not sure how many actually try it out for themselves. All you do is set an amount of time you want to write for and just start writing down every word or thought that pops into your head. It can be completely incoherent, it doesn’t matter. When you’re done go back and look at what you have written down. You will have a lot of nonsense on the page but you may find some diamonds in the rough as you look back!
Since I carry my phone around with me all of the time, I use the notepad app as my way of jotting down all of my ideas. It’s a convenient and easy way to do it for me, but you should try doing it anyway you can. Maybe it is better for you to keep a booklet and write your ideas with pen and paper, that is something I’ve considered trying as well. Once you get in to the swing of jotting down your unique thoughts it’ll feel great to retain your good ideas and in turn you’ll hopefully start building them in to bigger and better ideas.
Another writing strategy that you may find helpful is listing. Listing just consists of picking a topic and beginning to write down a list of single words that are related to that topic. Just list all you can and go until you can’t go anymore. When you’re done, go back and start grouping your list into logical categories. The idea is that this grouping will help you identify any possible themes that may have emerged while you were listing, allowing to take your next steps in a new direction.
Finally, there is just the good old fashioned strategy of asking yourself, “Who, what, when, where, why, and how”? Seems basic, I know, but I think people underestimate just how helpful asking yourself these questions are for generating new ideas. Even if asking these questions doesn’t directly create a new idea, they will likely steer you in a new direction that will help you along the way.
These are all just some basic ideas for brainstorming and unlocking your creative brain muscles. There is a lot more out there! If none of these really cut it for you, all it takes is a simple google search and you’ll find all sorts of new great ways to generate unique ideas.