Want to get great ideas for your writing? Ideas are everywhere. Chances are you get dozens of great ideas between the time you get out of bed, and while you're having your first cup of coffee.
All writers get more great ideas than they know what to do with; if you don't, it's because you're damming up the flow. At some stage, you've told your subconscious mind, by your behavior, NOT to give you ideas. You can retrain your subconscious.
1. Be prepared: know when your ideas flow
The way to get more great ideas is to notice the ideas you have. Most ideas come when you're not actively working, you're doing something else.
Oddly enough, I get my best ideas in the shower. It's horribly predictable that as soon as the water starts cascading down, I get a flow of ideas.
I've been known to leap out, all soapy, dry off my hands, and scribble notes.
Nowadays I take a digital recorder into the bathroom, jump out, and then talk the notes into the recorder. As soon as I'm dressed, I go to the computer, and mind map the notes. Once the notes are in mind map form, I know they won't escape.
You'll find that the more you notice, and USE any ideas you get, the more of them you get.
2. Ask for more ideas: affirm you're creative
Your subconscious mind will obey you. Just say to yourself "I'm creative. I get lots of great ideas, every single day." Keep repeating this affirmation, and ideas will flow.
Use mind maps, as I do. I'm an avid mind mapper. I create mind maps on my computer, on index cards, on sticky notes, and on the iPhone (I use iBlueSky, it's great.)
Your mind maps let you capture your ideas, so that they can trigger more, and better, ideas.
3. Create lots of projects: ideally, finish them
At any one time, I'm always working on around 20 active projects. These projects include client work for my copywriting practice, articles for my magazine clients, as well as my own projects.
Once you start paying attention to your ideas, and using them, you'll create lots of projects. You won't finish some of them. (You'll finish client projects of course, that goes without saying.)
Don't get stressed over this. Feel free to dump projects onto the back burner. Remember, ideas are everywhere, and you'll get more great ideas every day. So what if you don't complete them all? There's no law which says that you must.
Yes ago, I was compulsive about completing projects I started. I'm sure this was due to my upbringing. Finally I decided that this was a silly attitude. Why work on a project I didn't want to work on, when I had better ideas lined up?
In a nutshell: to get more great ideas every day, pay attention to your ideas, and tell yourself you're creative.
If you have idea-generating tips which work for you, share them in the Comments.
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