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5 Ways To Generate New Ideas And Creativity

ideas for writersAlthough ideas are everywhere, if you’re like me, you sometimes feel stuck for inspiration.  You know what I mean – it’s that ‘my mind is numb’ feeling.

That’s when it’s time to break out of your own rut. It’s doing something different or differently that tends to help your minds open up to new ideas.

Here are five things I’ve found help:

  1. Go to a museum you normally wouldn’t go to. If you don’t think you like modern art, or don’t know much about it, spend a couple of hours in a museum for modern art. Or a folk museum or a museum for kids… anything you’re not used to looking at.
  2. Find a different route to someplace you go to regularly. Don’t take the shortest route or the roads you’re most familiar with. Deliberately  find a much longer way to get there, or if it’s close enough walk instead of drive, or take a bike, unless that’s what you usually do.
  3. Shop in a new-to-you store. I like to do this with ethnic food stores. I always feel slightly lost and see and experience things I’m not familiar with – which is the point.
  4. In a similar vein, if you’ve got ethnic restaurants nearby eat something you’ve never eaten before. This can work even in the most American restaurants.
  5. Turn your day around. If you normally start writing early, start late; if you love writing late at night, get up early and write for a day or two. This isn’t forever, just long enough to stir things up.

There’s nothing magic here, not really. It’s about shaking things up, getting refreshed, even taking a break.


My father used to say “a rut is a grave with both ends kicked out.”  So kick out those ends and try something new. I’ll bet it you do the ideas and creativity starts flowing again.

How do you kick start yourself?

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Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • jorgekafkazar

    Bookstores, plays, crossword puzzles, courses, a strange magazine you’ve never read before, art galleries…

    • all good places… and anything you haven’t done before or done only ages ago.

  • I enjoy taking a different route to the places I usually go. You never know what you’ll see that will give you inspiration.
    .-= Kathryn Pless´s last blog ..Expanding My Horizons =-.

  • One I learned at a retreat at my weekly paper once…leave the building you’re in right now, go outside, and walk around for an hour. Talk to shop owners. Talk to passersby. You are guaranteed to discover a piece of news you could write about. Never fails.

    Carol Tice
    The Make a Living Writing Blog:
    .-= Carol Tice´s last blog ..Guest blogger: Sam Thacker – Earning Big His First Year Writing =-.

    • Anne

      Excellent… I was the editor for a weekly once and there I was also the typesetter (quark!) and could hardly get out of the office… drove me off that particular job.

  • Gah! Stuck right now!

    Thanks for the tips. 🙂
    .-= Elizabeth West´s last blog ..Geek Heaven =-.

  • Nice tips. A change of pace always does the ticks. I like going to the library. It has WiFi access so I can get work done, and have a change of scenery. Plus inspiration is everywhere.

    Hikes and long dog walks also are good head clearers.
    .-= Deb Ng´s last blog ..The Brand New Jeans Approach to Freelance Writing =-.

    • Anne

      Our little underfunded library is always a zoo… but I take you’re meaning.

  • Good tips, Anne. A great book that helped me do a ton of brainstorming is Writing Articles About the World Around you by Marcia Yudkin. The first third of the book has lots of tips for seeing ordinary things in life as potential story ideas. Here’s one good one: If you’re telling friends a story about something that happened to you and they seem especially engaged, maybe that’s a story idea for a broader audience.

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