1. Take a “good” idea you’ve previously had and start writing a similar story, but with a twist.
2. Start rewriting your favorite story someone else is written but tell the story how “you” want to tell it.
3. Try stream of consciousness writing — set a timer for five minutes and just write instantly what comes to mind for those five minutes. Don’t even stop to think, just write.
4. Do something creative that doesn’t involve writing for five minutes, then go back to writing. Inspiration comes from unlikely places as long as you put yourself in a position to receive it.
5. Take a moment to ask yourself what a “good idea” actually looks like. Are you really sure you don’t have one just sitting around waiting for you to give it a chance to prove itself?
6. Start writing the “not good” story idea anyway. You don’t know what it could turn into once you’ve worked with it for a while.
7. Write about not feeling like you have any more “good” ideas. (:
8. Don’t wait for motivation to show up or for inspiration to “find you.” Sometimes the only way to “get inspired” is to write until you feel inspired.
9. Remember that not all finished products that turned out great started out as great ideas. Making things is a process. Writing a story means your ideas are in constant motion. Things will always change, hopefully for the better.
10. Give yourself daily “free thinking” time. This might sound silly, but most of us don’t take any time to just sit without anything in front of us or playing in our ears, and more of us need to.
11. Go with your gut. If an idea comes to you, run with it. It might not work. But it might work, too.
12. Go easy on yourself. You can do this. You’re smart. You’re capable. Writing is hard. It’s not impossible.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.
2 thoughts on “12 Tips for Writing When You Feel Like You’ve Run Out of Good Ideas”
If I stopped have ideas and just wrote a 5 paragraph essay or tale or book abut all of the ideas that I have written in notebooks, steno pads, or post-it pads, I would have material for the next 10 years.
Between the daily news and the world around me, I have more ideas than I can write down.
Now I just need to get the discipline to hammer all these ideas out.