There is an important phenomenon that Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in her book Big Magic.
Since then, I have changed the way I look at ideas. You need to dedicate time to let your mind search for, develop and work on your ideas. You need to schedule one hour a week just to sit down with nothing but a blank sheet of paper and allow yourself to brainstorm.
You cannot dismiss any ideas or thoughts you have. No matter how big or small, an idea is an idea. It doesn’t have to make sense at the moment. But it might make sense later.
Shutting off your inner critic is an important skill. When you are brainstorming, when you get a shower thought or a light bulb moment – now is not the time to dissect the idea. Your role at this moment is to accept the idea and store it.
As important as getting an idea is, saving and storing the idea is equally important. Remember that you are not only saving the idea, but you are also saving the essence of the idea.
How can you generate fresh ideas?
Hold a brainstorming session
Do you ever realise how much work you can get done if you simply sit down and focus on your task, without any distractions? You need to do the same thing for your idea-generation process. By holding a scheduled brainstorming session, you are sure to get some good ideas out of it.
Use a prompt
When you have no idea about when and how to begin, using a prompt can be useful.
Go online and search for writing prompts, art prompts etc. When you scroll through ideas that other people have shared, you will notice that one or two prompts really stand out to you and spark some interest.
Research the people you follow and admire
Look at other people in your field of interest. What are they up to? Did they publish a piece of content that you found interesting or wished you had done it?
Look at what you would like to know more of
I have a Google doc called: To research someday. This list is exactly what it claims to be, it is a compiled list of questions that I have and want answers to, or wish I knew more about. By looking at what more you would like to learn about you can gain inspiration. A spark that can lead to an idea.
Forget everything and just write. Just start typing or start writing. See where it takes you. Don’t judge what you have written, and don’t bother about it being neat or grammatically incorrect. Just write until you feel like you have gotten all your ideas down.
After you are done writing down all your ideas, begin to organise them. Maybe some will work well for a blog post but other ideas may work better for a youtube video.
Look at your old notes and ideas
Looking at your old work reminds you of the emotions and the environment you were in when you first worked on the idea. By revisiting some of your old work – such as your old paintings and old articles etc, you will be sure to find some inspiration.