You know those days when you wake up pumped to get your ideas moving across the page? You're in your favorite spot with a fresh cup of coffee and fingers ready to work, but then your mind feels sleepy and you can't find the ideas you were hoping for. You are not alone. For those lonely, stuck mornings, I have a suggestion to offer.
Make it a goal to come up with at least 3 different topics each day to write about. Start in the morning as you lie in bed. Think as you drive around in your car throughout the day. Take time on your break at your job to ponder and even write some ideas down. The point is to consciously work your brain every day to generate new ideas.
Now, let me tell you, a lot of your ideas are going to be rubbish, but that is okay. Write through it. You are teaching your brain to get to a point where it subconsciously identifies topics throughout the day. If you are able to automate this task and get rid of the stress known as 'writer's block,' you have achieved success.
One way to begin coming up with some of these topics is to use your surroundings as inspiration. I recently read On Writing by Stephen King (a book I highly suggest). He inspired me to use situations or words that I hear as an avenue to mentally snatch the stories that these moments and words lead to. For example, one morning while at the beach, I woke up early, stood on the balcony, and looking at the few people walking along the sand. One man and his Yorkie caught my attention. I watched them as they made their way across the beach for their morning walk. The Yorkie, off leash and walking at a far distance from its owner, sniffed and ran as it pleased. The owner seemed calm and not at all worried about his Yorkie running away from him. This sighting got me thinking about this pair’s story. For the past five years, the walk took place every morning for this man and his Yorkie. The man moved to this beach 11 years ago after his wife became sick. She wanted to live out her days near the ocean: her favorite place in the world. He lost her after living here for only 2 years, but he stayed because he couldn't bear to give up the place where the memory of his wife was strongest. After a few years of what he considered to be his darkest days, he knew he needed a companion. When he was offered a Yorkie pup, he jumped at the offer. His morning walks were calming - the most peaceful part of his day.
I realize this may not be the most compelling story, yet I could work on it and develop this concept into something that may inspire a character or begin a plot. Either way, I am using my surroundings as an avenue to create a story. My current goal is to come up with 1 or 2 novella topics and 1 blog topic each and every day. As I try this tactic out, join me and let me know how purposefully generating ideas works for you. What are other ways you come up with new and fresh topics each time you sit down to write? I would love to hear from you and try out your ideas.