Two Opposite Ways of Getting New Ideas

By Bhalachandra Sahaj

get new ideas for writingYesterday I was standing on my balcony, enjoying the view of the city at night, and suddenly a great idea for my current book popped into my head. I rushed back to the room, grabbed a notebook, and wrote it down before I forgot it. Now, I feel like I’ve put something in a bank cell.

Okay, this is just a small episode, but come think of it, it’s basically my way of generating ideas. I can spend weeks thinking about the same problem (I mean my writing, haha) over and over again, and come to no conclusion. And then, I’ll be just relaxing–hanging out with friends, taking a hot shower, whatever–and the fresh idea I need will simply jump into my head.

Of course, it works best of all when I am not short in time; if there is a specific deadline, sometimes I just don’t have enough time to relax and let my mind do all the work instead of me. In this case, I use a radically opposite technique, of which everybody knows about: brainstorming. Tons of articles were already written about it, so I won’t focus on details; there’s just one thing I want to draw your attention to.

Brainstorming, in my opinion, should be done in the same relaxed manner. Like, instead of falling over yourself trying to produce genuine and smart ideas, try simply speaking out any thoughts about your current issue that come to your head. It does not necessarily need to be something serious, life-changing, and original–just your thoughts. Even if they don’t work at once, they can serve as a basis for upcoming cooler ideas. It’s like building a wall of bricks.

Honestly, I don’t know any other methods of generating ideas for writing. I have always used these two methods, and they both work under any circumstances. And what about you? Do you have any specific methods that help you move forward in your writing process? Feel free to share them in the comments.


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