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With just a few regular activities, writers can reduce their constant struggle for ideas.

Writing is as much about coming up with a good idea as it is about articulating it. But we all know how elusive such ideas can be. Their hide-and-seek tactics have left us with the pesky writer’s block. Some writers live in fear of it, while some others dismiss it as a myth. The bottom line is that the lack of good ideas is one issue many writers face in common. Thankfully, you can overcome it with something as simple as a daily ritual.

Here are three of those rituals that can give you a steady stream of ideas Short Of Ideas For Your Next Project? Here Are 5 Web Tricks To Help Short Of Ideas For Your Next Project? Here Are 5 Web Tricks To Help Stuck for ideas? No problem. There are several ways to get past that mental block and come up with great ideas for your upcoming projects using online methods. Read More to base your next piece of writing on.

Finish Your Morning Pages

Artist Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages ritual is your creative license to write with abandon. Grab a notebook and a pen early in the morning and write three pages of anything in longhand. Yes, anything.

Capturing your thoughts as they come — no matter how bizarre they seem or how unfit they are to be shared with anyone — is liberating. The strangest things come to light as you continue to write this way. When you begin with the first page, you think you won’t be able to fill that single page, let alone three. But once you stop overthinking and concentrate on putting down the next word, you’ll find it tough to stop at three pages.

morning-pages

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The morning pages are not meant to be read, even by you. Their main task is to make you aware of the ideas bubbling beneath your consciousness. With regular practice, you’ll begin to see some great ideas come to the surface, many a time fully formed and only in need of expression.

For those of you who have forgotten how to hold a pen, try 750 Words to complete and keep track of your morning pages digitally. The site even has a points and rewards system to boost your motivation to finish your daily quota of three pages.

Try Focused Reading

As writers, we often wait to be struck by a stellar idea. But why leave something as important as ideas to the whims of chance? Take steps to conjure up ideas when you need them. Try stoking ideas with some focused reading 10 Surprisingly Simple Time Hacks For Reading More Every Day 10 Surprisingly Simple Time Hacks For Reading More Every Day There is just too much to read, and so little time. Their is just one obvious antidote against all excuses – you have to make time to read. The gold-plated question is how. Read More . Instead of idly browsing whichever page the Web throws at you, build a curated collection of writers, websites, and books that have a special impact on you. Every day, absorb a little of what they have to say. Do enough of this for a few days and you’ll become adept at judging whose words can inspire you instantly. The next time you have trouble putting words on the screen, you know where to find the right push.

reading

For example, when I’m short of ideas for my next MakeUseOf article, I navigate to the profiles of various MUO authors and browse through their article archives. If I don’t feel motivated to write at all, I seek out Patrick Rhone’s website or his assorted thoughts about writing to get me out of my slump. When I’m overwhelmed by all the deadlines I have to meet, I open up Zen Habits to find some clarity.

Indulge In A Stress-busting Activity

Stress can wreak havoc with your thought process and concentration. When you’re stressed out, you’re often plagued by lowered confidence in your abilities, a sense of panic caused by approaching deadlines Make Room For A Relaxed Weekend -- 5 Simple Tips To Beat Deadlines Make Room For A Relaxed Weekend -- 5 Simple Tips To Beat Deadlines Nothing can be more stressful than the threat of a deadline looming large. But, it does not have to be so. With just a few adjustments you can get your work done ahead of time. Read More , and an irrational fear of messing things up. The specter of writer’s block looms large once again. You can hardly expect yourself to give your best when you’re reeling under such negative feelings. No wonder you get stuck for ideas.

stress-buster

A solid way to release creative blocks is by countering stress Four Stress Reduction Exercises You Can Blog or Tweet About Four Stress Reduction Exercises You Can Blog or Tweet About Read More , and the best way to do that is by not allowing stress to settle into your life. Involve yourself in some stress-busting activity every single day. It doesn’t have to be something complex or take up a huge chunk of your time. It just has to calm you down and refresh you. Taking a catnap, fixing something around the house, talking to my sister, going for a walk, solving a crossword, etc. are some of the simple things that act as stress busters for me.

One Day At A Time

I have outlined these tips for writers, but with a few tweaks, they can be just as helpful for other types of artists wanting to destroy creative blocks. You need dedication and discipline to keep up with these practices. But once they go from being random activities to ingrained habits, you don’t need much effort to stick to them. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up. Just pick up where you left off.

Have a few idea-generation tricks for your fellow writers? Share them in the comments.

Image Credits: Find the idea by khalidalbaih (used under CC), perfect stranger by mezone (used under CC), Poesia by thebbp (used under CC), smiley face stress ball by jetheriot (used under CC) || All images are derivatives of their originals.

  1. WomanofSpirit99
    December 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you. I had forgotten about "Zen Habits." What a great way Mr. Babuta has organized his posts! Mr. Rhone is unknown to me, but it looks like he has good ideas. I'd also recommend "Marc and Angel Hack Life -- Practical Tips for Productive Living." http://www.marcandangel.com/

  2. Kathy Sechrist
    April 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Fabulous suggestions and, for me, a great reminder. I'm figuring out my first memoir and tend to go back and forth on where to start and if it is a story that has been told too many times and if it is what part of it is unique and how to focus on that - uffda! Thanks for the great reminders - I'm off to the treadmill for that stress busting activity while I read with purpose :)

    • Akshata
      April 7, 2014 at 7:21 am

      Thanks Kathy. Glad you liked them :)

  3. Dann A
    March 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I really like the idea of Morning Pages—I had never heard that before. I think stream-of-consciousness writing is great not only for getting ideas, but for de-stressing too. When you put your worries down on paper, they don't have to be in your head anymore!

    Fighting stress in general seems to be a great way for me to come up with writing ideas, too. Running, riding my bike, and just reading for fun always seem to help.

    • Akshata
      March 29, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Morning pages are great, but like any other good habit they need discipline, which can be a struggle sometimes :)

  4. Michael Rhodes
    March 27, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Good suggestions.

    I've been writing my first book this past year and the best thing I've found is AssGlue ™ . Just turn off the cell, mute the iPad, don't check mail and only use the browser for searches. Stay seated and write. Amazing how much one can get done without those modern distractions.

    Now about those leaf-blowers that the grounds people use and loud cars … iTunes instrumental playlist. :)

    • Akshata
      March 29, 2014 at 4:52 am

      Thank you, Michael. You're absolutely right. Turning off devices and notifications frees up a lot of time and mental space to get your writing done.

    • Kim
      April 7, 2014 at 7:35 am

      I hear you! My problem is that I continually stop and read what I have just put to paper. I need to stop doing that! I need to master getting a decent amount of work done without all my double-checking.

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