Keep Those Ideas Coming

Annette Youngby Annette Young

I am constantly asked how to keep creative ideas flowing and yes,  this can be difficult if you feel overwhelmed by the day to day problems in life, feel tired or, just low in spirits. The trick I have found at those times is to take myself out of the office and go for a walk. It may not be a high-tech answer but for me, it clears the cobwebs from my brain.

A change of scenery, a cup of strong coffee and a chance to observe life from your chosen spot is often all you need.

It can help if you can train your brain to respond creatively on demand though. The trick here is to force yourself to write even if you don’t want to. Yes, it’s the last thing you will feel like doing but, once you get past the first stages of, ‘I hate this,’ you’ll find your brain starts to respond. The more you do this, the easier it gets to tap into creativity.

Start to think and feel like a writer. I’ve always said that I live and breathe the written word and if you are writer through and through, you’ll do the same. Even when you are not writing, you are observing life and there can be no better way to get ideas by the masses. Fiction and non-fiction requires the experiences and observations of life. I’ve always said, no experience is ever wasted. At the very least, it becomes fodder for your writing.

If you really want to write with heart and with conviction, go and live a little. It will freshen up your ideas and your abilities no end.

 

Creative Ideas – Think Outside the Box

Idea generation

by Annette Young

Sitting in front of your computer with little idea as to what to write about is no fun. If this happens to you, then you are not alone. Sadly, creative ideas do not always respond to the demand of the blank screen anymore than they did with the blank sheet of paper. Of course, a little planning and preparation before your allocated writing time will pay dividends.

If you are really stuck and your mind is in a complete fog, it can pay to approach idea generation from a different angle. I’ve long said that creative ideas come from all around you. Let’s be realistic, the moment you step outside the door, you are bombarded with potential ideas from all types of sources. A conversation with a neighbour may spark off an idea and act as a trigger for a great idea. Open your eyes and mind as you walk through your local town centre, become aware of what is around you. Look up at the buildings around you. Notice a bricked up window – think about why it might have been done. Or, notice little alleyways or old doorways that incite interest. Go walking in the countryside and become more receptive to the natural scenery which can act like a salve to a fraught mind. Ideas really are there waiting for you to spot them.

But, sometimes, you have to shake it up a bit. If you think outside the box, you can find other ways to increase your creative mojo.

Facebook

Whether you love it or hate it, Facebook is filled with ideas. Not only can you see interactions between family and friends but also, read so many different posts, and then there are the memes and photos which should spark off lots of great ideas.

Online Forums

If you have signed up for any online forums, you’ll know that people don’t always stick to the main subject. Lots of conversations and ideas can develop from just reading about the concerns of others. Often, current issues pop up time and time again, but there’s often a whole lot more too. Even if these do not meet your current needs, write down some topics and you have a collection of potential ideas for later. 

Amazon

I’m including Amazon here as fodder for ideas but it could be any online bookshop. All you need to do is browse through and allow your brain to take any idea to the next level.  You are not copying of course, it’s just a starting point. The more you can develop, tweak and adapt it the better. Once your mind has a grasp of the concept, give it free rein.

There are so many ways in which to create wonderful creative ideas but, if you are really stuck, try the above and see where these ideas take you.

But why wait? You can be actively inspired if you join Write, Learn and Publish.

Write, Learn and Publish

Are you ready to write well and often? Take a look at our Write, Learn and Publish membership and learn with the best. CLICK HERE.

 

 

Four Creative Writing Exercises You Can Start Right Now

By Mark H Peterson

1. Read every day.

This is popular advice for beginners, simply because it really helps. You should aim to read everything you come across. It doesn’t matter how obscure or how out of your usual genre it is – read it! Every single piece of writing is an opportunity to learn something. You will be exposing yourself to new methods, new styles and new vocabulary.

The modern age has provided us with a never-ending stream of reading material. It’s important that you never limit yourself to one category, and it would be stupid to do so with so much out there. There are blogs, journals, scripts, poems… Read wide and read plenty.

2. Write every day.

So now you’re reading every day, absorbing new information and gathering ideas. Great! We aren’t done yet though. Obviously, the best way to get better at something is to practise. Writing is a skill, and just like any other, it needs to be trained.

Establish a regime or pattern for yourself and stick to it. If you want to be a good writer then you need to be in the habit of doing it every single day. Even if it’s only 10 minutes per day to begin with, just do it.

3. Stop censoring yourself.

Even the best writers will tell you that the first draft always sucks. You must learn not to be so critical of what you’re writing just yet. Write first, edit later. It’s way too easy to hate your own work or become disheartened early on and give up. DON’T. You’re writing and this is an awesome thing!

Remember, you have nothing to gain from not writing. Transferring an idea from mind to paper is never easy, yet the process of vocalizing your thoughts is invaluable in creating concrete, solid writing.

4. Carry a notebook.

Give yourself as many opportunities to write as possible. I often hear the complaint “I don’t have time to write”. Nonsense! You love doing it right? You will find the time. Think about the percentage of your day spent waiting for something or someone… the kettle to boil, the bus to turn up, the computer to turn on. Well, there’s your time. Get out that notepad and get writing.

This isn’t the only thing going for it and I’m certain you’ll be surprised at how useful a notebook is. I find it invaluable simply for catching those fleeting ideas and phrases that pop into my head at the most inopportune moments throughout the day (and often night). I would hate myself if I didn’t have a notebook on hand to furiously scribble them down before they retreat into some dark corner of my mind.

In essence it’s very easy to summarize this article: Read wide, write plenty. These are the basics to getting better at writing. Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Writing can be a very daunting task for the beginner, which is why I’ve created an entire website dedicated to posting the best   creative writing exercises and prompts. If you liked this article, I’m sure you’ll love it, so please stop by at: http://creativewritingexercises.org and let me know what you think.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Four-Creative-Writing-Exercises-You-Can-Start-Right-Now&id=6498603] Four Creative Writing Exercises You Can Start Right Now

Writing Tip of the Week 15

How many times has devine inspiration suddenly appeared out of the blue? That perfect idea, the perfect character, a plot that sizzles with so many twists and turns that it takes your breath away? But how typical that you are in the middle of a family dinner or at work,submerged in a sea of paperwork or perhaps your children are asking you to push them harder and higher on the swings.

 You may want to commit your idea to memory and believe that you will remember this idea once you are back at home but don’t take that chance. Good ideas can come and go in a flash. It only takes a moments distraction before your memory starts to fade and before you know it, it’s vanished or you are left with a mere shell of a plot.

Why not carry a little notebook with you when you are out? Or if you prefer, invest in a dictaphone. It needn’t take you long to scribble down the essence of your idea but you will be very glad that you did. Remember, that one idea could be the latest best-seller and it could seal your fate as the next great writer.

Ideas are precious. Store yours for when you have time to indulge them.

Writing Tip of the Week 14

Hoping to have some quality writing time on your next day off? Excited by the prospect of hours of creativity? Don’t waste a minute. Have your plans in place and a mass of writing topics, projects and stimulus ready just in case your creative spirit begins to flag. This could be photos for inspiration, first lines of published books or even a series of What If’s. You could even use any writing competition to give you inspiration whether you plan to submit or not. Providing you are well prepared, you will be able to enjoy the creative process and feel satisfied that you have made the most of your writing time.

The Secret Behind Keeping A Secret

By Rosemary Sneeringer

When you have an idea for a book or story, a big juicy hit that you can’t get out of your head that makes you jaunty and happy when you think of it, you know you have a good thing going. So why spoil it? Keep it to yourself.
There are a number of reasons why you should keep your ideas and your writing close to the vest. When you spill the beans, you have opened your idea up to various interpretations. Up until then it was clean, unsullied and pure, and it was yours alone. When you tell someone else your idea, it’s not your precious private idea anymore. And no matter how much you are protecting the integrity of the idea in your head, their comments will always be in your head now too.
It’s a good idea to incubate your idea alone, and get started writing on it before you tell anyone.
There are some exceptions to this concept. When you’re in a writing class and sharing your writing, this can be a great help, as long as it is a supportive class. You also want to be sure you tune in to your inner compass and only take the suggestions that resonate with you. Your idea should be developed enough to withstand criticism, unless you are just throwing out ideas and not too attached to them.
One thing that often happens is that people try to connect the dots to something they’ve read or seen that sounds even vaguely familiar to what you’re attempting. The funny thing about writing is that the same theme or concept can be the root of a somber and gut-wrenching tragedy or a rollicking comedy, so it’s important to honor what you’re writing as a work that is completely original.
There are so many influences from our culture and thousands of stories we’ve seen in our lives from television episodes alone. So when someone does play with the genre in an inventive way, it’s a shame to close down and conform to convention.
At times, however, you may be deluded and have an idea that’s just not going to work or be marketable. In that case, it’s good to know before you invest too much time in it that it’s a waste of time. Fortunately, this mostly applies to non-fiction, where it’s prudent to do your homework in advance anyway. In fiction, it’s a big, creative world out there, and when invention connects with an audience, it can connect in a big, big way.

Rosemary Sneeringer is The Book Nurturer. An experienced editor, she specializes in helping writers access their inner author to complete their novels, memoirs and books and to grow their businesses. Go to http://www.thebooknurturer.com for more information. Sign up for my FREE newsletter & receive the FREE downloadable meditation “Envisioning Your Book.”
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Secret-Behind-Keeping-a-Secret&id=6439874] The Secret Behind Keeping

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10 Ways to Boost Writing Potential

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The latest report from the Creative Competitor  ‘10 Ways to Boost Writing Potential’ is yours free when you become a subscriber to the Creative Competitor Weekly! Don’t worry, there are no hidden charges and you can cancel your free subscription at any time although we hope that you won’t. Plus you get to keep your free report just for signing up.

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Writing Tip of the Week 11

If you wish to be a productive and successful writer, don’t just start writing the moment an idea pops into your mind, let the idea germinate for a while first. Daily household chores can be a bore but if you let your imagination run riot during those times, play with your initial idea and tease it into growth, you will be maximising your creativity plus creating a more solid storyline as a result.

Writing Tip of the Week 7

Music has a way to inspire and it has the power to stimulate the creative mind. Next time you are struggling to write with deep emotion, play any songs that evoke an emotional response and watch how the words begin to flow afterwards.

Writing Tip of the Week 6

Timed Writing

If you struggle to fit writing into your busy schedule, don’t let all that creativity go to waste, plan some ‘timed writing’ into a spare  ten minute window in your day and write profusely for the full ten minutes.

You can give yourself a set theme to write about or use your surroundings for inspiration. The objective is to just write freely for the designated time period and keep the creative process oiled.

Writing Tip of the Week 3

If you struggle to get started with your writing in the morning, then plan out your writing day the evening before. This way you can maximise whatever time is available for your writing pursuits and you will be amazed at just how much you can achieve.

Writing – It Can Seriously Take Over Your Life

If like me, you are passionate about your writing and you think about it constantly, your brain can be on constant buzz alert and as a result, it can be hard to switch that level of creativity off.

I have heard some people say that writing should not consume too big a part of your life but how can it not when you  have trained your brain to recognise creative opportunities as they occur? My brain literally digests snippets of conversations that can be used to improve dialogue, it absorbs events as they occur around me and if I start people watching, I get an influx of possibilities through body language, movement and facial expressions. As fiction echoes life, I get masses of ideas on a daily basis and ok, sometimes too many for me to be able to focus on.

I personally think that if writing forms an integral part of your own make-up, then why fight it? For example, I am going to visit family in France in about three weeks time and although I am going with a friend, I have warned her that I will be taking my laptop with me (she did pull a face but knows me so well that it was pretty much a given)and I know that I will have to do some writing over there as I can’t imagine not doing any for a week. Think of the withdrawal symptoms! I love fiction but lately have had to spend a large amount of time writing articles but know equally that there will be so many potential non-fiction ideas whilst over there and who knows, I may even do some travel writing as a result.

Whilst writing may seem like some sort of addiction to the non-creative, it brings an innate feeling of relaxation too and a way of escaping the sometimes doom and gloom of reality even for a little while and writing generates so many opportunities to stretch yourself in new creative areas. What other profession offers so much variety?  I could be writing a travel article in the morning whilst sat admiring stunning views of the Pyrenees, dream up ideas for short stories whilst sipping coffee in a cafe at lunch time and may curl up in the evening whilst planning my next ebook –aided by a large glass of wine of course.

I love the fluidity of the writing life and if writing has taken over my life, I say, bring it on.

What about you?