Has Your Idea Fountain Run Dry?

121316-ideafaucetIt happens to the best of us… You go to get a drink at the Idea Fountain only to find somebody didn’t pay the water bill!


Or the fountain is running, but instead of clean, crisp water brimming with wonderful ideas, it’s a stagnant trickle filled with bug legs and slime… and only provides mediocre ideas.

Double Craptastic!

So what do you do?

(And it’s especially painful when you’re looking at a looming deadline, dying of thirst, and that fountain is so dry even the DUST has blown away!)

Try sipping from the idea fountain from a different direction!

For me, this is often hitting Pinterest looking for crafting idea. I RARELY craft but I’ve been known to pull together some random supplies and then do a search on Pinterest to see what I can make with them.

Or gather a bunch of paint chips and think about re-painting a room. Repainting my laundry room (and decorating it) was just the ticket for a November filled with lackluster ideas.

Work on your marketing plan – imagine all the ways you can reach new clients or new prospects. Or how to build your email list.

Search for gifts.

121316-goldPaint something gold. (Seriously, spray paint is my happy place. ESPECIALLY gold spray paint!)

Often, I don’t actually have to DO the alternative creative idea – I just have to relax the “word creativity” portion of my brain and let a different creativity center take over for a while.

But sometimes, because of what I do, I can’t COMPLETELY get away from that “word creativity” center. So, I let my conscious mind get a hall pass on that project and let my subconscious work on it.

For example, I agreed to co-write a book of short stories with author Karl Bosselman. He’s got five slightly-twisted stories about bugs and I’ll write five bug stories of my own.

Mulling this over and over and OVER… and that Idea Fountain kept coming up dry. Ugh! I couldn’t even decide which bugs I wanted to write about, let alone come up with colorful plot ideas.

Here's what to do if the Idea Fountain is running dry! #amwriting Click To Tweet

Then, I worked on a totally unrelated project: a direct-response sales letter and the client didn’t like the greeting line. This is where you say,

Dear {pain-filled-person},

I had originally provided Dear Clutter-Bug (the page is selling a course that helps people deal with clutter) but that got x-nayed.

I spent a good solid half-hour coming up with SIXTY-ONE new openings. Some are okay, others are crap, some are completely tongue-in-cheek. (And I discovered you can only dance around the word “clutter” so long…)

But here’s what happened:

By sipping at the Idea Fountain for something completely unrelated to ANYTHING I am personally invested in, my ideas about the BUG stories started to flow. But the ideas weren’t what I expected (spiders, mosquitos, centipedes.) Instead I’m thinking of writing about a clutter bug and a jitterbug and a humbug…

If the Idea Fountain has completely dried up, try using it for something else and maybe an idea will float to the surface!

Kim Galloway
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