It 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.
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.
Paint 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,
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!
- A Crazy Challenge for Connecting Deeply with Your Creativity - February 7, 2023
- Myth: I Can’t Write a Book Because I Have ADHD/Dyslexia - January 31, 2023
- How Dogs Can Help with Loving Your Writing Process (without Shame) - January 24, 2023