One of the most common complaints I hear from readers is that they struggle to come up with creative ideas. Not just great quality ideas that they feel excited and inspired about, but any ideas at all.
Maybe it’s something you’ve had issues with yourself?
Without any ideas to begin with, how can you create anything?
You have no raw materials, no starting point, nothing to shape or sculpt or develop.
So it feels that your creativity is dry, parched, and you’re dying of thirst.
The irony is, your creativity is a raging river. It’s just you can’t quite see it yet, or you’ve forgotten.
It’s like living right next to a real raging river in a cute little shack, but always exiting the opposite side to the water, and never turning around. All you see is the forest ahead of you, not the river behind, so it seems like there’s not a drop of water in sight.
So how can you help yourself realise that gushing river of creativity is there?
With ideas, there’s one subtle, yet crucial, mistake that so many of us make.
When we say “I never have any creative ideas” what we actually mean isn’t that at all. What we actually mean is “I never capture any creative ideas.”
I’m sure you can remember times like this:
You were driving home, or in the shower or washing up, just tumbling a few random thoughts around in your mind about your day, your finances, that argument with a friend, your father’s upcoming birthday, and a hundred other things, and suddenly a flash of an idea appeared.
At this point you were excited at something you’d never thought of before. “This has great potential,” you thought, “I’ll make sure I remember it and return to it when I have a little more time.”
This sounds a perfectly natural and sensible plan. Except your memory isn’t that good. No offence, but it isn’t. I know mine definitely isn’t!
So later comes and goes and then one day maybe a week into the future, you remember vaguely having this great idea. But you have no clue what it was about!
And so, your shiny new idea that promised so much, disappears into the ether, lost forever.
So this happens time and time and again, and before too long you develop this picture of yourself as someone who never has any creative ideas. Because you’ve got nothing to show you otherwise, no proof or evidence.
How To Dive Headlong Into Your Mighty River Of Ideas
There is of course an alternative. But it involves some pretty sophisticated cutting edge equipment, and a huge amount of talent and application to be able to make use of it. Do you think you’re up to it?
For the equipment, you’re going to need a notebook, a pen, and, um, oh that’s it.
Here’s the technique. Study this very carefully.
When you have an idea, that very first moment it pops into your mind, write it down.
It really is that simple.
There are so many bonus offshoot benefits when you use this simple method to capture your creative ideas.
The most obvious is that you have the ideas captured! Plus you have evidence that you do indeed have great ideas, they’re all there collected in your ideas book. So your image of yourself shifts from being someone who never has any creative ideas to being someone who has lots of them.
Another benefit is that ideas, once collected like this, have a habit of breeding and evolving, even without you noticing. Once you’ve written something down, when you return to it a day, a month, or a year later, you’ll read it back, and other ideas will come to you that are connected with it, or that are different variations of it. (Write them down too, even if you don’t use them right away.)
Also, by capturing your ideas, you subliminally send out a message to all the other vagabond ideas wandering around in your head waiting for a good home.
Then you’ll start to discover that the more ideas you have, the more ideas you have.
I’m not exactly sure how this part works, but I once heard of a guy called Frank who had an interesting theory on ideas.
I could write thousands of words on why you should use a notebook to capture your ideas, but I’d rather you spent the time just trying it out and seeing for yourself how effective it is. There really is no better substitute.
Your creative thirst will be over as soon as you get that ideas book going. You’ll suddenly hear that mighty river by the side of your shack, run and jump into, and wonder how on earth you felt so thirsty for so long.
Go, get your ideas book started today!
If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, please take a few seconds and use the buttons below to share with others who might like it too. This helps support and spread the word about my writing.
If it’s your first time here, you might like to subscribe to receive new posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading.