How to always have good ideas


Have you ever had those days when you can’t think of anything to write about?

I thought today would be one of them because as I sat down, with the intention of writing for my blog, I can’t think of an interesting topic.

I considered taking a shower, since there have been many times when a good idea hits me there.

But since I live in a city where boiling water for your bath is a must, unless you want to take an ice-bucket challenge everyday, staying on the couch seemed more like a good idea.

So I didn’t budge and kept staring at my laptop.

Why don’t good ideas show up whenever you need them?

You might have said the same to yourself at times like these.

And it’s frustrating.

In a November post, Buffer explained the science behind how our brains work in order to generate great ideas.

The key takeaway there is “producing new ideas is a process.” And you need to train your brain to do it naturally.

The training starts by prepping the mind by collecting ideas, brewing it, then letting it go.

That’s why the ‘A-Ha Moment’ or when great ideas strike often comes when you’re doing something else, especially when you’re relaxed.

How to speed up idea-generation

The experts Buffer cited further explained that generating great ideas (or this process of being creative) is like a tortoise that only emerges when it feels safe.

How then can we make it move faster?

Mark McGuinness, a creative coach suggested removing the 7 fears that’s stopping the tortoise from coming out.

Here are the fears he cited and their solutions.

7 fears stopping idea generation

I suggest you read his article if you struggle with these blocks.

3 more ways to get good ideas fast

But don’t go just yet as here are 3 more methods to regularly and quickly generate good ideas .

1. Capture your ideas and have a storage system for them

As mentioned, coming up with good ideas is a process that starts with collecting ideas.

Quite puzzling but as James Webb Young, cited in Buffer, said,

an [good] idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements.

It’s then essential to get into the habit of storing ideas, ones that you come up with yourself and those from others.

Belle Beth Cooper starts with writing down five new ideas every night.  And as far as I know, her system for storing her ideas is in the form of index cards.

Mine (the current one) often starts with a paper and pen or my PC’s copy-paste function and notepad then transferred to a text file in Scrivener.

2. Be a fan of your own work

The mental, emotional, and communication blocks Mark McGuinness mentioned could be suppressed by reading your past articles.

I’ve found it also helps to see if there were gaps in the pieces you wrote which you can cover in new articles.

In a conversation with Celine Roque, a fellow Pinay writer, she mentioned that reading the entries in her journal “pumps her to work” while on my end, it triggers new ideas.

3. Collaborate with others

Collaboration can mean a lot of things depending on what you’re writing.

It could be meeting with your team if you’re writing a business article, talking with your customer if you’re writing a case study, or brainstorming with an editor or colleague.

In this infographic, Hubspot shows how all these can fill your idea bucket so always remember to store them.

In conclusion

Ideas are everywhere but good, or better, great ideas don’t show up immediately.

And when they do, they could get lost in a matter of minutes.

So collect all kinds of ideas you come across with whether it’s good, not-so-good, or bad.

And who knows, sitting on the couch while staring at your laptop might turn into a post you intended to write in the first place.