How to harness ideas

Intentions are good. But imagining and harnessing unique ideas is one of the challenges of all writers, artists and general creative types.

Being prepared to maximise the conditions to generate and recall the ideas when they start to flow is essential.

I have this problem, so you’re not alone therefore I wanted to share some of my tips and techniques which help me.

5 top tips
  1. Always, always, always carry a notebook. Whether you sketch a plan, craft a bullet point as an aide memoir or feel the need to write an idea out in full. Having a notebook is essential so when the ideas come, you can keep them together in an easy to find place.
  2. Keep a notepad by your bedside. The best ideas come when we are relaxed. I often get ideas just as I’m getting into bed, or drifting off to sleep. I have been known to wake up in the middle of the night because I needed to write something down. When you have written it down you will be more relaxed and sleep better. Because you know you don’t have to worry about remembering it the next morning.
  3. Don’t force it. Sometimes the pressure of needing to come up with ideas is just too much to bear. When the stress gets too high you need to take time out. Put on some music and dance it off, take a walk, make a cuppa. Anything to walk away and refresh the grey cells should get you back on track. If not, chat your challenges through with a friend or colleague or simply remember tomorrow is another day and try again later.
  4. Keep your environment stimulating. Make sure your work space can help you get things done. I like a tidy and ordered space and lots of room to have inspirational things around me, as well as access to a window for natural light and a view. I also like being warm or sitting in the sun. Decide what suits you and create the best possible environmental conditions for creative success.
  5. Walk away and go to the loo. You may laugh (or indeed blush), but I often have good ideas when ‘on the throne’. It’s proven that if you’re relaxed, then your mind is more open to ideas and being creative. Relaxation is needed on the loo. So if I am trying to solve a problem, I’ll get up from my desk, pay a visit to the smallest room in the house and inspiration often strikes. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

If you have tips to share, please do with a comment below – hopefully they’re more embarrassing than some of mine too!