J. L. Willow

Author ~ Blogger ~ Storyteller

“Nothing. No ideas. Useless. Empty. Brain.” Hiro Hamada utters these extremely relatable words during Disney’s Big Hero Six. As a writer, I can completely understand the devastating feeling of wanting to work but having no inspiration to do so. It can be really frustrating and can easily result in falling into a rut. To prevent this, I have created a list of five tips on how to get those brain juices flowing and getting some new ideas for your writing!

  1. Get a change of scenery. Everyone has a favorite writing spot. For me, it’s a comfy chair in my house with a footstool that I can recline in and turn on some music to work. Whether it’s your bedroom or somewhere else in your house, there’s always that one spot that we start in when we’re writing. If you’re running low on ideas (or even motivation), looking for a new place to work is a great idea. I recommend going to a small cafe or coffee shop. That way, you can get a drink or snack and have something to look at instead of the same four walls.
  2. Look at writing prompts. Buy yourself a book of writing prompts or look at some free ones online. I recommend using The Writer’s Idea Book by Jeff Hefforn. It’s a really great resource with tons of good ideas and prompts from new to practiced writers. This can be a great way to change gears while still honing in on your skills as a writer.
  3. Search for inspiration. Going along with a change of scenery, go someplace new. Take a hike, go to the ocean, visit a fair, spend a day in the city. Taking your mind off your empty brain and filling it with new experiences and senses can help move things along. Sitting in your room all day rarely turns up new or fresh ideas. Go for an adventure and see what surfaces!
  4. Read. Although this may seem mundane, getting lost in another world can inspire something in your own work. You’re not looking to copy someone’s work, but you never know what thoughts will be inspired. Reading also helps you relax while expanding your vocabulary so that when you begin writing again, you’re pumped and ready to go.
  5. Put everything down. This last one may seem difficult, but sometimes our brain needs a break. Even though you may be itching to write, if it’s not the right time, whatever you do create won’t be quality. If all else fails, it may be time to take a break from the writing process. Writers often step away from their work for weeks on end in order to gain a new perspective and let their brain rest. Although it can be hard, sometimes it’s the best way to get some fresh ideas.

And there we have it! Five tips on how to get some new ideas for your writing. I hope these helped!

Do you have any other recommendations for what to do with an empty brain? Comment them below.

Happy writing, everyone!

— J. L. Willow

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