There comes a point in virtually every writer’s career when she asks herself, “Will I have enough new material to last the length of my career?” Frankly, I have never worried about this because I have always relied on the Lord to inspire me with ideas. And the well has never run dry because God never runs dry.
At the same time, I have also observed certain practices that have stimulated my mind and provided grist for my writing mill. Here are some things that I do and that you can do to come up consistently with fresh ideas:
• Read as much as you can both in your writing genre and outside your writing genre. Reading gets you thinking in new ways and about new ideas you may not have considered before.
• Be observant. Ideas are all around you. You just have to tune into them as you would tune into a radio station. In other words, you have to turn on the radio (your attention) and turn the dial to the right frequency to receive. Wherever you go, be intentional about observing people, places, and situations. Listen in on conversations in order to learn. Pay attention to your surroundings in order to sharpen your sense of detail. Ask yourself questions like, “What if that man waiting for the bus were a CIA agent?”; “What if that woman standing in line ahead of me at the cash register just lost her husband?”
• Visit new places. Leaving your hometown and exploring new locales will greatly enhance your creativity and offer fresh ideas for stories. You will meet new people, see new places, and have new experiences, all of which will keep your writing fresh and alive.
• Express your creativity through other arts, such as painting or playing an instrument. The arts feed one another. For example, I am a visual artist who paints in oils and acrylics. I have learned many principles about painting that also apply to writing fiction, and vice versa.
• Pray for fresh ideas. Actually, I recommend starting with prayer. God promises to give us “witty inventions” (Proverbs 8:12). When you ask Holy Spirit to give you ideas for your writing, you can be sure He will give you the absolute best.
Coming up with fresh ideas for your writing is not so difficult as it seems. What do you do to remain fresh in your writing? Have you tried any of the above suggestions with success? Let’s hear from you.
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