These days, we tend to go hunting for ideas by doing copious amounts of research, especially online. If you have done this and you are stuck, you may we need to turn off the computer and allow ideas for your book to emerge from another part of your brain.
Our world – especially the online one – is very noisy. When we start looking at what else is out there it can seem as if every idea has been used – and expressed. When that happens, it is easy to get overwhelmed and wonder if there is anything else left to say. When you get to that point, it is easy either to go blank and feel you have no ideas at all, or think all your ideas are wrong.
When that happens it is time to switch off the computer, put all your notes and other references aside, and let your mind wander so your subconscious can get to work. If the first thing you do when you start working on your book is to turn on your computer, it might be time to leave it off so you can do a different kind of work.
So, how do you create the right conditions for allowing your ideas about your book to emerge? In a way, it’s a personal choice, but here are three simple and easy-to-do ideas to get you started.
1. Review then rest
You need to know what you want to ruminate if you are looking for ideas for your book so a good way to start your thinking time is to review all your data. Once you have taken it all in, go for a walk or go and do something physical like exercise, cleaning or baking. Do anything that occupies your conscious, logical mind but leaves your unconscious mind to wander. Watching a film or reading a novel can give your mind a rest too, so if you can try these too.
It’s easy to get overtired and mentally exhausted when you are searching for ideas for your book. Sometimes, you feel as if you’re going round in circles and your ideas are merging into one, allowing yourself to sleep on it can refresh both you and your thinking. Sometimes a mid-afternoon nap can allow you to get into a lighter sleep where ideas can emerge more easily. If sleeping doesn’t appeal, you could meditate instead. This is another way of allowing your conscious mind to take a rest so you unconscious can have space to roam.
This is less hands-off than the other two methods but can be just as effective. The process of writing whatever comes into your mind can give you room to go wild, brainstorm a bit, moan about the situation, and simply allow ideas for your book to emerge as you write. Free-writing is something you can indulge in daily to keep your mind moving. Free-writing, when done properly, keeps your conscious mind occupied as you are constantly trying to think of something to write, which is when what you really think starts to come through.
Far from solving problems, over-thinking can make them worse. When it comes to finding the right ideas for your book, giving your mind time to rest or occupying it with other matters can help your best ideas to emerge.
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