Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where Do You Look For Ideas?

Some people naturally generate ideas, often at a fast pace. Not all of them are good and many are not acted upon even if they are good. Ideas are the essential currency for authors and publicists. Without good ideas, publishing is dead. But ideas flow for some with ease and little effort. For others, they get blocked by an obstacle, stress, time, or something. They may be intelligent people but they hit a wall on the ideas front. What is a good place to search for ideas? Here are a dozen off the top of my head:

1.      Talk to others. About anything and everything. Use them to spur an idea unwittingly.

2.      Intentionally brainstorm, one on one, or with a small group. Don’t judge any ideas openly – just note them, and see if they inspire additional thought.

3.      Go to an art museum. Get a change of perspective from creative geniuses.

4.      Ask a question. Change one element of the question. Change something about the answer. Keep manipulating pieces of a puzzle until you create a new picture.

5.      Do not think so hard about whatever it is that needs your attention. Often good ideas come about accidentally or when you are not intentionally focused on the subject.

6.      Read books to get your mind off of the very thing you want to obsess over.

7.      Tend to a hobby. Maybe draw or play a game. Be a kid again and perhaps a fresh idea will step forward.

8.      Get physical. Get the blood flowing and get some aggression out. Sometimes walking far, running fast, or hitting a ball hard knocks an idea loose.

9.      Look at history. Go antique shopping. Look at photos from a hundred years ago. Learn about older cultures and maybe something from the past can even connect you to the challenges or needs of the present.

10.  Just stare at people. Observe them closely. Imagine what they are thinking, where they are going, what they are doing. Envision their lives as detailed and deeply as possible. Put yourselves in the lives you have assumed for them. Get out of your own life and see the world through the eyes of others.

11.  Get a change of scenery. If not an outright vacation, just get lost for a while. Drive or take a train to a town a few hours away. Explore a little. New input delivers new output.

12.  Redraw your surroundings. Look around you, then close your eyes. Imagine different things – a purple tree, a cow next to a skyscraper, a dog that talks, a car driving down the street from the 1920s, a beautiful actress sitting next to you, sunshine coming from rain, etc.

There are many mental exercises one can do to place their mind in another state of being, from sleep to meditation, and from drugs to alcohol, we can transform our minds to be elsewhere. Sometimes our best ideas just come to us when we are not intentionally focused on trying to discover them.

So relax and let your mind be a tease. It may just generate a great idea.


Warren Adler, the author of dozens of books, including the made-for-the-movies War of the Roses, is releasing his newest book, The Serpent’s Bite in September. In honor of that he is re-releasing several of his earlier works – for FREE. Download them and tell a friend! Warren is a special client of mine and his works deserve lots of attention.

 For more information, consult  If you’d like to download some of his earlier works—for free just click on

Here's the current schedule:

Free Download- Mourning Glory
Free Download- Housewife Blues
Free Download- Never Too Late for Love
6/18- 6/24
Free Download- Residue
Free Download- Random Hearts
Free Download- Banquet Before Dawn

Why Do I Love Being Involved In The Book Publishing Industry?

“When I finally found the courage to independently release my first novel, RED TIDE, I felt a sense of accomplishment. But then my first reviews began coming in—from people I don't know. READERS! People who don't know me were reading my words and I was humbled.

My next high-point? Through the Amazon KDP Select program, my book was getting checked out of the library. READERS! I loved libraries as a kid and  thinking about my little book flying through cyber space for someone to enjoy was and is an incredible thrill.

-- Peg Brantley, RED TIDE, Suspense Novelist , Crime Fiction Collective

Advice To A Struggling Writer

“Many reasons good writing is rejected: space limits, personal taste, just pubbed 1 like it, etc. Not b/c it's not good. So keep submitting.”

-- Editor Chris Roerden, award-winning author Don't Sabotage Your Submission,

“I would tell the writer to:
·  Hold on to your dream, and never give up.
·  Learn all you can about the writing craft and the writing profession.  
·  Hang out with writers who have done what you want to do.  Learn from the best.
·  Be teachable and open to criticism.  Put aside your ego. It will stand in the way of your learning.
·  Attend writers' conferences.
·  Join a critique group of writers who know more than you do.
·  Promote other writers.  To help others is never to diminish oneself.
·  Pray for God's direction as you write. 
·  Write the works of your heart, those that inspire your passion.”,

Did You Miss These Recent Posts?

How To Create A Writer’s Legacy Like War of the Roses’ Warren Adler

Taking TV’s The Apprentice Approach To Book Publishing

What’s The Secret Password To Publishing Riches?

What do you have to say to get someone to buy or review your book?

Do you really have the best credentials to write your book?

Love is in the air at Book Expo

Can Book Publicists Be Heroes?

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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