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How To Come Up With Ideas for Writing a Book

HandwritingHave you ever wanted to write a book, but couldn’t come up with an idea to get the writing process started? Even the best authors who are incredibly prolific can struggle with new ideas for a book. When that happens, there is a specific process that they follow so new ideas can be generated. Here is that process so you can follow it when you’re searching for the next great story.

#1. Step outside into the world.

The real world is full of important stories which deserve to be told. There are moments of inspiration everywhere, but you’ve got to seek them out. Sit at the coffee shop for awhile and just listen to the conversations. Take a drive into the country and watch the wildlife you spot. Relax on a beach and let the sun warm your face. When you engage with these moments, new ideas begin to develop.

#2. Use prompts to continue developing an idea.

There are numerous writing prompts that you’ll find online. You can also use family photos, scrapbooks, an old blog you used to write – as long as it helps to keep the idea for your book developing, it’s a useful tool. Then keep expanding upon that idea by adding new characters and thoughts that feel meaningful. You might not use them all, but ideas are contagious. Once you have one, you’ll start having more.

#3. Read the work of other authors.

Creativity inspires more creativity. It takes a lot of work to write a book. Many authors have already made it happen. Read a book from a favorite author or read something new that is outside of your comfort zone. As you read, pay attention to the structure of the book. Seek out the plot points. The goal isn’t to copy their work. It’s to understand how to structure your own ideas into a publishing medium.

#4. Start writing even if you don’t feel like doing so.

Sometimes the best way to generate new ideas is to just start writing. This is called “free writing.” Don’t edit yourself. Don’t second-guess yourself. Just write whatever comes to mind. By commanding the need for creativity, a response will be generated that will form ideas. Then you can choose which ideas might be suitable for a future composition.

#5. Do something else that is creative.

If you are unable to find some words to write and your mind feels unfocused from a creative standpoint, then it is necessary to bring that focus back. You can do this by being creative in other ways. Some writers enjoy cooking. Others have picked up painting or photography. Composing music is a good option. A good idea often pops up in the middle of these other creative endeavors, so be ready to write it down when that happens.

#6. Go get some exercise.

For many writers, the lack of an idea for a book is often a result of stress that is being felt. One of the best natural stress relievers out there is good, old-fashioned exercise. Hop onto a treadmill. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Put on a helmet and ride your bike for awhile. As you tick off the distance, the mind begins to relax and the creative centers are then stimulated.

#7. Try to sleep on it for a day or two.

Sometimes writers get their ideas not from real life, but from their dreams. Dreaming helps people be able to work out certain problems, revisit special memories, and create new environments that are tangible and real. If you struggle to remember your dreams, try keeping a journal next to your bed and begin to write down what you remember every morning when you wake up. Not every dream will offer an idea, of course, but the ones that do can offer options that are very profound.

#8. Interview people.

If you’re trying to develop a character, then speak with people who seem similar in real life. Ask them questions that you’d ask of your character. Pay attention to the non-verbal responses that you receive. This will help you be able to add a level of realism to your book and you might just get a few extra ideas to include with your writing.

Knowing how to come up with ideas for writing a book often involve being proactive and interactive in some way. Above anything else, keep a positive attitude when seeking out these ideas. Be patient. Don’t settle for the first idea that comes your way, even if it seems like a good one. Then, when the moment is right, you’ll be able to write a great book that people will want to read.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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