creative life

5 Tips for Brainstorming

My work plate has been piled high with new projects.

I love starting new projects because I love the opportunity to brainstorm – it often leads me to fresh ideas to pitch to other outlets, too!

Even though I love the opportunity to brainstorm, I don’t always love brainstorming itself.

Let me explain…

5 Tips for brainstorming tons of fresh ideas... even when you're not in a creative mindset!

I get super-duper pumped about new ideas. It’s invigorating to come up with fresh concepts. However, if you’ve been doing the same thing for a while – say, working with one client or on one project type – getting out of a creative rut can be tough. It takes a mindset shift from that client or that project into a new way of thinking.

But, of course, it can be done! And once you get going, it’s rewarding and refreshing to generate a ton of new ideas.

If you’re in a similar spot, here are my top five tips for brainstorming new ideas (note: they can apply to absolutely any type of project or industry):

  1. Leave your space. Go somewhere new. Brainstorm in a novel environment to come up with novel ideas. (BTW, my public library has ahhhhhhmazing work rooms you can “check out” for free!)
  2. Pick up a magazine outside your industry and flip through everything, including the ads, with a pen and paper nearby. Jot down anything that catches your fancy.
  3. If you’re a writer, doodle. If you’re an artist, write. Don’t worry about good or bad, just let your hand flow with a skill that doesn’t come naturally.
  4. Stare out a window. Turn on wordless tunes. (I love the “Deep Focus” playlist on Spotify for this.) Let your mind wander.
  5. Go for a walk. Walk out your door with a specific idea–what’s the perfect , click-worthy headline for this blog post? is there a fresh angle for this piece on a tried-and-true subject? how do I cover this topic in a way that would surprise my readers?–and focus on that idea as you walk. Your mind will drift. That’s OK. There’s some kind of magic to letting your subconscious work out a problem, but that only happens if it knows what problem to work out!

You’ll probably notice that there’s a consistent pattern among these five ideas: That is, do something differently. The very best way to come up with your very best ideas is to step away from your usual, mundane routine and try something new.

No, it’s not always comfortable. But that’s the whole point!

So, try something new. Try something unusual. Try something outside your norm to brainstorm the very best ideas!