Ideas for Brain Storming

One way to get inspired is to do some brain storming.  Get a white-board or flip chart or a bunch of pieces of blank white paper, preferably large pieces of paper.  Jot down ideas about what you are trying to do.  Getting another person or two involved that know you and/or know the area that you are trying to brainstorm in can be very helpful.  Don’t get too many people, however, or it will just slow things down.

One approach is to start by writing what you want in the middle of the page, then draw lines out around it, like a star, with different ideas branching out of it.  From these, you can then branch out ideas out of this.  For example, you could write, in the middle, “Story.”  Then draw lines from there pointing to “Mystery,” “Romance,” “Sci-Fi,” etc.  Then, from “Mystery,” you could put “Murder,” “Hidden Treasure,” “Robbery,” etc.  This can also be done online with tools such as

Another, similar approach is to make a list, or lists of lists of ideas.  This can be a bulleted list or lists of ideas.  Don’t worry about order for now, just write them down as they come.  By not worrying about the order, etc., you can make sure you get all the ideas.  If you worry too much about priorities, you may inadvertently miss out on ideas that don’t come because you are taking too much time worrying about format and priorities.  You can priorities ideas later.

Either way, make sure that no idea is shot down.  Just write it.  Even if it makes no sense, it may spark an idea from someone else which may lead to the big break-through that you were looking for.  Eventually you should wind down the brainstorming session and come to an agreement on what idea or ideas should be pursued.  If this doesn’t come right away, you may need to “table” this–leave it, and come back to it in a day or so.  Sometimes inspiration comes while sleeping, or showering, or doing something else.

Keep all the ideas.  You may want to keep a notebook of ideas.  Ideas that don’t seem interesting today may seem interesting in the future.  Look back on these notes later on to help bring ideas back to your mind.  You may continue brainstorming at a later date where you left off.

What inspires you?  What brainstorming techniques have you used and found productive?

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