Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What To Do When Your Drain Gets Clogged & You Can't Stop Thinking Of Ideas

Many times I have blogged on how to find inspiration when you run into a writer’s block or run out of ideas to write about. But what about those times when you have too many ideas and you simply can’t think straight or focus on what you’re doing at the moment?

That’s what’s been happening to me since returning from my third writer’s conference, Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. I came back with an overdose of inspiration—a notebook full of notes and a brain overflowing with ideas. And now I can’t think of what to do next. My wheels are spinning fast... but going nowhere.

Many times this is not the case. Many times as writers we stare at the computer screen, just waiting for something to pop into our heads. But what happens when the door to inspiration finally opens, and out comes an overflow of ideas?

  1. Pour the ideas out of your brain and into a notebook/new Microsoft Word document.
  2. Choose only one of those ideas to focus on for now and try to come up with more ideas that branch off from the first. This way, instead of using this inspiration to create brand new ideas, you’re using it to only create new ideas for your current WIP.
  3. Avoid multi-tasking, such as commenting on a few blog posts while trying to write one of your own. Focus on what you’re doing at the moment and invest all of your energy into that one project.
  4. Give yourself a certain amount of time to focus on what you’re doing. Be sure to eliminate all distractions and do not let your mind wander elsewhere until your time is up.
  5. Always put your priorities first. It’s fine coming up with new story ideas while already in the middle of writing one, but keep them all in the same file and make sure that they stay put and are not messed with until your current WIP is complete.
Of course, having too much inspiration and ideas is certainly better than not having enough—but it can become a bad thing if you aren’t sure what to do with these new ideas. Clean out the clog to unstop the drain, and the flow will once again start pouring at a steady pace.

What about you?
Does your "drain" often get clogged with too many ideas?
How do you put them to the side and choose only one to focus on for the moment rather than allowing yourself to get distracted with the others?


  1. That happens to me all the time!
    I've never really had a problem with coming up with ideas, my problem is focusing on the story at hand and not instantly start writing the next thing. When I was about 11 I had so many outlines and half written stories floating around my room that it was insane!

    Great post!

  2. Lol, that's exactly how it was with me too. I only wrote the beginning of several stories, kept them in a file, then started writing some more.



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