4 Ways to Train Your Imagination

Are you an author who's always wondering what to write next? If ideas don't spring instantly from your imagination, here are a few ways you can train your imagination to be more forthcoming.

4 Ways to Train Your Imagination

1. Keep a notebook with you at all times and jot down those fragments of ideas, flights of fancy, snippets of dialog, or words that catch your attention because those little tidbits represent your imagination at work. Writing them down encourages your imagination to expand.

2. Get a blank book and write down your dreams when you awake in the morning. At night, write down things you heard during the day or saw on television or read in a newspaper or online. Describe the two teens you saw at the burger joint as they went through a high school ritual of first stage courting. Remember, don't call this blank book a journal because a lot of people think if you start a journal, you're making a big commitment. That can be too intimidating. No pressure. Just keep it light and fun.

For some reason, doing it old school with paper and pen seems to stimulate ideas. Maybe it's because your brain works faster than your hand moves across the page so the brain knows it's got to produce something when you pick up the pen and open the book.

Once you start jotting down these odd pieces of observation or flights of fancy, you'll be surprised how fast they'll come--sometimes in the middle of the night so keep a pen and your book on the bedside table. Once the floodgates open, you'll be amazed at the flow of thoughts and ideas and memories too.

3. Schedule time to write so that when you sit in front of the keyboard at the appointed time, your brain knows words are expected. An easy way to assure this flow of ideas is to glance through your little notepad or your blank book when you sit down for your scheduled writing time.

4. Just start typing if you're at your computer at the appointed time, and the words are stalled. It doesn't matter whether or not you know what happens next, you just want the words to flow. If you're too inhibited to just write a stream of words until something intelligent shows up, just type: "I don't know what to type. I don't know what to type. I don't know what to type."

Trust me, if you make a bargain with yourself that you will work one hour at an appointed time, and you'll type the above nonsense over and over for one solid hour before letting yourself off the hook, then your brain, out of sheer boredom, will provide you with something intelligent to write.

The words come easy when they're always flowing. The more you write; the better the words flow.

Takeaway Truth

Do you have any tricks to start writing and keep writing? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

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