Where do writers come up with their ideas?

I still can't claim mastery of this topic but I've had some recent revelations that may help others. I've had writer's block of every kind for years. Most of it comes from the fact that I'm at a time in my life where I have very little time and whatever I do during that time feels like it has to be justified.

For years, I was drawn to every blog, article, or webinar that I could find on creativity and working through blocks. I was able to get some treatment for a bit of an anxiety problem that that helped quite a bit but I still struggled to stick with projects or to come up with anything that I felt was worth writing at all.

There are two things that I've done that, I feel, have allowed me to improve in this area of my writing:

1. I've started to read a lot more than I used to.

I'm up to around twenty-two books this year, though many of them have been audio, I'm pretty sure that this is a personal best for me. If I wasn't a grown-up with two kids, a full-time job, and a high-maintenance...um, hobby. I would have been able to tackle a lot more than that. When I was at that point in my life I wasn't in the same place, goal wise, that I am now.

Kind of round about way of saying it but I'll probably get to at least twenty-five books this year, and I'm pretty proud of that. Now if I could only hit a new writing high for this year (Another blog post)

2. I've started reading a book, you may have heard of it or at least others in the series, called Writing Fiction for Dummies. I'll link to it here on Amazon. That's not an affiliate link but it probably should be.

I didn't by the book but I'm hoping to, potentially, receive it as a gift. It's on my amazon wish list. I'm not in any rush though because I have the digital copy and the paperback from the library.

This book has some of the best pre-writing exercises that I've seen to help writers find out what type of books that they might want to write. It's not really
new or unique, honestly, but it made something click for me. And it freed me up a bit to start coming up with some fiction ideas that, I feel like, I could really move on.

It tells writers to look at what fiction they've read in the past and to break it down with the goal of identifying what aspects of fiction you enjoy and to further identify which aspects of those books you'd want to emulate in your own writing. Anyways, I'm still going through it, but I wanted to mention it because I've, personally, found it to be rather inspirational. You could try it on your own first or you could probably find another resources that gives directions on that kind of exercise.

Thanks for reading.

Have you found anything that helps you come up with ideas? If so, what? Leave a comment below or send me a message. Like I said, I haven't got this thing completely figured out but I wanted to share what's working for now in case other blocked writers are looking to try something new.