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Original and Creative Ways to Help You Overcome Writer's Block

Linda Crampton is a teacher who enjoys reading and creative writing. Her favourite genres are classic literature, fantasy, myth, and poetry.

Finding Topics to Write About

Like many writers, in the past I've sometimes experienced times when I've wondered what to write next. These periods of writer's block rarely occur today and never last for long. I've created a list of strategies that give me ideas for writing topics. The techniques should be helpful for other people, too.

Many of the activities that I use to generate writing ideas involve observing and exploring the world around me. Observations can stimulate interest, passion, and imagination. Engaging in new experiences can have the same effect. Of course, not all observations and experiences are welcome or safe. Some of life is too tragic, painful, or dangerous to observe or to experience voluntarily. In general, though, by becoming more open to the world around us we can discover many new ideas to include in our writing.

Making observations with different senses can be helpful.

Making observations with different senses can be helpful.

Make Observations

Here are some activities that may give you new ideas for writing themes. You'll probably find that the activities are fun to do even when you're not looking for writing topics.

  • Use a magnifying glass, binoculars, a telescope, or a microscope to see new details of objects and new layers of reality.
  • In summer, a habitat such as pond water often contains an invisible community that is revealed under a microscope and can fuel the imagination. A telescope can reveal exciting details of space. Even an inexpensive magnifying glass can show structures and items that a person has never noticed before.
  • Change your perspective. Look at items in a room or building from a different eye level or angle. When you're outdoors, climb a hill and examine the view. Climbing the stairs in a building (or using the elevator) may also provide an interesting view.
  • Sit or lie on the sand, grass, or forest floor—or on a natural or artificial seat if you prefer—and look up, down, and all around you. Make observations using your senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch. Close your eyes when you are using a sense other than vision.
  • Go for walks at different times of the day and in different weather conditions. Observe your surroundings and note the sensations that you experience.
  • Go for a walk in a part of your neighborhood, town, or other location that you've never visited before (as long as the area is safe).
  • Visit art galleries, museums, exhibitions, festivals, and fairs. Watch out for free days or reduced admission fees if they're available. Write about the background of an object, scene, display, or person in either a fictional or nonfictional composition. Do research about the item if you need more information.
  • As you make observations about your surroundings or record research notes, allow yourself to veer away from reality or to seemingly unrelated topics if your imagination is sparked. Writing your ideas down may lead to new compositions.
  • During some observations, ideas may flash into the mind in a rapid sequence. This is a great situation to experience. Even though you may want to write your ideas down quickly before they disappear, try to make the words legible. It's important to be able to read your writing later. Even a single word may be significant.
Photos can stimulate the imagination, especially when there is something unusual about them. The reflection in this photo shows the Hotel Vancouver in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

Photos can stimulate the imagination, especially when there is something unusual about them. The reflection in this photo shows the Hotel Vancouver in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

Get Writing Ideas From Your Photos or Art

  • Document observations in photos for later study. Photos serve as memory aids and can be inspirational.
  • Another benefit of taking photos is that you may notice something in a photograph that you didn't notice in real life.
  • Take photos from unusual angles or with unusual settings on your camera.
  • Use photo editing software to alter or combine images. The edited images may trigger your imagination.
  • Make drawings of things that you see. The act of observing an object in order to draw it can be educational.
  • Making quick sketches from life or from the imagination can open the mind to writing ideas.
For me, the link between photography, imagination, and writing is strong. This is a digitally edited version of one of my great blue heron photos.

For me, the link between photography, imagination, and writing is strong. This is a digitally edited version of one of my great blue heron photos.

Experience New Activities

  • Participate in new activities that let you explore the environment in a different way. Examples of these activities include horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, and snorkeling.
  • Watch people in a public area (discreetly).
  • Try new kinds of food that you've never eaten before.
  • Take advantage of special events being held near your home.
  • Explore online art galleries and museums if you can't visit them in person. Paintings, illustrations, photos, and historical artifacts can all be inspirational.
  • When you're on holiday, be sure to explore new areas on foot. Vehicle travel is useful to get to a destination. Once you've arrived, however, you'll see so much more if you walk than if you travel in a car or bus.
  • If you're unable to visit a country, explore it by using Google Earth and its Street View or take a virtual tour via YouTube.
Reading can fuel the imagination.

Reading can fuel the imagination.

Get Inspiration From Printed and Audiovisual Media

  • Visit a library and read newspapers or magazines that you don't normally examine. Some libraries subscribe to an online service which displays newspapers from around the world. You may be able to read these newspapers on your home computer if you're a member of a library.
  • News items can stimulate ideas. Consider creating an imaginary background to an interesting piece of news or add imaginary details or outcomes of an incident (keeping in mind legalities and privacy concerns). Write your thoughts about the news or explore related information not covered in the news report for a piece of nonfiction.
  • Read widely, not to copy another writer's ideas but to stimulate the development of your own. Books and websites can both be enriching if appropriate material or sites are chosen.
  • Solve newspaper crossword puzzles. Good ones provide exercise for the mind and can also provide facts and ideas for written work.
  • Some television and radio programs can also be a source of inspiration. There are a lot of programs whose goal is purely to entertain, which is nice when we need to relax. Some programs contain fascinating, informative, or unusual information, however. These are the types of programs that are most likely to be useful for inspiring writers.
  • Listening to an interesting lecture can provide new ideas. Some YouTube presentations can also convey new information and stimulate writing ideas.
  • Listening to music can be a source of inspiration, especially when it arouses emotions.

Play Dictionary or Word Prompt Games

Mind games that involve playing with words and trying to make connections between them can be both fun and mentally stimulating. The games can also generate writing ideas.

A dictionary prompt game is often very useful for writers. It involves the random choice of words from a dictionary, which are then used in a writing project.

A common procedure for the game is to open a dictionary at a random page, place a finger tip on the page with closed eyes, open the eyes, and then copy the word written under the finger onto a piece of paper. This is done three times so that three words are chosen.

The next step in the game is to complete a poem or story that includes all of the chosen words. This is a great mental exercise because sometimes the three words seem to be completely unrelated to each other. The challenge is to connect the words logically in the poem or story.

This activity can also be performed with a newspaper, magazine, or book. Words or phrases can be chosen randomly and then woven into a piece of creative writing. The deliberate choice of part of a written composition can also be useful. One writing challenge that I participated in asked people to choose a single sentence from a story or an article. Each word from the sentence then had to be incorporated into a poem or story created by the writer.

Illustrations found in old books can often be inspirational.

Illustrations found in old books can often be inspirational.

Explore Websites With Writing Prompts

Some websites provide a collection of writing prompts, which may be helpful. I prefer ones that regularly add new prompts instead of simply maintaining a static list. Websites with a static list of prompts may be useful if their list is long, however. A web search for “writing prompts” will bring up the names of many sites that can be explored.

Some websites offer writing challenges of one kind or another to their readers. These can provide ideas for compositions and may improve writing skills as well. Writing prompts are sometimes known as writing challenges, but often the word "challenge" has a different meaning. A challenge may allow a choice of any topic but specify that a certain requirement must be followed. For example, the writer may be asked to use specific words somewhere in the composition, start sentences with certain letters, or complete the composition within a specific time period.

Play Word Association Games

Word association activities are often fun to do. The steps of one potentially useful game are as follows.

  1. Think of a starting word, such as the name of an object or a word chosen from a book, newspaper, or magazine.
  2. Write the word on a sheet of paper.
  3. Write the word that entered your mind immediately after you wrote the starting word.
  4. Write the word that entered your mind immediately after you wrote the second word.
  5. Write the word that entered your mind immediately after you wrote the third word, and so on.
  6. Continue the process for the chosen time length.
  7. Once the time is up, examine the words that you wrote.

This activity can be done with a friend or in a group as well as by an individual. It's often very interesting—and sometimes amusing—to see what words popped into the mind during this stream-of-consciousness activity. Some of the words or word sequences may prompt more ideas and suggest writing themes. A writing challenge in which a person has to use all their words in a composition could be interesting.

Create Mind Maps

A mind map is a diagram that shows connections between words. It can be used for brainstorming, for the organization of ideas, and as a memory aid.

When someone is creating a mind map for their own purposes, they don't have to follow any rules. They can use whatever type of diagram is helpful for the generations of ideas. The general steps in drawing a mind map are as follows, however.

  • To start the mind map, a word or concept is written in a box, circle, or bubble at the center of a sheet of paper that is turned sideways.
  • Arrows are extended from the central box and linked to related words or concepts.
  • Arrows are extended from the new words and linked to additional related concepts. More than one arrow may extend from each of the new words.

I find that for brainstorming, a simple mind map with a pencil, colored pencils, or felts works best. As in a word association game, new ideas can be revealed by mind mapping.

Do Free Writing

The goal of free writing is for a person to write continuously for a specified time, on any topic or topics. The person writes whatever appears in their mind, without stopping to judge or edit their work. The writer is allowed to move from topic to topic as new ideas enter their mind.

While free writing, a person can write phrases as well as sentences. Spelling and punctuation errors aren't important. In fact, the person needs to keep writing even if they see an error. Corrections and deletions aren't allowed. If the person's mind goes blank, it's suggested that they write something like "I don't know what to write" over and over until a new train of thought enters their mind.

Five to fifteen minutes is often suggested as a time limit for free writing. A timer with an alarm is used so that the writer can keep writing and avoid watching a clock.

Free writing stimulates the flow of ideas and is useful in overcoming a person's fear of writing or reluctance to put pen to paper. It may produce interesting ideas that are worth investigating further.

Focused free writing is a form of free writing that is related to a specific word, idea, or theme. This type of writing isn't completely "free", since the mind needs to be pulled back to the key idea if it wanders too far. It may be more useful in generating new writing ideas, however.

Dreams can provide great ideas for writing projects.

Dreams can provide great ideas for writing projects.

Remember Your Dreams

Dreams can be a great source of ideas. They can sometimes be so entertaining or such wonderful adventures that the dreamer may not want them to end. At other times they can be strange, surreal, or even frightening.

It's important that a writer records what happened in a dream as soon as they wake up if they want to receive inspiration for writing. Memories of dreams quickly dissipate once we waken. Paper and a pen should be kept beside the bed for the best chance of retaining a memory. This enables a person to record the details of their dream before they get out of bed.

Some people can't remember their dreams. People in this situation may be helped if they tell themselves that they are going to remember their dreams shortly before they fall asleep. This strategy may eventually improve their dream recall if it's repeated every night. It has helped me.

The "Dreaming of the Tiger" sculpture in China

The "Dreaming of the Tiger" sculpture in China

Keep a Writing Notebook or Journal

A writer should always have quick access to a notebook in order to record their thoughts, ideas, and observations. Scraps of paper work too, but I find that these tend to get lost. A notebook is useful for some of the activities described below.

  • Record observations, facts, quotations, or questions that you find especially interesting or that you want to investigate.
  • Makes sketches, diagrams, drawings, and charts as well as written notes. Graphics don't have to be great works of art. Their purpose is to store information or to help you explore your ideas.
  • Stick photos in your notebook.
  • A notepad is useful for activities like free writing and mind association games. Anything that you'd like to save from these sessions can be cut out of the notepad and glued in the notebook.
  • You might like to use a binder for a notebook so that material can easily be added or taken away.
  • Digital notebook programs are available If you would like to use them. One problem with an electronic device is that the power may run out at a very inconvenient time, however.
  • Store completed notebooks together so that you develop a library of information.
  • You may prefer to use index cards instead of a notebook to store information. It's important that the cards are stored in a file box or in another organized way so that they aren't lost.
A pencil and a notebook are very useful tools for a writer.

A pencil and a notebook are very useful tools for a writer.

Beating Writer's Block

I find that all the strategies described in this article are useful in my writing. It helps if I enjoy the activities for their own sake. Sometimes all that's needed to provide the "spark" for new writing is an interesting activity, period of relaxation, or a change in environment.

Participating in the activities that I describe often produces writing ideas as a by-product. I record these ideas for possible use in the future or use them immediately. If you have ideas for overcoming writer's block that I haven't described, I'd love to hear about them in the comments section below.

© 2013 Linda Crampton

Comments

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 31, 2015:

Thank you very much for the comment and votes, adevwriting.

Arun Dev from United Countries of the World on July 31, 2015:

The hub was instructive. I found it very useful and have to bookmark this page. Voted up and useful!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 12, 2014:

Thank you, Cynthia! I hope you have a great day.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 12, 2014:

Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Relationshipc! I love the idea of using Twitter and other social media sites to stimulate the imagination. Some tweets could definitely generate new ideas for writing topics!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 12, 2014:

ah yes, Linda, that's the cool-headed thinking person's way to handle it! Thank you for the tip!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 12, 2014:

Hi, Cynthia. Thanks so much for the comment, the vote and the share! I have a similar problem with my hub URL at times. It can't be changed once it's created, but sometimes as I write a hub the theme drifts away from the original URL! Luckily, the hub title can be changed. If I feel that the hub's URL is too misleading, I start a new hub with a new URL, copy my old (and not yet published) hub's content to the new URL and delete the old hub.

Kari on September 12, 2014:

This is an exciting hub for a writer! It makes you want to go out and try all of these methods for an idea.

Ever since I was young, I've always been curious. I remember being a young adult, partying with friends, and asking questions that my friends could have cared less about. So, I think that curiosity in my daily life inspires me to find topics to write about. Considering I write on three different blogs full-time and try to write here once a week or so, I need all the inspiration I can get!

I also find that scrolling through social networks, such as Twitter, StumbleUpon, or even HubPages, helps me think of ideas and then it is just a matter of research.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 12, 2014:

Hi Linda... this is also just what I was looking for.. a friend and I had a discussion recently about finding ideas for topics, and voila! Synchronicity? I tend to keep a list of topics that I am interested in and challenge myself to pick one a week to write on. Quite often, mid-way through the writing, I will find my mind shifting into another perspective that appeals more than the original. As a result, I have a number of hub URLs that appear to be totally unrelated to the name of the hub-- I haven't been able to find how to change the URL once one is on a roll. In any case, thank you so much for this very helpful hub-- voted up and sharing with pride! ~Cynthia

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2014:

Thank you very much, whittwrites.

Timothy Whitt from New Jersey on July 27, 2014:

Great Hub full of good ideas

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 10, 2013:

Hi, Jodah. Thank you very much for the comment and the vote!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 10, 2013:

Hi Alicia, I found this hub extremely helpful and interesting. I oftn have an urge to write but sit at my desk pen and notebook in hand and come up with absolutely nothing. You have provided some great tips here. thank you. Voted up.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 27, 2013:

Thank you very much for the comment, Colin. Thanks for sharing the hub on Facebook, too! I follow Vicki and enjoy her hubs. I enjoy Rose the Planner's hubs too, but I haven't read the one that you mention. I'll read it soon!

epigramman on June 26, 2013:

Well my most esteemed fellow Canadian I certainly do love the diversity in your hub presentations and naturally this title and the words which follow caught my eye and imagination. I will bookmark your guidelines as a reference guide for myself and also link and share your wonderful research here on my FB wall for everyone to see -

I am sending sincere warm wishes to you from Colin and his cats Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 1:27am with waning moon over the lake and do you know of another nice lady VICKI W also from B.C. and if you could do me a favor and check out ROSE THE PLANNER - she has a hub you will love - 100 years of the wedding gown - thank you for that.

And as you can only imagine Epi usually isn't stuck for ideas to inspire his writing but I really did learn a thing or two for you here .....

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 10, 2013:

Thank you very much, Gail! I appreciate your comment and vote.

Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on June 10, 2013:

Thanks for all of the great ideas and suggestions, Alicia! It seems as if I either have so many things I want to write about that I cannot seem to write fast enough or I am searching for ideas. These look like some great tips for those times when I am searching for ideas. Voted up.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 09, 2013:

Thank you, Rolly! I appreciate the comment. Best wishes to you.

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on May 09, 2013:

Hi Alicia ... thanks for writing this, one I have bookmarked. You have some great thoughts and ideas here... well done.

Hugs from Canada

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 04, 2013:

Thank you very much for the comment, Ingenira!

Ingenira on May 04, 2013:

You have listed down plenty of excellent ideas. Just what I need. Thanks a million !

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 02, 2013:

Hi, moonlake. Thank you very much for the visit and the comment.

moonlake from America on May 02, 2013:

My documents are full of ideas that I want to write about but I just can't seem to get it together and do another hub. Thanks for all the advice I'm sure it will help me.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 25, 2013:

Thank you, manatita44. I appreciate your comment.

manatita44 from london on April 25, 2013:

Very good advice on observations. I also enjoy travelling on foot. Great Hub.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 24, 2013:

Thank you for the visit and the comment, Educateurself.

Educateurself on April 24, 2013:

Some great ideas Its very helpful for me. I am gonna apply some of this ideas to get vast idea of writing.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 22, 2013:

Thanks, billdo1603. Yes, observing people is a very good way to get writing ideas!

billd01603 from Worcester on April 22, 2013:

Great ideas Alicia. This is a good and useful Hub.I find that just by observing people, I come up with good ideas for Hubs.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 22, 2013:

Thank you, Rajan. I appreciate the visit.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 22, 2013:

Wonderful and useful ideas. Thanks for sharing, Alicia.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 19, 2013:

Thank you very much, hawaiianodysseus. It's so nice to meet you! I appreciate your visit and your comment.

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on April 19, 2013:

Linda, this is a remarkable literary bulletin board of great ideas. I find it fascinating that you adeptly use both sides of your brain. Your compelling spectrum of topics are as much a melting pot as is my state of origin, Hawai'i. You're an advocate for coffee, and you have a passion for walking that transcends the need for physical exercise. Suddenly, I'm the white rabbit that fell into a hole and discovered Wonderland. Lucky me!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 18, 2013:

Thank you very much for the comment, chef-de-jour. I appreciate the vote and the share, too!

Andrew Spacey from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK on April 18, 2013:

What a fine and resourceful hub. Great ideas for stimulating more ideas! The world has a myriad things to show us but sometimes it just takes a little prompting to get the old senses fully adjusted and on the right wavelength.

Votes and a share.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 15, 2013:

Thanks for the visit, Claudia. New activities give me writing ideas, too. It's great if one is passionate about a subject - that makes it so much easier to think of writing topics!

Claudia Tello from Mexico on April 15, 2013:

I didn´t realize though one could be so proactive in getting inspiration back when experiencing writers block. I find that getting involved in different activities always sparks up my imagination, one of your suggestions as well. And then I can also go back to recipe hubs because food is a never ending passion of mine.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 14, 2013:

Thank you, elske. I appreciate your comment.

elske on April 14, 2013:

Brilliant ideas. I like the dictionary one, might give that a go soon. Thanks for the inspiration. Look forward to read more.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 12, 2013:

Yes, it does have definite advantages!

Bajazid from Sarajevo, Bosnia on April 12, 2013:

:) "Old school" is the best one!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 12, 2013:

Hi, baja2013. Yes, mobile devices are very useful! I have an iPod touch, but I always carry a small notebook around with me too in case the iPod needs to be charged or stops working.

Bajazid from Sarajevo, Bosnia on April 12, 2013:

It's easy today, just two times press some touch pad and anything is already memorised. You can do that while you walk, drinking a coffe or on a borring meeting.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 12, 2013:

Thanks for the visit and the comment, baja2013. It's a great plan to write ideas down as soon as we get them. I do this too, even if I'm so rushed that I can only write one or two words.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 12, 2013:

Thank you for the comment, the vote and the share, Bill. I appreciate them all!

Bajazid from Sarajevo, Bosnia on April 12, 2013:

My ideas come in a row, several in one minutes. Then nothing for days. Before, I was unexperinced and didn't write down. Then after, tried to recall, I knew it was something really good, but in 90% wasn't able to remember.

Since I get smarter :), I put every thought immediately in my mobile. Later check and decide whato to do about it.

Great hub and thanks for new ideas.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on April 11, 2013:

Great ideas Alicia. This should certainly come in handy for many a write out there. I do sometimes have trouble coming up with new ideas so I'll put some of these tips to work. Great job. Voted up and shared.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 11, 2013:

Hi, Deb. I love visiting virtual art galleries! My favorites are the ones that let the visitor enlarge the paintings and view the details. Thank you for the comment.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 11, 2013:

These are all fabulous ideas to give one a different slant on old views. I once tried a virtual art gallery, and it was great to see everything from the comfort of my home. There is so much to do out there, and we don't need money to do it anymore.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 11, 2013:

Hi, Martie. I get ideas just before I fall asleep, too. The problem is that if I force myself to wake up enough to write down an idea I find it hard to get to sleep afterwards! Thank you very much for the visit and the comment.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on April 11, 2013:

Superb advice for finding ideas for writing topics. I often get the brightest ideas while I am driving, or halfway between being awake and asleep, just to lose my enthusiasm to write about it the minute I get the time to do it. Getting our ideas out of our minds onto paper or a computer screen is hard work.

Thanks for all the great tips, Alicia :)

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 11, 2013:

Thank you very much for the comment, the vote and the share, Sharkye11! Your binder sounds like it would be very useful for a writer. The protectors are a great idea, too!

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on April 11, 2013:

This is an amazing hub! So many ideas in one place! I found this at a particularly good time. I realize I am stagnating some by trying to only read news for ideas, because I get hung up on worrying about what will draw better traffic, etc. You have give some fresh insight about seeking out inspiration.

I do keep a binder handy, with clear sheet protectors. I can save photos, news articles, business cards...whatever might inspire an idea. I dutifully put stuff in in it..but rarely take anything back out. Think that will change now. Thanks for the great tips! Voting this up and sharing!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 11, 2013:

Thank you very much, drbj. I appreciate your comment!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 11, 2013:

Thanks for the visit and the comment, pinto2011!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 11, 2013:

These are excellent, realistic suggestions, Alicia, for any writer that needs help finding new topics to write about. And that covers just about every writer in the known world. Thanks, m'dear.

Subhas from New Delhi, India on April 11, 2013:

Hi Alicia thanks for writing this hub as there are times when our brain goes blank. With your ideas, I will try to make it going.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 11, 2013:

Thank you very much, Bill. I'm glad that you never have writer's block. That's a wonderful situation for a writer!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 11, 2013:

Great suggestions! I never have a problem finding writing topics...have no idea what writer's block is. However, if I ever do, I'll bookmark this excellent group of suggestions.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 11, 2013:

Hi, theraggededge. Thanks for the comment and the votes! That's an interesting observation. I find it's true for my writing too, except for occasionally when I have a temporary slow down in the arrival of new ideas.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 11, 2013:

Thank you so much for the comment and all the shares, Goodlady!! I appreciate your visit very much.

Bev G from Wales, UK on April 11, 2013:

Excellent. Love your suggestions. It's funny, the more you write, the faster the ideas come. Voted up, etc.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on April 11, 2013:

This is invaluable! So many suggestions and so many of them are so exciting. I absolutely adore your very first suggestion such as looking at pond life with binoculars. Oh it is rich.

Thank you.

Posting to FB, tweeting, sharing and voting on HP, and pinning.