A writer’s worst fear: “What if I run out of ideas?”

Happy Monday, and welcome to a new category of posts I’m trying out! I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I can do more to help all of you writers out there – and what better way than to post encouragement and motivation at the start of the week?

Today I’m talking about a writer’s worst fear: running out of ideas. Probably every writer has been crippled by this fear at one point or another. We wonder if our brains have an “idea jar” and if each time we come up with a new idea, we’re depleting the contents of that jar. One day, it has to run out, right?

We are finite creatures living in a finite world. It’s natural for us to see everything as something that will eventually die out because it’s pretty much all we know.

But…

Our brains are pretty darn amazing. They may degrade over time, but there are things stored inside of them that don’t “run out,” like our personalities – and, I believe, our imaginations.

This is something that I find so cool about creation: we are the only beings on this earth capable of conceiving and articulating stories. God wired us for storytelling. So, why wouldn’t he make the very unique thing that fuels our stories last for our whole lives? Our intelligence may fade, and so may our memories, but imagination? It’s there until the end.

My grandma has been suffering from dementia for quite a few years now. She’s not very aware of what’s going on around her most of the time and, of course, she has trouble with her memory. Most of the time when I’m around her, I get the sense she’s not really there. I can’t tell you how much it breaks my heart.

Nana was living in my mom’s house when my first book, The Drabbles of a Dreamer, came out. My mom had a copy of it sitting on the table one day, and she turned around to find Nana engrossed in the book; I don’t even think she understood that I wrote it! But she took the book back to her room and carried it around with her all day, reading through the short stories. Mom hadn’t seen her so focused on something in years.

Stories. Imagination. Their power never really goes away.

Of course, it doesn’t always feel like that. We get writer’s block and we flounder, we sit there staring at a blank document and try to beat our brains into coming up with something amazing.

But guess what? Frustration, anxiety, anger… None of that lasts, as real as it may seem in the moment. It may take some time, but you’ll get new ideas. If you need some help, take a look at some of my posts about writing inspiration. Read a good book. Go on a walk.

But most of all, remember that imagination is one of the most powerful tools your brain possesses.

Ideas may seem finite, just like everything else around us, but as you see new sights, meet new people, and live life, your brain will use every detail as fuel for your imagination. And, as small as this world may seem sometimes, we’ll never run out of new things to experience.

So keep those ideas coming! They’re not going anywhere.


Do you love writing? Have you ever wanted to have influence on the contents of a book before it’s published? Wondering how to become a freelance writer? Looking for more writing tips? Subscribe to my monthly emails to get all of this and a free book!

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

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