Generating New Ideas

Some ideas on how to have ideas

Thu Oct 06

Written by: Chris Pohlman

Pick of the week image:

a picture of a baking steel, a large square piece of steel about a half inch thick meant to sit in a oven





Lacking Ideas? Just steal some

No seriously just go out into the world, or online, and steal some ideas. Better yet steal lots of ideas from lots of different successful talented people. Then, and the this next step is the important bit, start mixing and mashing a few of them together. Take a little from that, a pinch from there, and a dash from the other one and boom! You’ve got your very own original-ish idea. The thing is though all ideas are really only original-ish. Everything everyone has ever created or thought of creating has been influenced by everything else they have experienced leading up to that point. Then made using the advantage of all the people who came before them who helped pave the way with new techniques, tools, or remixed ideas of their own.

Nothing truly exists in a vacuum so any idea you have is going to be somewhat based on or influenced by tons of other things, so when you aren’t feeling particularly creative why not jumpstart that process? Search out things other people are doing in the field you are working in or want to be working in and see what they are doing. Then see if you can find what sorts of things influenced them. Keep going until you have a pile of ideas and works to use as the raw materials for your own creation.

Save Your Scraps

Once you’ve gotten that pile of material save it somewhere. A good cook doesn’t waste any of their ingredients and whether or not you use all of the material you gathered, you shouldn’t waste any either. Whether its a vision board, a journal, an online notes app (I use Notion for this), or something else that works for you start saving the things you come across that speak to you in someway. Take short notes on why you liked them and then next time you need or want to make something new but don’t have a clear idea go and revisit that list. Use it to avoid ever needing to face a truly blank page, screen, workbench, or whatever your creative medium of choice uses again. Even the most creative mind in the world needs a jumpstart every once in a while and by saving anything and everything that resonates with you in some way, you’ll have a way of giving yourself that jumpstart whenever you need it. This idea certainly isn’t anything new and if you want to see cases of it being used search for commonplace book.

Pick of the Week - Baking Steel

A baking steel is basically a solid steel version of a pizza stone, but the nature of it being all steel means it can be used for a lot more. It can be placed in your oven and will transform it into a very close equivalent of an actual pizza oven. Even a cheap frozen pizza will come out better off of it. A homemade pizza will likely be better than a lot of delivery pizzas with less work than you might expect. You can also throw it on your stovetop or grill and use it like a flattop griddle. Perfect for making smash burgers, pancakes, or any of your diner favorites. I have the original from the link and like it a lot but there are a lot of other brands out there as well. As long as the one you get is made of solid steel it will likely serve you well.