Harness the Power of Unbidden Ideas

Most of us when forced can’t pull fresh ideas out of thin air, yet we often find our best ideas coming to us in the shower, on the toilet, at the beach or gym, or even behind the wheel of our car. Each of us is different and we each have certain situations that seem to be fertile ground for fresh new article ideas.

Don’t you wish there were ways to harness the power of these spontaneous ideas so they happen just when you need them most?

Actually, there are.

With just a little digging, we uncovered (5) techniques that people use to “spontaneously” generate great ideas. Put some of these to use to help fill your article writing hopper.

  1. Use Your Thinking Spot
    Winnie the Pooh has his thinking spot. John in our cartoon has his thinking spot. You have a thinking spot. Find your thinking spot and use it whenever you need to come up with new ideas.

  2. Let Your Subconscious Mind Do the Work
    A day, week or month before you write an article, create the TITLE for the article. Let your subconscious mind create the entire article, or at least the main points of the outline of the article, so that when you finally sit down to do the article┬Ł it’s already pre-written for you.

  3. Sleep on It
    Spend a few minutes before you fall asleep immersing yourself in your niche article’s subject matter. Then clearly define your desired outcome (i.e. create some fresh article ideas) in your mind as you close your eyes. When you awaken, immediately jot those ideas in the notebook you’ve strategically placed next to your bed.

  4. Meditate
    If you don’t already meditate, do a little research to find a meditation style that works for you. Use the same methodology as we suggested for “Sleep on It” but instead of sleeping, meditate instead. When you’re done, you should find yourself full of fresh ideas.

  5. Play with Your Ideas
    Many ideas are only half-baked. Before you act upon those ideas or dismiss them out of hand, try playing with them instead. Let them roll around in your head for awhile and collide with other ideas. In a matter of hours or days, you may find your ugly duckling idea has turned into a beautiful swan.

Personally, some of my best articles, blog posts, and business ideas come from either the morning shower, a relaxing moment in the sun or while in the business day with interactions with others (usually problem solving)… but I also find that if I’m in my favorite environment that I can dream up dozens of article ideas at a time on command from having done so for so long. The real secret is to capture the article topic & concept ideas on paper or whatever electronic device you have so that you don’t lose your best inspirations throughout the day.

Do you have other methods of harnessing the power of unbidden ideas?
We’d love to hear them! Share them with the rest of the EzineArticles community in the comments section.


Karrie Ross writes:

My special thinking spot is… where and whenever I feel the need to refresh my energy. Most of my ‘in the moment’ thoughts come when in the bathroom… must be a water thing.
Thanks for the info, always enjoy your posts.
Karrie Ross
Book Cover Designer

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 2:25 PM



Great post! Point 2 about coming up with the titlee and just mulling it over for a while works wonders. Our brains have a way of just filling in the blanks if we simple set the framework of what we want to flesh out for N article or anything for that matter.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM


Ed writes:

There are times after I had a few pints of Ale, in my local pub, Idea’s coming flowing in. Ralaxing with the knowledge of known. I’m not returning to a nagging wife :)

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 2:43 PM


Patricia writes:

I always get my best ideas while moving. I can be on a bus, in a car or plane or even at the gym. If I am ever stuck I either go for a walk or – if is raining ( I live in Vancouver!) I go to the gym. Best of all though is when someone is driving, my mind is free to wander and it does wonderful stuff!

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 2:43 PM


Adriel Yapana writes:

I have a thinking spot. It’s while sitting in the car. I don’t have to be driving, just sitting. I just sit inside the passenger side and bring my note pad or laptop. Also when I’m on the treadmill or recumbent bicycle at the gym works. I’ll bring my note pad so I can capture the ideas running through in my head.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 2:44 PM


Ed writes:

Man must seek inner peace and tranquaillity, from the chaos of noice. Seek oneself, enjoy oneself, and have a drink alone…?

Libertyed :)

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 2:50 PM


Catherine writes:

Very good post and right on the money. Most ideas come to me as I awake, in the shower, when I’m out walking, from observing people interacting on a terasse and especially from what I’m experiencing at any given point in time.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 2:51 PM



Keep a “Brain dump” book (journal) nearby or a tape recorder for all of those unbidden ideas.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 2:51 PM


Arthur Tugman writes:

My success is not based on who I know, but on who knows me. My thinking spot always includes a picture of you. If we think alike, I’d like to hear from you. I am a contributing Articles writer for TheNetworkMarketingMagazine.com Arthur’s Corner, Mighty Monthly Musings. Please feel free to look me up and do leave me a comment there. It’s free to join. Just log in, create a password and you’re good to go. And I’ve just saved you a $100.00 membership. Now that you know a little bit about me, I would love to hear from you.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 3:22 PM


Linda McCarrin writes:

When trying to come up with another article or chapter for my book, I take one of the concepts that I wish to impart or teach and apply a time in my life to it. That way the reader knows that the concept can be used in someone’s daily life and I have an easier time writing about it.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 3:36 PM


Sherri Lynn writes:

I like this article and I agree I have had many good ideas or songs from the shower. I believe that these ideas come to us when we have a clear head and sometimes we get so busy minded that is why we can’t receive ideas sometimes until we get quiet!

God Bless and thanks for sharing.

Sherri Lynn

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM


Osiris Munir writes:

I use a Buddhist mantra for almost 30 years, if you had known me before then, you would know that it works, and also use a brain entrainment program that I got from the http://www.eocinstitute.org called, EquiSync. Equi Sync is amazing and resolves deep emotional, spiritual issues which stem from the imbalances of the right and left brain hemispheres. Most people don’t realize that the left side/or right sides may be completely undeveloped. It makes reasonable sense that we all operate mostly in Beta ( our regular daily activities), few in Alpha, and others mostly creative types in Theta and Delta. In terms of mantras, if the one used is effective, you see tangible and practical results in daily life.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM


Linda Pickard writes:

I set aside Saturday mornings to read and reflect. I capture my thoughts in a notebook entitled reflections. Also, because ideas do pop up while I drive, take a shower, read and listen to music, I have post-its everywhere. If I move, I forget!

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM



Love the idea of writing down the title and letting it germinate.
Reading but not for work seems to prompt ideas and I keep a notepad near my reading chair or bed so I can jot things down.
I like the idea of a pint too so off to the pub I go!

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM


Patrick Zuluaga writes:

Mine is when I go for my early morning jog. While my body is mechanically going thru the jogging process my mind is thinking about whatever is top of mind at that point in time.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 4:13 PM


robert nugent writes:

I get some of my best ideas when someone starts talking about boring politics!

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 4:59 PM


Gerry Faehrmann writes:

Actually, I have heard that the generation of fantastic ideas (where the light really comes on!) comes in the shower – apparently it’s to do with all the positive or negative ions in the water that seems to create a state conducive to good clear thinking.

So what was I thinking…oh yeah, I must go and have my shower!

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 5:37 PM



Very good advice – creativity can only come when we relax enough to allow it in. Your newsletters are always good value – long enough to be useful, short enough to read as soon as they arrive, despite a full in box.
The quality of EzineArticles is phenomenal.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 6:27 PM


Jonathan Huie writes:

The shower is a little harder, but when I’m driving, taking a walk, or out and about, I carry an iPhone with a voice recorder application to capture my thoughts. Some of my best ideas come while I’m walking on the beach.

Comment provided May 15, 2009 at 7:03 PM


Lance Winslow writes:


I have shared many of my strategies for creating a constant stream of ideas. I’ve posted this in the Innovation and Creativity Categories. One thing I’d like to recommend is to use the “whole track” (the first thing they teach you in racing school), use your whole mind, whole brain thinking.

You should be trying all the strategies listed here on this blog and the comments that ensue. You will find that by doing this you can make ideas a habit. For three years once, I had 2-original thoughts per day. It’s possible, and once you get there you will never have to worry about writer’s block or Blogger’s Block again.

Here is a strategy you can use. Take a walk, ride, drive and observe something. Then pull over and think on it. If you see a bird watching you on a fence post, then describe the scene from his POV. Then look around him, do you see a wrapper, plastic bottle, piece of trash? What do you think he thinks about that, it’s not natural for his environment, then again in reality it’s not natural for ours either.

Where did it come from? If it has a certain color on the wrapper, maybe you can guess the brand, the product that came in it. Then think about what it takes to make that product, where it is made, how it is shipped, where the ingredients came from, who made them. Think about how that trash got there, did it blow in, from which direction, who littered it, what were they thinking, where were they going, what kind of car were they driving, or were they walking? Did the ants nearby appreciate the free meal, was there any left? How long until it degrades, will someone pick it up, is that someone you? Why, or why not?

Let your mind wonder, use it, think, do not allow circumstances to prevent you from thinking, reasoning, or using your mind. If you fail to use it, you’ll surely lose that ability.

That’s my secret, I don’t turn it off, and believe me to write 16,000 articles it takes a hell of a lot of brain power just to come up with topics to write about. Think on this, it works, if you practice, you’ll be amazed at the creative brilliance and innovative abilities that you already have waiting for you. – Lance

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 12:13 AM


vladimir writes:

Well you want places for ideas i got some check this out:

At nature while sitting on grass and watching hills and birds your mind relaxes and gives you way to connect to inner self

At movies when you getting in the lobby or out sounds strange but most lobbies got those huge pictures of actors and cut scence so vizual pictures can give you new idea

At hike in the mountains gaved me allot of times new ideas the mountans have they special power over you its like magnetic force

At restaurant ye sounds weird but its true you can hear people talking at loud about diffrent things love food journals and so on and on and sometimes happens they will give you briliant idea for rticle

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 12:33 AM


Sara writes:

Are you sure that meditation would help? I normally feel tired after trying so hard to meditate. Now, maybe my meditation approach is wrong.

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 2:46 AM


Ed writes:

Brilliant Comments here, from all creative minds !!

I must agree with the last comment from Lance.

from this little Video?

” At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive ”


Don’t give up, Just keep on rolling along?

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 5:13 AM


Maria Murphy writes:

Thanks for a great article. Sometimes I am too close to an article and I have to walk away and do something mindless, like a simple chore. The routineness of the activity opens up my mind and solutions start brewing. Always seem to work for me if I am feeling burnt out at the computer or blocked. My special spot is the ocean. It always gets me there, too. I have been working on a program for parents to provide education and activites for their kids over summer. It is coming along great, but I have had to take a lot of walks on the beach and work many simple chores to clear my mind!

Thanks Christopher!


Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 5:18 AM


Marie Lisewski writes:

I’ve also gotten many of my good ideas while in the shower. A couple of other idea generating activities I find productive are vacuum cleaning the carpets and walking the dogs. Multi tasking at its best.

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 5:31 AM


Geoff writes:

I often just get an idea, and let it `germinate` letting my subconscious come up with ideas. By the time I come to write it, most of the work has been done.

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 5:42 AM


Hamilton writes:

It’s really funny because I always get my best Ideas when I am behind the wheel, most likely when I am on the highway. And by the time I pull up; say 15 minutes after, I forgot half of it. Is there a way to remember ideas when you’re stuck in the middle of something?

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 7:07 AM


Linda McCarrin writes:

I went to the eocinstitute.org website. Which program would you suggest for a novice at this? I’ve been rather intuitive from an early age from knowing what someone is going to tell me to knowing what not to buy or what people not to hang out with. I’d like to train both sides of my brain, however, since my creative ideas are sometimes plentiful, but need to stay with the task.
Thanks, Linda

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 8:13 AM


Mark Hanson writes:

I get my best ideas in the most inconvenient places, places where they generally can’t be written down, like the shower, the restroom or driving my car. Kind of a bummer.

I think my experience proves the point that the brain casts up the best unexpected idea treasures when it’s perfectly relaxed, or in a distracted state.

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 11:11 AM


Osiris Munir writes:

Hi Linda: I am naturally right brained most intuitive types are, however, the cognitive part of my brain was about the size of a golf ball. Meaning that the right side was around the size of an orange, therefore, I would suggest you start with balance. EOC is not just out to make money, they have one statement which simply says we are her to serve humanity. They can only be reached by email, but always respond to emails within a 48 hour time period. Awakening is usually used by those people who are new to meditation. You can by one CD at a time, or several, it all depends on what and why you are wanting to entrain. I went back and forth, and being a person of abundant energy and needing to calm down, I now use, Into The Deep. I used Balance for a while, and truthfully felt calm and relaxed while at the time, I had gone through several life threatening situations. Meaning lots of stress. After using EOC’s program, as promised, they delivered. I actually felt my left brain increase in size, if you are, in fact, a intuit, you will know what I mean. Now I am very calm, not sedated, but very cognizant and aware of my surroundings without being reactive to whatever picture reflected by my environment. One has to be consistent at using them each day, and dependent upon how your personality is structured, you will notice a visible difference over time. Eventually your brain will naturally go into one of the deeper states of mediation all on its own, even while you are awake. You will feel very alive but not nervous, very alive and clear headed. Again, you have to stay with it, and it will deliver. The brochure and information listed on the CD is very intriguing and quite informative. EOC will walk through it with you. You can ask them anything, and they will reply in a sound and intelligent manner. I asked a lot of questions at first, then slowly but surely, I started to have thoughts from my deeper mind surface to the top of my mind more frequently. Also, I noticed that I began to follow my hunches which led me to resolve very practical matters rationally. I hope this helps.

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 11:29 AM


Linda McCarrin writes:

Hi Osirus,
Yes, you helped in many ways. I, too, am high strung and need a lot to get me to relax. My chiropractor says, “Linda, your body has an inability to relax.” I also had a benign tumor taken from my head 18 years ago which has set up a domino effect with the connective tissues so I’m in the chiro’s office at least twice monthly.
You affirmed what I was looking for in a company and thank you for your feedback about each program. Very helpful!
I am constantly working on not reacting to my environment and need to do that until I sell my condo.
You’ve been a tremendous support!

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 12:54 PM


val falconer writes:

one of my favourite subconsious ways of writing is to use a great trick that I learned from the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Simply take a piece of paper and start writing…anything. Don’t stop, don’t think, don’t edit just write. You’ll be amazed at what comes out of your pen and the different ideas that you can put together to start a story or an idea.

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 6:38 PM


Roseanna writes:

Great post.

Just give your subconscious task and trust it, and it will achieve that task. All genius’s make good use of a meditative/hypnotic state to unharness their creativity. You can bring on that state with music, repetitive action, something which you pattern match with relaxation, hypnotic cds…the list is endless. I find just walking is great and hypnosis of course.

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 7:13 PM


Paul Comi writes:

I frequently get ideas while reading reviews of movies or plays that appear in the Sunday paper or the trades like Daily Variety or The Hollywood Reporter. Generally, a critic will sum up the content of a drama or comedy and then begin to comment on whether the performance was successful or not and why. Because of the subject matter, particularly in a well-done play or film, the novelty of the piece seems to open up my creative forces and permutations seem to come out of the moment.
Because I tend to be rather eclectic in my choice of subject matter, these process has been very helpful in awakening material that is helpful in bringing a sense of passion to my writing efforts.

Comment provided May 16, 2009 at 11:43 PM


Alwahsh writes:

Man must seek inner peace and tranquaillity, from the chaos of noice. Seek oneself, enjoy oneself, and have a drink alone!?

Libertyed :)

Comment provided May 17, 2009 at 4:19 AM


Mary Ann Dore writes:

My best thinking spot is in the car – and while I can’t jot down ideas without running off the road (I know – I’ve done it!) I’ve found that having my digital recorder in my console is perfect. Just pick it up and record those thoughts. Much safer and after spending an hour or so in the car I’m amazed at how those ideas flow.

Comment provided May 17, 2009 at 2:15 PM



Your article confirms that what I’m already doing is exactly what I should be doing.
BTW – My thinking spot is in the car or right before I go to sleep at night.

Comment provided May 17, 2009 at 5:33 PM


Jeffrey writes:

My ideas always come to me as I’m about to fall asleep. There’s something about my mind being completely relaxed that lets them flow out. Needless to say, it can take me around 2 hours to fall asleep on a given night because of this.

It’s a bummer but it helps me get tons of ideas!

Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 2:02 PM



It’s taken me a number of years to discern when the great ideas arrive with a lightbulb above my head and ways to capture them.

I find 2 very different times are most effective idea brainstorming.

For conservative creation, I put a pencil and paper on my recumbent stationary bike. When I ride it for more than 10 minutes, the ideas come in for arranging the day, marketing plans, and to do lists.

For outlandish and bold ideas I have found that being out partying in the world with the young crazies generates a lot of creativity. Here I have to use my treo memo to capture the ideas.

To the Writers and Creators of World…. I raise my glass to your success!

Comment provided May 19, 2009 at 8:01 AM


Roseanna writes:

I find the same on the cross-trainer. A lot of ideas come when you are moving to a regular rhythm or beat!

Comment provided May 19, 2009 at 3:13 PM


Ahmed writes:

Great post !!!

I always loved those articles about idea generating methods.

I really love this one ( Sleep on it ). It really very helpful and creative. You can come up with many ideas while sleeping.

Thank you

Comment provided May 21, 2009 at 3:54 AM


Kathleen Bren writes:

I get my best ideas while riding my mountain bike on the weekends. The single-pointed focus needed to watch for changing conditions on the trail, clears the debris from my mind and allows new thoughts and ideas to enter. It’s very cool.

Comment provided May 22, 2009 at 10:01 AM


Rick Gregory writes:

Interesting article and plenty of good tips for getting your idea juice flowing. I think showers trigger the senses into action as a get ready mechanism and running and exercise serves to jolt the dormant brain cells and invigorate the body into full on, head throbbing idea creation. Lingering around in your pajamas or sitting at the computer with a full belly of food tends to have the opposite effect.

So get active in body and mind and crank up the idea machine.

Comment provided November 4, 2009 at 7:33 PM


Geoff writes:

I use these two idea when working on all sorts of projects where writing or speaking is concerned.

# Let Your Subconscious Mind Do the Work

# Sleep on It

It`s amazing how many ideas come to your without actually having to consciously think about the subject.

Comment provided November 5, 2009 at 4:09 AM


Harvey writes:

I get a lot of my ideas from browsing through the category listings of EzineArticles.com and other blogs on the net. It’s a bit like a word association game. One category title here and one there and suddenly I have interesting ideas popping up left and right.

Comment provided February 22, 2010 at 10:19 AM


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