One of my favourite ways to generate new ideas is to use writing prompts.
I love the way that you can generate a totally new scenario from merely a couple of words, or a picture that you stumble across. Inspiration is generally hard to find, but with a prompt it gives you a direction to go in, and it challenges you to consider new ideas that you may not have written before.
Recently, I’ve been using a random word generator to try and come up with my prompts. My challenge is not a long story, but just to write 100 words on whatever appears next on the generator.
Now, whilst this gets the daily wordcount up (another challenge of mine – write 10k in a month!), I wouldn’t necessarily consider these words of any good “use”. If I can build a longer story from something, then I consider those words “useful”, whereas those that are just the writing equivalent of a quick jog round the block are “not useful”. Not that I consider those “not useful” words as a pointless exercise, but I would not try and build them into one of my longer projects.
A few of these prompts might become teacup stories, they might not. But in any event, they’re getting me writing and that’s what I need when life gets a little bit busy.
(If anyone is interested, the wordcount generator I’ve been using is here).