I had been writing on a daily basis. I had been at my prolific peak typing down as much as 4k words each day. I was writing blog posts crossing 2k words in length, which meant writing 2k words germane to the same topic/subject. And, my head would never disappoint me. My grey matter would keep on shooting up ideas, thoughts and points to include in the next paragraph as I would be typing with my fingers. In a nutshell, I was all into writing, and writing was all into me.
Then, my examinations came closer. I had to slow down. I had to pare my time devoted to writing each day. I had to begin preparations for exams. So I did that. And, that proved to be a costly affair for my prolific writing habit. Once the exams were over, about ten days later, I got back to my chair. I clicked open my WordPad and began typing. And, as I reached maybe 500-600 words, my head stopped shooting any more ideas to write about.
I was clueless. I could not think of things to write on the topic which I had begun with. Writer’s block had got on to me and I was vacuous over what else could be typed out on the concerned subject. My writing muscle which earlier used to keep popping out ideas one after another had run out of practice. I tried to think a lot, but I remember I closed the post at 843 words unlike ten days back when I had been habitual to stretching up to 2k words easily. My writing muscle had atrophied and I was off my game.
It took me another fifteen days to improve my word count and thinking ability but I am still nowhere close to my heydey. And, every time I give up practicing my writing muscle, I have to undergo this process of convalescence every single time. I know it because it has happened to me a number of times earlier. And, that’s what happens when you don’t work out any of your muscle.
It’s the same as what happens when you get a fracture on your leg and don’t walk for fifteen straight days. Your legs run out of practice and atrophy. The moment you get up on your feet fifteen days later to walk again, your legs don’t work and balance just as they used to. In most cases, one has to exercise the legs for a few days to get back in perfect walking condition, and in other cases, it may need physiotherapy.
The essence remains the same with every muscle. Be it the aforementioned leg muscle, the writing muscle, or the idea muscle, they needed to be exercised. To keep a muscle in ever perfect and active form, one has to keep it training and sweating. Regular practice is the key. And, that principle explains what it takes to transform oneself into an idea machine. One has to exercise and sweat the idea muscle every single day. It has to be a daily ritual!
And, how to exercise that muscle? Everyone can have a different way to realize that goal. I prefer and have been practicing the following exercise:
Write Ten Ideas A Day
It can be about anything. Literally about anything. It may be ten business ideas or book ideas. Or, ten ideas to surprise your father or ideas to enchant your spouse in the bed. Maybe ideas to make a business meeting fun and interactive or ten ideas to start a conversation with a strange random person. The base principle is to make your brain think. To put some pressure on it and make it break through any form of resistance to your potential thinking abilities. To expand your thinking horizons.
So, write about ten ideas to close a letter in a fun way. Ten ideas about how can Amazon do a better job. Ten ideas about how you can help your maid’s child with no monetary help. Ten ideas to write a blog post about. Ten ideas of things you can donate or get rid of. There can be endless such possibilities. However, as you would be thinking and writing the ideas, you would most probably find yourself stuck and exhausted by the time you are done with five or seven points, depending on your understanding of the subject.
And, that is when your brain would start to experience the sweat and pressure. That’s the training we need for our idea muscle. And, pushing ourselves, and hence our grey matter to pop out another idea at that moment is what will make you grow as a thinker and eventually turn you into an Idea Machine. And, as time passes and your brain develops the propensity to generate ten ideas easily, you could probably extend that count to fifteen ideas. Then twenty ideas, and so on and on and on.
That’s because our brain is a powerful tool with immense potential. But, that potential is seldom harnessed. Ergo, if we keep exercising our idea muscle, our growing thinking power would keep surprising us. No matter what situation you would be in, what problem you would be facing, what challenges may exist on your course to conquer that problem, your idea muscle will surprise you with a way out every single time. You would have non-stop solutions to tackle every situation.
In the beginning of this exercise, your ideas may seem to be prosaic and not that exciting. But, as time passes, your ideas would keep getting better. Especially the ones you write down at the bottom of the list at point numbers 8, 9 and 10. And, you will be a walking body of solutions to whatever ordeals you may face. Your life would be easier, and troubles would get smoother to pass by. And, that would happen because you would have evolved yourself into a badass Idea Machine!
I have been doing this for several months now. At times I had to take a hiatus for several exogenous factors, one being the irritating examinations every 40-45 days. But, each time I got back to the practice. And, my quality of life too evolved with the strengthening of my idea muscle. I am in no way an idea machine yet. But, I am definitely not the old prosaic self who was nowhere close to being an idea machine either. I am somewhere in between and I already feel that no situation can intimidate me enough no more.
Because I believe that when a tough situation would knock my doors, I will find a way out. I’ll surely be able to do that. I don’t remember when was the last time I had to be disappointed for not having a satisfying solution to any imbroglio I had been stuck into. And, that is just one example of how positively my life has been impacted by taking myself on the pursuit to transform into what I have mentioned umpteen number of times in this post-
An. Idea. Machine.
To get you started right now, I am going to write down ten ideas of subjects one can write ten ideas about:
- Ten Ideas to approach your crush and break the ice.
- Ten Ideas to make a stranger on the street smile.
- Ten Ideas of activities that make you afraid or uncomfortable.
- Ten Ideas of things which would make your parents proud of you.
- Ten Ideas of subjects/topics which you could teach someone.
- Ten Ideas of social events you can organize in your society.
- Ten ideas to approaching a sponsor to fund your college festival.
- Ten Ideas of mobile applications that don’t exist but should.
- Ten Ideas to make the society more inclusive for homosexuals.
- Ten Ideas to surprise your parents without buying them anything.
So, now you have ten additional subjects to think, ponder and jot down ten ideas about, other than the several ideas aforementioned in the post. So, don’t squander another iota of time. As soon as you end reading this post, start writing ten ideas on any of these topics. Or, maybe think of a topic of your own which piques your interest. Let nothing stop you from being the great Idea Machine you have the immense potential to be. Bliss!