how do you think of original ideas? original party ideas or DIYs? unique blog posts or photo shoot concepts? i use a very simple trick i learned back in school when i was learning about how to create logos…

word association!

let’s say i wanted to think about ideas associated with “summer.” then i would start a blank page in my notebook or on my laptop and i would write down every word that reminded me of that season…watermelon, beach, sunburn, sprinklers, popsicles, heart sunglasses, denim shorts. then you break it down even further…each of those words has even more ideas, feelings or memories associated with them. what do heart sunglasses remind me of? lolita. what memory does sunburn spark for me? getting my hair braided on a cruise as a kid and getting sunburned so bad in between each braid. and now all of a sudden i am thinking about braids…and then hair tutorials. see what i’m getting at here?

your mind can take you on a crazy path if you allow it to. if you look for inspiration only on the internet, your mind gets clouded with other people’s ideas. it’s overwhelming. i was talking to a friend last night and she said she likes to spread out a huge piece of paper on her kitchen table and just write whatever comes to mind. she calls it “word vomit.” have you ever tried this? give it a shot! -bri


Add your own

    So helpful! and SO Needed that tip!

    Kelley says:

    great advice, bri! i love this post. i’m starting a new blog, launching in a few weeks, with my fiance and we’ve and have been brainstorming like CRAZY for fun post ideas and different ways to communicate our ideas. one thing i’ve been doing lately is looking at physical things around my house (candles, plants, lights, tea pots, patterns on clothing, etc) and thinking of different ways to use them or just thinking about them in entirely different ways. i love the ‘word vomit’ idea–will be trying that later today : )

    Definitely the best way to go — the internet can be helpful but the most original ideas seem to always come once you’re away from the computer!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Juste says:

    Very helpful post! Thank you for sharing , Bri!:)

    Fabiola says:

    Great advice, thanks bri!

    Ainsley says:

    This is just the best idea! Totally going to use this when I am thinking of inspiration for weddings! Thanks! <3

    Jess says:

    This is really great – Thank you for sharing! I have been very stuck lately and this will be extremely helpful.

    Annie says:

    LOVE IT!! Thank you for sharing!! Awesome tip – especially for this budding beginner of a blogger…

    Dariela says:

    Such great advice! I also do that for logos but it didn’t occur to me to try it on anything else!! Thank you!!!

    Shelley says:

    That is a great tip! Thanks so very much and I will definitely use this technique!

    Sam says:

    This post was so helpful – thank you! I feel inspired already 🙂 🙂

    abigail says:

    I love this! I try to use a word wheel to come up with metaphors, puns, and personifications as well. Sometimes a “before, during, and after” thought process helps me as well. But usually it ends up looking like word vomit. 🙂

    Priska says:

    Thanks so much, I used to this many years ago, also for writing and journalism, but got really entangled in the internet in the last few years, and kind of forget how interesting these word trips are. Can’t wait to start associating!

    Latrina says:

    Oh, I love this! Makes you really wander… why in the hell have I not thought about this sooner? 😛

    Emmali says:

    Yeah, sometimes you feel all brainwashed after spending time on the internet searching for inspiration, and everything you need is just to get back to yourself and your own inspiration sources 🙂

    i remember being taught that in packaging design at fidm. my teacher used to call me crazy because i had so many ideas and not enough structure. she made me sit at the center table with nothing but a pencil and paper, she called it “mind mapping” it is such a great exercise!

    giulia says:

    this is really one of the best creative tips i’ve ever seen!!!

    Kreetta says:

    Oh,yes! I have forgotten this – thanks for reminding! Great tip!

    SomeDopeGal says:

    Thanks! This is amazing

    Bitty says:

    wow, sometimes this is all we need to hear.
    Thanks for endless inspiration, both online, and inside of our own heads. You rock girl!

    Jen says:

    I love this! So helpful!

    Lauren says:

    Great post! Thank you for sharing!

    Vanessa says:

    Awesome and refreshing tip!

    Ana says:

    This is great idea to get new, fresh inspiration. Thanks for sharing it. And yeah, I had the same problem with braids and sun when I was a kid.:)

    Love the tip! I’m so visual, so I never thought to use my words. Will definitely be trying this. 🙂

    Great suggestion. I’ve been feeling a lack of creativity for a while now, and I think that’s partly because I spend so much time in front of a computer! The times I feel most inspired are when I just go for a walk – sans iPhone too. No photos, no music, just feelings!

    Julianna m says:

    That is such a good idea! I did this a lot in college, but I’ve forgotten to, in this real world madness.

    What a great tip! Thanks. I always read a book/poems, listen to a new album, get outside for a walk, listen to a history podcast. then my mind swirls with new prints and patterns. The internet can be very constipating and intimidating as there are so many talented people out there. I prefer to dwell on the fact that i am processing images and ideas in my own way. Hey we can all do that right!
    Thanks Bri

    Sara says:

    Mind mapping! I use this all the time and love doing it. It’s crazy what random associations I come up with – that aren’t so random after all.

    kim says:

    What a great idea! Thanks 🙂

    Chelsea says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous tip Bri! You always inspire me and I’ll definitely be using this trick from now on.

    Chelsea & The City

    Jolene says:

    I also do this! usually works great!

    Kory says:

    This is such a good idea! I’m definitely going to have to try that out. I usually look back through my old ideas, or think about posts that would relate to the season we’re currently in when thinking of blog post ideas!

    Justyna says:

    wow ! i feel so inspired right now. its so cool idea <3


    Yasmin says:

    Love this idea, reminds me to get back to the drawing board. Getting on the internet is too easy, and like you said your mind starts getting clouded and your ideas start looking like everyone else’s. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Hi Bri, I love these tips. I sometimes use mind-maps, they are so much fun and you can use to brainstorm ideas or organize yourself.
    I used it when i was a learning manager in a hotel, it was such a fun and creative job!
    have a look – http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/mind-mapping/

    Sam says:

    Great idea! It is difficult to always think up new things that haven’t been done yet.

    Janet says:

    Love this! I’m just starting out in the creative field and this is such an awesome tip!

    I love this, it’s very similar to my own tactics. Although I do like to write each word on little scrap pieces of paper so that when I’m done I can group them and batch write them. It’s actually really fun to do too, right? xo

    Jasmine says:

    Yup, definitely a good one!
    I learnt about this in advertising design class back at uni.

    I always use this method when thinking up names for ventures, including my own blog and business 🙂

    i like the idea of using it for blog posts & DIYs!

    Sharna says:

    Ah, the pen and paper.. very forward thinking. 😉


    Lotts says:

    This is just wanted I needed to hear/read today. The internet can be so overwhelming at times, my best ideas come when I am doing something completely different.

    Kelly says:

    amazing- i absolutely love this. it’s kind of like comedy improv, I hope I don’t take to shouting out random words in my apt. xo

    Dana says:

    thats a wunderful tip.

    i do it in a similar way.
    but that was long ago. thanks for reminding me.


    Tanya says:

    Thank you for this tip! I work in corporate creative world and everything is so derivative (God forbid we have an original idea that is not supported by marketing research and trend boards and what our competitors are doing) that it’s hard to remember the “good” way to be an artist.
    I forget that the best things I do (for myself – DIY, writing, and creating) were born of train of thought process (though, in my case, it’s more of a “butterfly of thought” – not linear at all, and the points of stopping don’t line up and the direction can change without a warning ^_^ )

    Casey says:

    I REALLY needed this blog post. Thank you so much! Xx

    Jess says:

    Great tip! I feel like I’m always scouring magazines, blogs, books, etc. for inspiration, or just brainstorming on a notepad.

    genevieve says:

    thanks so much for this advice! sometimes i find spending too much time looking at other people’s beautiful work (which is so easy to see on the internet) makes it hard to remember that my own mind can be just as creative and inspirational. definitely needed the reminder to sit back and think my own thoughts/cultivate fresh ideas every now and then. 🙂

    Kathleen says:

    I love to brainstorm ideas that way too, I learned recently the technique is called mind mapping. Works so well for creative projects.

    Michaela says:

    I’m convinced you are just naturally flowing with creative ideas! But this post is extremely true and a great way to get those juices flowing. It truly gives you your own creative material instead of thinking… Hmm I’ve seen a lot of bikini posts lately, lets do that!

    Keep it up!

    Shelby M. says:

    I’ve always been curious about how other people generate ideas! This is a great post (and technique) that I’ll be holding onto.

    lyndsay says:

    aww. first off, love that collage – such awesome colours and screams sunshine holiday! word assocation for sure – or mind spiraling or mind labyrinth, as i call it! i just have to remember to write things down or sometimes they are gone like the wind! ^__^

    I feel like you always bring freshness to the internet (and to my mind!), that makes it feel like its outside of so much of the blog/pinterest/web mess (…as much as I love it all). You are the best, Bri. 🙂

    Lisa L. says:

    This is great advice! Thanks for giving it. I will definitely be thinking this way from now on. 😀

    Mostly Lisa

    Love the advice. Thanks for sharing. I usually do think of images and colours rather than words. I feel pictures evoke feeling and memories way more than words do, for me at least. Hehe..

    this is great advice! and you’re so right about looking for inspiration within others’ ideas, it just doesn’t work! i always take a long walk outside in my italian neighborhood, look at the old ladies on their balconies and stare at the food stands! it helps every time!

    Making lists and creating word association charts are my go-to way to solve anything. It sounds super nerdy, but it really helps to make any project easier to tackle and will put any goal within reach. Glad someone shares my enthusiasm!

    Love! Love! Love! Helps me to stay on my path and keep it creative and fun in the process.

    Nikki says:

    Thanks for this tip! Sometimes I am paralyzed by the thought of all the good ideas being taken, but that’s usually because the internet tends to make it seem that way!

    Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    Sara says:

    That’s a fantastic idea! Sometimes you get so bogged down in the current that it’s hard to or you forget to mix it up!
    Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

    Vivi says:

    this is a great idea. i’ve used it at school as well, when we had to come up with a concept or branding ideas. it was crazy how many words came out!
    the “word vomit” also works, i guess it depends on what you are more confortable with and with what technic you will get the most.

    thanks for reminding me of this tool… i left it ages ago and i’m definitely coming back to it! 🙂

    Sandra Costa says:

    i just love your tips-for-life posts.

    Blog da Sandra Costa

    meligrosa says:

    WORD VOMIT >>>>> OMG <3

    Mauricio says:

    First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d
    like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.

    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any recommendations or hints? Thank you!

    Cassie says:

    thank you so much for the idea! I did it the other day without even realizing it!

    I think its also helpful especially when you have 32966891376 things on your mind


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