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How to get ideas

How to get ideas

Often your client will get stuck when asked how they might do something, or what they might do.

Here are some ways to help:


In a set amount of time come up with as many weird and wonderful ideas as possible, not giving any thought at all to reality.

For example:

If you were to spend a minute thinking of uses for a paperclip, you could come up with ideas such as

  • To dig holes for seedlings
  • To clean your nails
  • To fix a broken belt
  • Linked together to make a Christmas decoration
  • To hold paper together (it’s a thought)

This could be extended by spending more time looking from different angles. Eg: What if you were a scientist, were lost in the jungle, were a child?

With your clients you can encourage this process.

Here’s an example:

Therapist: What subjects could you write about?

Client: Ummm. Cars. Motorbikes.

Therapist: And what sort of sources would print these articles?

Client: Car magazines, mens magazines perhaps.

Therapist: Spend one minute and tell me anything that you can think of connected to cars and bikes you could write about, being as daft as you like:

Client: Lawnmowers, engines, caravans, cars that pull caravans, interiors, colours, why are colours so boring, mechanics, the AA, motorways, bike gear, motorway service stations, road signs, driving tests, failing tests, people who fail tests, racing cars, getting to race a car, how racing cars get to where they go, who organises it, who picks drivers, lorry driving, sleeping in a lorry park, statistics on accidents, day in the life of a paramedic, day in the life of an AA man. Gosh!

Therapist: Lets go through these and see where they might be published:

Client:Home and Garden, Mechanics trade magazine, Caravanning magazines, Newspapers, women’s magazines, AA Members magazine, Insurance companies magazines, Service station guides, Consumer guides, Motor racing press, colour supplements, airline magazines.

Therapist: so to start with you had two subjects and two sources and now you have 25 subjects and 14 sources.

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