It is important to gather a rich pool of raw material. This can only be done by reading extensively and constantly feeding your brain with new ideas. 

Are you someone who constantly runs out of ideas? Ask yourself how often you are filling yourself with new knowledge.

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A 5-Step Technique for Producing Ideas circa 1939 - Brain Pickings

brainpickings.org

James webb young

The first principle is that an idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.

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When we eat, the food is digested in a complex manner. It is tossed and turned and goes through tonnes of different processes just to be digested. 

We must do the same when we are absorbing knowledge. Seek to see the facts from different perspectives and apply them. 

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james webb young

What you do is to take the different bits of material which you have gathered and feel them all over, as it were, with the tentacles of the mind. You take one fact, turn it this way and that, look at it in different lights, and feel for the meaning of it.

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Once you have wrestled with the facts and digested them, you must now divert your attention away from the problem. 

Try your best to not think of the problem you are trying to solve creatively by stimulating your mind in another way. 

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james webb young

When you reach this third stage in the production of an idea, drop the problem completely and turn to whatever stimulates your imagination and emotions. Listen to music, go to the theatre or movies, read poetry or a detective story.

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Eventually, an idea will seem to pop out of thin air. Without you even thinking about it everything will come together. 

At this stage, you will have a bright idea that you think will work. 

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james webb young

It will come to you when you are least expecting it — while shaving, or bathing, or most often when you are half-awake in the morning. It may waken you in the middle of the night.

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At this stage, you realise that your idea is probably not as ideal as you thought you were initially. However, that does not mean it is a bad idea. 

This is the moment where you spend time developing and improving the idea to make it fit the requirements needed. 

Do not lose your idea at this moment. Let it be subject to criticism and develop it to be better. 

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james webb young

It requires a deal of patient working over to make most ideas fit the exact conditions, or the practical exigencies, under which they must work.

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