Get behind the scenes content and a free download of "Sibyl's Advice On..." Join the ListGet the Essays

Ideas are Infinite

Fighting the Fear of Running out of Ideas

Recently, I had drinks with a friend who asked where my ideas come from, and if I ever worried about running out of ideas.

The answer is no, I don’t worry about ideas drying up.


When I first started this journey in Fall 2020, I did think I’d eventually lose steam and run out of things to write about. I’d come across a plot hole I was unable to fill, or a follow up storyline that just never seemed to fit. Or I’d quite simply fail to come up with a new scenario to put my characters into.

What I discovered in the writing process (and this is key: I discovered this during the writing process) is that ideas are infinite. Our brains and our minds are infinite.

Where does a thought come from? Where does it go? Once a thought has been thought, do you have one fewer thought in the stockpile you were born with?

No. Our thoughts, and therefore our ideas, have no end. For as long as we are alive, we will have a neverending stream of thoughts and ideas. There is simply no end to the number of ideas I might have in my lifetime.

The key to creativity (and, I believe, the key to all of life), is to harness the energy of your thoughts and ideas and point it in the direction you want to go.

For instance, if I want new ideas for a secondary plot, my process is simply to instruct my brain to come up with some ideas for a subplot. It sounds like this:

“Brain, I want you think to think of some things we could do with Supporting Character B, and we’ll revisit this tomorrow.”

With my brain thusly instructed, I can go off and do something else, all the while trusting that ideas are being formed and are on their way to my conscious mind. It’s just a matter of time until the ideas reveal themselves to me.