I know I've said in the past that ideas are everywhere, and they are. You can be struck by inspiration at any moment--watching a TV show, listening to a song, just observing people. You could get ideas from dreams or even turn something that happened to you into a work of fiction. But just because the potential for ideas is never-ending, it doesn't mean that you're going to stumble upon them twenty times a day. What if your ideas are dwindling, and you just feel stuck?
I always tend to feel like I can't come up with new ideas, which makes it even more frustrating when I don't want to work on my biggest project. There isn't anything else to work on, so I do nothing. I even have a hard time coming up with blog post ideas. Sometimes I don't feel like I have an interesting story or a good piece of writing advice to share. And I can really only say how I'm having a hard time writing anything so many times before it gets old.
But how do you create ideas when you feel like the idea making machine in your head has broken down? What if you feel like any new ideas you come up with are terrible? Or maybe you feel like you're just reusing the same basic plot over and over, just with different characters and situations? I feel like any ideas I've come up with recently are just sub-par variations of the novel I should be working on, which I guess means that subconsciously I do want to work on it, but I just wish it was easier.
Maybe when we run out of ideas it's because we're trying too hard. No story is going to be perfect at that first moment of inspiration. There are so many details that will take time to figure out. It may not be easy, but we shouldn't let that stop us. And just because you don't have the entire complicated story mapped out in your mind doesn't mean you should give up.
Start with what's easy. What kind of characters do you want to write about? What kind of conflict do you find interesting? Find some detail that you find so exciting you just have to write about it. That's how I started my current WIP--with a very simple story idea. I basically thought, "oh, I'd really like to write about that." Once I committed to it, then more details started developing. Suddenly my characters seemed very clear, then more plot details, and pretty soon I had a complicated story idea that I was really excited to write.
So find something, just one tiny detail that intrigues or inspires you. Maybe you'll realize you're not out of ideas after all. You just need something to spark them.