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What if you need an idea and it just won’t come?

However hard you try.


Off the top of my head…

Relax. Let it come to you.

Tune in to other people on the bus.

Fill a page with stinkers and then bin it.

Teach Tik-Tok to feed you exclusively one-liners.

Use that technique of David Bowie’s. Cut out lots of words from somewhere and put any two together. Moonage / Daydream.

Look up the lyrics of a favourite song. “And I’m busting up my brains for the words”.

Watch a Ted Lasso episode again. Focus on your favourite character. Danny Rojas: "Dr. Sharon helped me remember that, even though football is life, football is also death. And that football is football too. But mostly that football is life!"

Think of relevant words with rational and emotional meanings. Like ‘life’.

Don’t, whatever you do, hold a brainstorming. Keep this hell of yours private.

Look at your collection of random ramblings. Or your LinkedIn likes.

Or the more organised version. Mine is a monster file of every single Need Map I’ve ever developed. 100+ now.

Hang out in the shop that sells the brand you’re trying to sell.

Ask your partner what he or she thinks. Don't reply: “Thought of that”.

Re-read all your notes from the project so far. I always have pages and pages. Good thoughts get a box. The best get a box with stars round it.

Take the key words from the brief and do an image search. That’s how Jeffrey starts when he’s doing the visuals for this blog. ‘No idea’ gets me to people shrugging. His is way better.

Or bypass Jeffrey and use Midjourney. Damn, you have to subscribe.

Treat it as a problem to be solved but make sure it’s a consumer problem.

Look out the window. For a while.


No, don’t panic.

Take the dog for another walk.

Give your mum a call. Explain to her again what you do for a living.

Search out a past blog post. You might have been here before.

Switch off your computer. All the way off.

Go to bed. Take a pad.

Switch the light off. Switch it back on.

And if none of that works?


Off the top of my head…


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