A fellow photographer asked me recently recently if I have ever run out of concepts to capture because my photo stream implied I didn’t.

Also, a reader recently commented on a blog post asking a) how do I keep the articles flowing and b) do I ever run out of topics to talk about?

It happens. Ideas come and ideas go. There are multiple ideas and concepts going through my head but there are also times when I have none. Now what?

Remember recently when the grocery stores had empty shelves and consumers panicked during the pandemic? Same thing with your bare idea shelf. Ever get anxious when you realize that fuel gauge is closer to “Empty” than you thought? Same. Your idea tank is running low. Fear and emptiness can stop us from thinking clearly and can prevent us from coming up with an alternative solution.

I like to calm these feelings with small doses of relaxation, meditation and quiet. This moment is all right. This moment is perfect as is.

Only then can we adjust our focus and start thinking clearly again. Then I check my saved articles in my favorite read-it-later app. Anything inspiring there? How about the morgue file, epigraph or commonplace book full of notes, quotes and ideas? Tried discovering new sources of inspiration yet?

There are times when I reach out to other writers and photographers to see what they are working on or what questions they have that needs answers. Perhaps we can find an answer together and generate new ideas from those discoveries.

And again, I will turn inward to reflect on what hasn’t worked, or what was something I set aside because my mind was focused somewhere else and not ready to receive it yet. Now the ideas are flowing again.

If we take the time to stop, relax and breathe, we’ll find that the answers are usually inside of us all along.

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