Don’t lose hope if brainstorming isn’t working, try visiting your old works, like you do when blogging.
Diving into these files can be an education. I’m always surprised by my work. Before I learned most of the rules, I had freedom that I wouldn’t mind having again.
Remember to be kind to yourself. We learn more about the craft each day and when we do, our outlook changes with it. The root or core of your original story may be awesome, but the execution felt off, couldn’t face the brutally honest critique, or the work of putting it all together was overwhelming.
If you find what you’re looking for, you may have to cut it down the bone. Here’s what I do. First, I rip it into manageable pieces and rearrange the bits. Some chunks land back in the file folder and others make holes I filled in. I’m sure you know the rest.
If revisiting your work doesn’t help, sometimes reading sparks new ideas. Things that help me are: how-to writing manuals, old diaries—mostly my own, checking old letters or emails and finally old family photos.
Have you ever done this? What works best for you?