Good Ideas Come from Reading
It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. The more books you read, the more you use your imagination, and the more you use your imagination, the easier it is to come up with new ideas. Books, whether in the form of novels, memoirs, or non-fiction, are a treasure trove of good ideas, and they can quickly get you thinking about and asking yourself questions about your own ideas. Keep a notepad handy and write notes, ideas, and thoughts (remember the shower principle?) as you’re reading; you'll notice that notepad filling up pretty quickly. I find that whenever I need a creative boost, the best thing to do is go back to the basics – reading. It never fails.
Books are also good tools to help you “visualize,” and visualization is key for good writing and good directing. I keep a reading list for every new project I am working on. So if you’re not writing about something, read books about writing. Out of all the advice I can give you, this would be the one that’ll make the biggest difference in your writing. The more books, scripts, and literary content you consume, the better writer you become.
You can find a list of my personal favorite film books to read here.
“I spend most of my days pacing around, muttering that I have no ideas, feeling like I’m walking a plank.” ~ Aaron Sorkin