This list by Pixar’s story artist Emma Coates has been making the internet rounds lately. If you haven’t seen it yet, click the photo below. There are some great things that apply not only to writing and story development but to any creative endeavor.
I’m particularly fond of #12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
#17 is also worth noting: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.