When I have something to write, or an idea that I don’t quite have a hold of yet, my favorite thing to do is come up with 100 bad ideas. I love sitting down with a yellow legal pad and filling the page with awful taglines. I attack the page with things that make me laugh, or make me sad, or just simply don’t make sense. My primary goal is to empty my head of every idea that I already know is wrong and maybe I’ll then be left with a clearer picture of what’s right. After I get 100 bad ideas, and probably more than that, I look at the paper and begin to circle/cross out/underline throughout. If I’m lucky, I’m left with one single word or idea that is somewhat redeemable.
I’ll admit that sometimes when I first start out on a project, I don’t go through this process. I lie to myself and I’m ignorant enough to believe that my first idea was exactly the right one. My writing absolutely suffers due to this hubris. I’m beginning to think that my brain isn’t capable of coming up with anything good unless I let all of the stupid out.
The first answer you have will never be the right one. I’m not typically good at taking criticism, so that fact is still sometimes hard for me to accept. I know that it pushes my work forward. I just have to keep coming up with bad ideas.