Ray Bradbury regularly challenged all writers wrestling with fear to read one poem a day, one essay a day, and one short story a day for 1000 days, selecting from the widest variety of fields, authors and time periods. His goal was to have these writers become intimately acquainted with metaphors.
“At the end of a thousand nights, Jesus God! You’ll be full of stuff, won’t you? You’ll be full of ideas and metaphors, along with your perceptions of life and your own personal experiences which you put away, and what you see in your friends and your relatives… the more metaphors you can cram yourself with, they’ll bounce around inside your head and make new metaphors. That’s why you’re doing this. But you’ve got to be able to recognize one when you see one… and you’re well on your way to being more creative.”
“The next things is… get rid of those friends of yours who make fun of you and don’t believe in you. When you leave here tonight, go home, make a phone call and fire them. Anyone who doesn’t believe in you or your future, to hell with them.”
If you’re interested in taking up the challenge yourself, I link to most everything I read when it’s available on the web. You can follow my progress right here