TIP #2: Charlie vs. Charles... Make it a TKO
Imagine two people, Charlie and Charles.
Charlie is youthful. He loves life and everything is a mystery. Nothing is impossible. Point in case: Charlie believes with his whole heart that his toys come to life when nobody else is around. He spends hour after hour devising new ways to sneak into his room and catch them. Maybe it doesn't happen, but he doesn't mind. Nothing, after all, is impossible and he knows that he just has to find a new way to catch them.
Charles is Charlie, decades later. (Two, five - it doesn't matter how many decades it's been. The point is that he's grown up.) Charles no longer goes by Charlie; he is taken more seriously as an adult without the childish nickname. Charles has a job and responsibilities. Dignity is important to Charles. He fears looking like a fool in front of his peers. He loves life, but knows better than to believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or things like that. His toys have long since been put away. He called them out for what they really were - JUST toys. Nothing special.
Charlie is still there, but Charles has pretty much hidden him underneath all the maturity. Sometimes Charlie pops out with a wild, crazy idea. Charles blushes, thinks about how ridiculous whatever the thought was and shudders at the teasing he'd surely receive if he vocalizes it. Charlie fades away, each time becoming more and more transparent - he's barely visible at all anymore, so lost he is in Charles's hidden thoughts.
If you haven't been reading this and nodding your head because you also know what it feels like to cringe at some of the crazy, silly thoughts you've had... then I'm not quite sure you're human ;-) OR you're just really, really lucky!
We (writers) all have two selves. The Charlie and the Charles. Charles is a major cause of writer's block. When you're having trouble, when you feel like anything you write is ridiculous and would never work, do this: take Charles out of the equation. Tie his hands behind his back. Duct tape his mouth. Give him blinders. And then, extend your hand to Charlie. Invite him to the forefront of your mind. Give him free rein - let the ideas be silly and free and fun. I think you'll be surprised with what you develop.
Later, of course, let Charles back out. You need him for real life, obviously. And he'll be instrumental in the editing process. But when you're working on that first draft - shut. him. up.