Where do our ideas come from? Best answer: everywhere.
I’m visiting with friends and someone mentions a strange circumstance that intrigues me. Or talks about a quirky character they met. Or refers to a larger-than-life experience they read about online. These are all fodder for the idea mill.
First lesson: Be observant. Listen. Imagine how this or that can be recreated in our writing.
Sometimes good ideas slip away on me because I’m not convinced they are novel-worthy. Can I build an entire book around a particular idea? Will it really fit into my plan without messing it up? Perfectionist tendencies show up and may need to be squelched in order to give the brain free reign to imagine the possibilities.
Second lesson: Cast off perfectionist tendencies. Welcome the ideas and save them for later use.
As amazing as some of the ideas are that come to me, I have a confession to make: they often take leave as quickly as they come. I have an unfortunately poor memory. I may remember having a fantastic idea, but the gist of it is gone forever.
Third lesson: Write. It. Down. We can’t always trust our brain to remember even the most intriguing ideas. At least I can’t.
Grab those ideas and run with them. They are everywhere, but they want tending.
Janice L. Dick writes historical and contemporary fiction, inspirational articles and book reviews. She also edits and presents writing workshops.