Today’s post is a continuation of the series titled, How I Got Started in regards to writing. The second part of the series focuses on a question I get asked almost every day, “Where do you get your ideas?”
Whether it be a book about a naughty black and white cat named Panda or a silly Deer named Duncan who has a penchant for writing in his personal diary, I can honestly say that idea generation for me personally, has never been much of a problem. That being said, I do occasionally suffer from writer’s block. But that’s a whole other can of tomatoes.
Ideas come from all kinds of places and here are a few of my favourites!
- People watching-Go to any public place, sit quietly on a bench with a soy, caramel macchiato and watch the people go by. SILENTLY (this is important) make up stories about them. This is so much fun because it gives you the opportunity to let your mind and imagination run free! For example, Why is that woman wearing a tiara and jogging pants? Is she competing in a Disney princess marathon? Is she some sort of super hero with super powers? Is the tiara magic? You get the point.
- Talk to kids-Please make sure that their either your own kids, kids you know, kids you know the parents of etc. NOT some random kid in the mall…that would be bad. Kids have a funny way of making things extremely clear. It’s refreshing and is a reminder that sometimes we all need to be silly. Kids also have a lot of answers to life’s big questions like, “Why are we here?” “We’re here because everyone has one special thing that they can do that no one else can.” This is a TRUE statement from a kindergartener that I happened to be reading to last year. Betcha some kid could answer the question of why the woman above was wearing a tiara with track pants!
- Meditate-Yep. You read that correctly. Meditation leads to some pretty great ideas and I can speak from experience on this one. Meditation quiets the mind and lets you explore silence. It’s kind of hard to do at first but if you start out with a few minutes at a time you’ll get the hang of it and may even look forward to it. Meditation is cool because sometimes our minds wander and let us see things that aren’t there. During a recent meditation session, I envisioned my guardian angel…she was made completely out of ravens and when I looked at her they spread their wings and flew away. Talk about a cool intro to a novel right?! Trust me on this one…meditate! Ideas are just floating in the air.
- Real life-Remember the phrase, “Truth is stranger than fiction?” Believe it because it’s true! Panda the Very Bad Cat is based on a real cat named Panda who lives on my parent’s farm. He’s been in quite a few sticky situations and one day I decided to write them down. Wallah! A book! Whether it’s a beloved family pet, a kid who fights with his parents about putting on a snowsuit (God Bless Robert Munsch), or a neighbor who grows prize-winning sunflowers, inspiration is all around us.
There are countless other ways to think of things to write about and these are just a few that I’ve decided to touch on. Keep an idea journal, it’s an invaluable tool for all writers and you never know when or where inspiration will strike! Stay tuned for part 3 where I answer the third most asked question…Happy writing!