Where Do Ideas Come From?

I’ll confess I love to brainstorm. I have far more ideas than I have time to write about.

But if you look at my life in general it’s pretty uneventful, most would consider it boring.

Lets examine how I live. I’m a stay at home mom for one, I watch far more Disney than I care to admit, and spend 90% of my day with kids under four, that last 10% is a shower so not much down time for me. Not a whole lot to draw on, I’m sure your life is 100 times more eventful. So where do these ideas come from?

  • Movies Sometimes. The weird stuff that happens in most kids movies can be a springing platform for new ideas. Most recently, the scene from Snow White where the step-queen is making potions, fantastic.
  • My Past. Just because I’m home now doesn’t mean I’ve been that way my whole life. I’ve traveled across the US and beyond. This has informed me of cultural differences and ways of life. I’ve had dozen’s of jobs and the fodder for character development is endless from these job interactions.
  • My Library. I’ve always been an avid reader and the things you subconsciously learn while reading are endless. You must read to be a good writer.
  • The Internet. This one seems like a gimme but the places you can go and the things you can learn without leaving the house are endless now-a-days. Things you would’ve never been able to find, except at an elite college library are now accessible in a few clicks. Years ago (at a boring desk job) I was on Wikipedia hoping around and stumbled onto some weird frogs from Costa Rica and now I’m using that knowledge in a story.
  • Local Nature. I rarely write about my local area but it doesn’t mean my deep appreciation for it goes unutilized. The smell of a spring breeze, the crunch of leaves, and the quite after a deep snowfall all find a home within the worlds I create.
  • Day Trips. When I’m really low on the creative juices a day trip with the kids to the public museum or other educational event can do wonders. Who says this stuff is for kids? Yeah I’ll watch caterpillars cocoon into butterflies because who knows how that knowledge will spread in the soil of my mind and cultivate my next ideas now or years from now.

Keep in mind everything and anything can be the seed to a story idea. So be sure you are watching for them. Be aware of your environment, utilize your time, and take in life with your senses.

What inspires you? I’m not talking about those rare moments of creative abandon you spend with your inner muse. I’m talking about the things your muse feeds on, what sustains that muse for the long haul?

Happy Questing!

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