Last week, I reached a milestone in my nascent writing career: I was asked, for the first time, where I got my ideas from.
Friends, I’ve arrived! This question makes me a bona fide writer. (As far as I’m concerned it does. Don’t burst my bubble.)
And of course bona fide writers traditionally reply to that question with a superior sneer, don’t they?
“Ah, you poor, dumb peasant. I couldn’t possibly answer such a plebeian question. I am an artist! A creator of worlds! A very god!”
In which case, perhaps I’m not a bona fide writer after all… Because I’m more than happy to answer.
I have a note in Evernote which is stuffed with my writing ideas. Bits and bobs for flash fiction, short stories, long stories, novels, poems and poem-ishes. Every time I think of an idea, no matter how bizarre, I make a note of it in the file. Wherever I am.
Which may be:
- in my GP’s waiting room
- on the bus
- in a cafe
- on the throne
- hiding behind a statue of Duncan Edwards (long story)
- in bed in the middle of the night.
WARNING: splendid nocturnal ideas may not seem quite so splendid in the morning, eg, A man sticks an ear bud too far into his ear and prods his brain. Then he starts seeing the world in different colours and speaking with a Mongolian accent.
When I first started writing fiction, about two years ago, I would get one single idea and worry I’d never have another. So I wrapped the Idea in cotton wool and placed it carefully in a box on my dressing table. Sometimes I’d admire it. Maybe pet it.
It was only once I started using my ideas that I realised a strange thing – the more you take your ideas out of the box and use them, the more ideas you get!
Who would have guessed?
Not me – not to begin with. I did catch on after a while, though.
So, I’ve covered where I am when I get ideas and how to treat ideas, but this still leaves the initial question: where does a writer get her ideas from?
I’ll end by being concise (for a change).
Writers get ideas from:
- The Universe