The Writing Process · Writing Tips & Advice

Where do you get your ideas from?

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, ย  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.

idea-box

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:

  • Animals
  • Vegetables
  • Minerals
  • People
  • Life
  • The Universe
  • Everything.


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7 thoughts on “Where do you get your ideas from?

  1. So funny!!! I agree about some nocturnal ideas crumbling once they see the light of day. Vampire ideas. Should be left in their coffins.

    But man, I’d love to read the story about the earbuds. And about the Duncan Edwards statue. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Liked by 1 person

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