Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finding A Constant Source of New Ideas to Write About

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

People always ask writers where they get their ideas because the process seems like such a mystery. I think finding an idea has everything to do with being open to whatever the world is throwing at you. It's as if your brain is flypaper. Your job is to see what sticks.

Writer Neil Gaiman has a great blog post on this concept in which he says, "You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it." I love that.

Being the mother of eight kids doesn't always offer up ample time for daydreaming, but I have found that even just a few short moments can deliver a handful of amazing topics that I can take and mold into funny columns, serious articles, or even whimsical fodder for the journals that I keep about family life here in the Butler household. 

The key point I’d love to share with you is that when you’re open to any and all possibilities that may present themselves, you have nothing to lose by grabbing your favorite pen and pad of paper and allowing the words to flow.

For instance, last week I was driving the cross country team carpool home when a gust of wind swooshed a bunch of ripped newspapers in front of my car actually blinding my view for several seconds. I admit I was rattled momentarily, but the more I thought about the incident, the more ideas began to flow into my mind about what this meant in terms of my writing. By the time I pulled in our driveway, it hit me—sometimes I get stuck in neutral and just can’t get my mind moving in a forward or backward direction. While the wind pushed those newspapers temporarily in my line of vision, that same wind also unstuck the papers and blew them to the side of the road, allowing me to see clearly again. Aha! Sometimes you need to be blindsided in order to let a brand new, clear picture come into focus to begin again.

A writer can find ideas almost anywhere, as long as he/she is open to receiving them.
This moment is just one of many that I can refer to as an example of being open to the possibilities that present themselves throughout the week for ideas to keep my muse going.
Sometimes these moments are quite clear. Other times they are temporarily hidden. But when I’m in tune to allowing my creativity to feed off of the ordinary, it’s then that I come up with my most passionate pieces.

How do you get your ideas for your own writing pieces?  We’d love to hear about them in the comments section!

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