How to find ideas

As an author, I often hear the inevitable question: “Where do you get your ideas?” Inspiration can be found everywhere, but there are a few idea sources that work particularly well for me. Maybe they’ll work for you too.

1.) Educational shows – Discovery Channel, Science Channel, and History Channel can be your best friends. The world is full of fascinating facts, large and small. Any one of them can be the inspiration for a new scene in a story, a plot device, or a whole new project.

2.) Excellent photography – Sometimes when I’m feeling in a creative funk, I just load up Flickr and browse random photos. Again, the world is a fascinating place and there are countless amateur and professional photographers out there capturing inspiring moments and places.

3.) Reading – I read a lot of novels, but I also read blogs, news articles, scientific journals, etc. The more you know, the more creative you can be. Each bit of knowledge is like a new color in your palette, allowing you to add more vibrancy and variance to your work.

4.) The shower – Yes, the shower! One of the few luxuries I allow myself is hot, long showers. In the shower my muscles relax, the soil of the previous day washes away, and my soothed mind inexplicably finds ways to work out plot problems that had been vexing me for days. Some of my greatest “A ha!” moments have hit me in the middle of a shower. It’s kind of similar to the famous “Eureka” moment Archimedes had in his bath tub.

The items I listed above honestly account for the vast majority of the fantastical stuff I’ve put in my writing, but I’m always looking for new sources of creative energy. What works for you? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

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