Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Origin of Writing Ideas

I would like to think that ideas for novels arise from some fantastical, magical place. In stardust that makes its way to earth, from the roots of a dream in full slumber under a full moon, beneath an old stone bridge in the cold creek rushing by.

The truth is – ideas come from everywhere. For me, it’s often in the most common of places. And quite often, in inopportune places. The shower, for example, or during a family meal. During a midday nap. Or an outdoor jog. Times when I can’t easily or not-rudely reach for a pen or my phone to sketch down the idea. In which I profess to myself, “I’ll remember that idea even if I don’t write it down.”

Sometimes I don’t remember that idea if I don’t write it down.

Okay, most of the time I don’t remember that idea if I don’t write it down.

I suppose the good news is that ideas are renewable. They replenish as we live life and go about our most normal of days. Sometimes I think these are the best ideas – not the magical ones just above reach – but rather the ones that relate to everyday life and people.

To be a good writer, you also have to be many other things. You have to gain experience and meet new people and engage yourself in the world. Sometimes, out of your comfort zone. It’s how we bend and change and learn the world – and also learn ourselves. It is in these places that the best writing ideas come from, I think.

Simply living our lives.

The good news? That means we all have the chance to become a writer, and to stay a writer.

Just keep living.

Happy reading!

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