Where do you get your ideas?
There are endless sources for ideas. It’s only when you have a dry spell that the next idea seems like mirage in the desert. Avoid a dry spell with some planning ahead. Build an oasis of ideas you can always come back to, pack them away like an idea bank.
Most of your ideas will come from yourself, your experiences, reactions and feelings. So expand your experiences, think of things you haven’t done yet, things you would like to learn and know more about. Go to sources of experience like museums where you can see displays of things you have only read of in books. You may not want to be a demolition driver but you can go to a demolition race and see it first hand, talk to people, wipe mud off your jacket. Seek out new experiences, you never know what you will find along the way.
Keep your mind open as well as your five senses. Don’t be someone who walks with their face looking down at their feet. There is so much you miss when you keep your world so narrow and small. Some little thing could inspire you in new ways. A hundred people can pass by a weed poking up through the sidewalk or bird’s nest on the ground, or a million other things. But, most people don’t actually look at any of it. The smallest things can give you ideas and inspiration if you let your creative mind see them and add them to the data base of ideas, thoughts and knowledge already in your head.
Read. That’s simple enough. A writer should also make notes about what they read. I even clip out articles and make my own hand written notes on them. If you find something at the library or the bookstore scribble yourself some notes or get a copy of it. A photocopy works at the library but at the bookstore you either have to write a note or snap a photo so you can read it later. (Maybe taking a photo isn’t entirely ethical, but if I use the information I do give my source. I just can’t afford to buy every book or magazine that catches my imagination). Keep your notes, clipped articles and other media in a Writing Folder and try to keep it organized by niche, topic or genre.
Most of this isn’t new information. However, it doesn’t hurt to remember to do all you can do. No writer needs to have writer’s block or run dry of ideas if they keep working on a flow of ideas, experiences and knowledge.