The Elusive “Next Idea”

YKYAWWStopEverythingClearing out my email again this week, I came across a few articles I wanted to share, but none of them really corresponded to the other, so I decided to pick one and run with it.

Where do we come up with our ideas?

I’ve written a ramble or two in regards to keeping a notepad with you at all times, or utilizing the note app on your phone with the built-in night light, because we can only keep reiterating that wonderful nugget we’ve discovered for so long before weYKYAWWTexting eventually lose it.  It’s our burden – brilliance at the wrong time.

InkTip shared How to Scientifically Spark Your Creative Genius, and it’s a quick read that will give you a little insight into why we have our best ideas right before we fall asleep, or when we’re doing anything else besides writing.

Not all our snippets are gold on their own, but our minds are complex things that work out plots and intricacies long before we ever get pen to paper, or finger to keyboard.  We don’t know what little blurb of conversation we overheard and wrote down could be the beginnings of something wonderful, and if we fail to write it down, we’ll never find out.

A line of dialogue in a TV series sent my mind whirling about a screenplay that I’ll get to eventually.  It’s dark and kind of twisted, not my usual fare, but it’s good to have ideas outside our genre too.

I’ve been writing fan fiction at work as a way to pass the time, but sometimes during those few mundane hours I’ve come up with ways to fix plot holes or created new characters.  This is why I always have a notepad for writing in my server book.  That’s the strange thing about being a writer, when people ask where we come up with our ideas.  Sometimes it’s from being observant, sometimes, who knows?

Maybe it is just from giving our minds a break from the responsibility that accompanies the idea that as writers, we must always be on.


I’ve heard of writers doing these things called “idea sessions”, and I still can’t get on board with it.  Sitting and writing dozens of ideas in a given time to see if one sticks?  I’m not sure if that’s the way to finding a story you can be passionate about…but since I haven’t tried it, maybe I’m not one to speak.

We’re the first readers of our stories, and I believe we have to love what we’re writing.  If you’re just looking to write a formulaic story, I have to wonder why?

I’ve said this before: everyone has a story, but that doesn’t make everyone a writer.  And I stand by that.  I think as writers, we see everything as potential material, and that’s what separates us.

So when you hear something interesting, or see an image clearly in your mind, don’t lose it, because that could be the start of your next big idea!

Best wishes!


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