I’ve read several places that writer’s frequently get asked how they get their ideas. More often than not, the writer being questioned gives a less than adequate answer. As writers, we can accept this answer. If you were put on the spot, would you be able to answer that question? I think not. As an aspiring writer, I’m going to try my best to answer that question the best that I can.
The first thing you need to know (if you aren’t a writer, that is) is that there is no fixed way that writers get their ideas. Also, it’s actually quite rare (in my experience) that us writers rarely get the “Aha!” moment. Ideas generally don’t come out of normally. Writers have to get their inspiration from something. Sometimes we just have the barest idea of where our story sprung from, but it always comes from somewhere.
I find one of the best ways to get inspired is by reading. Young writers hear this all the time.
Famous Writer: You want to get better at writing, little one?
Young Writer: Oh yes!
Famous Writer: Then read. (and write, but you need ideas to be able to write)
Young Writer: Thanks… I guess. It’s not like I don’t do that all the time already.
It’s true. Reading is good for your writing and your ideas. Anything that expands your knowledge is good for coming up with ideas. The more you know the more ideas you can get. Trust me on this. Reading is where over half of my ideas come from. I am reading a historical fiction novel on the French Revolution and it’s giving me a considerable number of good ideas. So read things that you wouldn’t normally read. Even if it is as awful as you had originally thought, hopefully you gained some knowledge from it.
Songs are a great source of inspiration. I like all music. From Ke$ha and Katy Perry to Skillet to Billy Joel. Songs are perfect when it comes to multi-tasking. Listen to music when you do things. The lyrics are (in my opinion) what makes or breaks a song. Listen to them and make a mental note of the lyrics that stick out to you. Maybe it will help maybe it won’t. Music is still fun to listen to even if it failed to offer you ideas on a silver platter.
Art. Art is powerful. Art is really quite inspiring. Go check out some pretty pictures. I like pictures with people in them if I’m looking to be inspired. I’m a very visual learner, so I like to see things. That’s why pictures tend to be the most inspiring thing that I can find. I will also start drawing a girl, and somewhere along in my drawing she will become my main character (because most of my main characters are girls).
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Dreams, experiences, friends, and so much more. Find your own way of getting inspired. And then use it.
X’s and O’s,