Reader Question – Where do your story ideas come from?

Where do all of your story ideas come from?

That is a really good question that I get asked a lot. To be honest, I used to wonder why everyone doesn’t already know this answer. I’ve had to remind myself, however, that I’ve been creative writing for years now. Way back in the early days it was trying to find ideas to use in my stories. I realize now that it wasn’t so much that I didn’t have the ideas swirling around, but it had more to do with my self-confidence in taking those ideas and weaving them into a tapestry. I think this is the number one impediment with new authors. Shaky self-confidence can leave them second-guessing themselves. They aren’t sure if they can articulate their ideas into something coherent, interesting, and worthy of reading.

In my creative writing guide, Abracadabra: Creative Writing, I speak about Nature and Nurture, and how every person’s being is made up of their genetic heritage and their life experiences. A person’s being is constantly evolving depending on daily experiences, and their subsequent thoughts, feelings, and actions. Obviously, with new and different experiences, a person’s being will evolve more significantly than a person who does the exact same thing day in and day out. So, things we see on the news, in film, and on TV change us in some way. The poems, articles, and books we read do too. Even the people we talk to, from our family to the cashier at the local supermarket. Literally everything-the small things, the big things. The panhandler with a crazy mohawk haircut; the sailboat cutting across the waves; the thunderstorm with an otherworldly amber sky in the distance. It’s all grist for the mill, as they say. Or in other words, it’s all material to be used for creative writing. But this is itself a paradigm, or a world belief, that takes time to adopt. It’s with the Law of Repetition, though, that this happens, just like tying your shoelace, applying make-up properly, or nailing your performance. Where you direct your thoughts is where you direct your energy. With thoughts and energy investment, things grow.

So, to answer your question, I get ideas from everywhere. That means, yes, if I meet you and think I can fit you in somewhere, I might just do that. And just to give you a heads up, any creative writer who says otherwise is fibbing.

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