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Where Do Ideas Come From?

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Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

We've been talking at my incredible Writers' Group about ideas. Where they come from, and how to decide what's a good idea. It made me think about where my ideas come from. I said here that I noticed that many of my ideas come when I talk to other people. Some ideas come when I read books or listen to podcasts. But I haven't had a new idea in a while. And I've been talking to lots of people and doing lots of new stuff. So, what happened?

I think there's a delicate balance that is "just right" for new ideas to come, at least in my case. This balance is exploring new things, but also have time to reflect on them. And I don't mean 10 minutes on the tube on the way back from the play or the exhibit. I mean a couple of hours in which I can explore how I felt about the play or exhibit, to write about it, to try out some free associations, to make up a couple of stories.

In addition to time, I think that when I was writing more, I made myself write. I scheduled some slots in which I wanted to write, and then I would write anything. I wanted to work on my book, but I also scoured the Internet finding pictures I wanted to write a story about. I wrote several stories that way. I want to do that again, but I feel like, right now, I don't have the mental space it takes to come up with new ideas. Maybe I'm just lazy. Maybe I got distracted by my new project. Maybe I over-scheduled myself.

And maybe that's how ideas work. Sometimes you have lots, sometimes just a couple and they feel a little meh. I don't know.


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