It’s true, I’ve written about how to write more using slow-cooker creativity and how to spark writing ideas while watching television. I’ve talked about finding great writing ideas before trashing your newspapers, and about writing great openings phrases. I also referred to a post I wrote awhile back, 2 keys to unlimited ideas. I explained observation as the idea of becoming a noticer and a note-taker of everyday things that occur. I also mentioned innovation, which was the idea of taking those observations and turning them upside-down and asking the “What If” questions.
And when you can’t find anything to write about, I’ve encouraged you to at least write a better excuse. I have a permanent tab at the top of my blog called Story Sparklers describing some of the fun tools I use when I need to get my creative juices flowing.
And yet, the question I still get asked the most is: “Where do you get your ideas?” So, today I thought I’d do something a little different.
Here a few things I came up with to put these various principles into practice. Grab an idea, completely free of charge, and write for ten minutes.
Creative Idea #1
In one of the above examples, I used the slow-cooker to relate to the process of idea generation. What other household appliances could you use to describe your process? Explain why.
Creative Idea #2
In “Story Sparklers,” I mention using a picture to launch a thousand words. Find a magazine, newspaper or book. Pick a photograph. Do not read anything about the story accompanying the photo. Write for 10 minutes about what is going on in the picture. Read the story afterwards. You’ll be surprised how different your idea is. I also suggested using phrases, headlines and words to spark new ideas.
Creative Idea #3
Think about an ordinary event that happened in the last few days and then craft an extraordinary short story around that event. What unexpected change could happen that would ruin the event. What person could show up to make everything different? What if the weather changed?
Creative Idea #4
Take the story you wrote for question 3 and think of a specific product or service that you could sell to one of the characters in your short story. Design a flyer, or write a commercial that would appeal to that character.
Creative Idea #5
What if the same story you wrote for 2 or 3 took place in the Old West, outer space, or under the sea?
What observations would your main character write about your life if they wrote about you for ten minutes?
Creative Idea #6
Take a walk around town; bring a camera and a notepad. Write down ten ordinary things that could be incorporated into a story or an article. Include as many details as possible. Notice conversation topics, unusual dress, and locations. Take as many photographs as possible. Try to fit as many items into one story as you can. Allow your observations and photos to spark several new ideas.
Bonus Photo Idea
Here’s a bonus picture prompt for you.
I just received the package below in the mail. What do you think is inside?
Of course, none of these things will replace the hard toil required to sit down and complete a piece of work. Writing takes practice, time and discipline. It takes working past your difficulties and frustrations if you want to accomplish anything. I realize this. But first you do need ideas to work with. Sometimes you just don’t have enough ideas popping. I pray this post helps. Let me know below. Now it’s your turn.