Monday, October 17, 2011

Where do you get your ideas?

The question I am most often asked is, "Where do you get your ideas?"

The seeds for ideas are everywhere: in everything you see and hear and touch and feel. Combine this seed with that seed, and off you go.

Above might look like "a bigga mess" on the deck.

You look closer and you see nuts.

  You kneel down and look closely at one of those nuts:

Pretty interesting thing, that little nut.  Wonder what's inside?

Chop it open.  Huh.  Who might want that nut?

Ah, my nosy friend, the squirrel.

And your mind is off and running. Where is she taking that nut? What does her home look like? Does she have a family?

No, I don't normally write about squirrels, but I get my story ideas the same way.  That crowd of people over there - look at that one boy - look more closely - what's in his hand? - where is he going? - who are his friends? - what's bothering him?

Off you go . . .


  1. I feel the same way about ideas; it's like a chain reaction!

  2. Creativity, inspiration... I agree with you.
    Love the pictures. The squirrel is so cute!

    Thanks so much for your visiting and nice comments on my blog. I am curious, how did you found me? The vast world of internet always intrigue me...
    Have a nice week ahead.

  3. Great comments, Sharon! A great lesson in learning to see; wish this was more a part of our formal educational system as a basic class. It could go off into so many directions: all the visual arts, music, writing and branching off into the "hard core'" science and math fields. Endless opportunities, and lets not exclude history...

  4. This takes me back to one of your earlier posts: The Observer. The observing is intentional and very focused. Is there a degree of abstract thinking involved in the process of gathering ideas or is it simply a keen sense of things around you?

    Great post!

  5. Karen - interesting question. I think the abstract thinking kicks in when the mind leaps from the observation to the implication - when you take something 'real' and fly with it.

  6. Ah, I can see I need another post distinguishing between 'inspiration' and 'idea.' Maybe I am melding the two here.

  7. Inspiration takes us to the idea? This post is so interesting because you and several others see the beginnings so clearly. I don't. I just sit with my head in my hands, moaning, pretty sure I'll never write again. And then, at long last, a little magic enters the brain and I haven't a clue as to how it got there.

  8. That squirrel is so cute! Nowadays I'm trying to write text in French, but it's even difficult to get inspiration.
    Sometimes my teacher gives me the "title" and I need to write a kind of story at home, as homework.
    The first "insight" is in Portuguese ( my mother language).
    It's difficult the first thought be in French that's something that I still need to develop...maybe the time will help me about this kind of inspiration!
    I wish so!

  9. I'm just wondering if this critter is getting some inspiration and ideas.

  10. Wonderful, Sharon! And a post about inspiration vs idea would be most interesting, especially in this online age where inspiration can mean finding a good idea to copy. At least in photography!

    Thanks again for visiting! – g