Ideas are the best and also the worst thing about writing, be it coming up with an interesting blog post, writing a short story or embarking on a 5 book series.
They are great when they just ‘ping’ in your mind. Whether it be random ideas that seem to spring out of nowhere or something that finally clicks into place after a long slog.
They can also be the most elusive thing – leading to stress and annoyance if you are struggling to find one, sitting at your screen at a blank page for hours.
Something that has helped me when I’ve been struggling for ideas is knowing that you don’t have to be super imaginative or creative, forging something entirely in your subconsciousness, some of the best ideas can come from simple observation.
Authors have based characters on people they know, have met or have grown up with. Ideas have been built on situations that have occurred in real life or have sparked from reading or watching a program and thinking “what if this had occurred instead”.
Larissa Ione, a New York Times best selling author of the Demonica series, came up with her idea after watching an episode of Angel.
“Angel, a vampire, was injured and needed medical attention, but where could he go? I started thinking, and that let to Underworld General. Then I had to populate it, and I wanted to do something different than vampires, simply because there were already a lot of vampire romances popping up. So I came up with the demons”.
I have come up with ideas for my blog by reading and being inspired by other peoples, or from discussions that have taken place on twitter or with friends.
A very sensible piece of advice I have been given is – whenever or however, an idea emerges you should always write them down.
Anyway which works best for you, it could be artsy – a jar of ideas for the future, or something more (I suppose) mundane or practical such as a notebook or word document. You can then refer to these when in need and you can tease them into life when the time is right.
I have an electronic note pad which is full of random visuals, ideas, words, phrases and taglines including some more in-depth paragraphs, mind-maps and half built worlds. This is what I refer to if I am ever feeling a bit lost or uninspired with my writing or on my blog.
Jut remember that everyone struggles with ideas sometimes and quite often they come along at the most random of times – don’t stress. Have a google, go for a wander, read a book. Ideas will come flowing soon enough.