Robert Fulton was watching steam rising from a boiling kettle when the idea for the steam engine came to him.
One of William Faulkner’s best-known novels had its beginning in the image he saw of a child sitting in a tree.
Robert Louis Stevenson often turned to his vivid dreams for inspiration in penning his stories and novels.
Where do ideas come from? Everywhere!
How can we find them? By paying attention!
Have you ever been watching something while relaxing or reading something that’s engaging you or listened to a conversation and had the wisp of an idea float into your head — and then let it slip away? This has happened to me — and probably to you. And if we’re honest, it’s happened more than once.
What to do? What to do? How can we find and catch promising ideas — ideas which with a little prodding and cajoling might turn into a great story or play or novel? A few ideas to ponder and apply:
Ask for them: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” a friend of mine once counseled. How true this is! If you need a fresh idea as the seed of a story or to jumpstart a project that’s sputtered to a stop, then ask the universe for help. As Oprah says so well, “It is a a law of the universe: Assistance must always be given to those who request it.” Love this! Just ask and help will arrive.
Show up and wait: My good friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert counsels that if you want ideas to find you, they need to know where you are and that you’re serious. He suggests that you start carrying a folder around with you and you’ll miraculously find people sending you articles or online links or other resources. He also suggests that you sit every day at the same time in the same place and just wait — just let the universe know where to find you so it can give you what you need.
Pay attention: When an idea bubbles up — pay attention! Don’t let it slip away, neglected and unnoticed. Give it some love! Jot it down, play with it, turn it around. Add to it. Make it feel welcomed.
What tips do you have for lighting your creative fires and finding fresh ideas? I’d love to hear from you and share them as we all write on!