I don’t think there’s a writer—anywhere—who hasn’t been asked where they get their ideas. The five of us here on the Pen Warrior blog are not exceptions. The funny thing is, until recently, we’d never asked each other this question. So during our last writers’ retreat we did ask and came up with our own top eleven places we find inspiration. So listed below in no particular order are the times and places where—if we’re lucky—our brains loosen up enough to let creative ideas ease on in. Let’s call those ideas story kernels, tiny seeds potent (magic?) enough to grow into a story.
Story kernels are slippery and paradoxical. They can be brilliant, elusive, empty, fresh, unreliable, and often even worthless. But writers can never ignore them. Some story kernels are nothing more than cosmic jokes; jokes you don’t get until you’ve written a hundred pages of pap and drivel and the walls start laughing at you.
But here’s where we find those ideas–for better or worse: the Pen Warriors best—and worst—places for creative inspiration:
11: NOT on the back of a stall door in a public washroom
10: Sowing seeds, pulling weeds, and digging in the dirt
9: Face down on the massage table (Spa sessions should be a tax write off!)
8: Walking the dogs—when they’re in a meditative state
7: Driving alone
6: Doing Tai Chi
5: During acupuncture appointments
4: Talking to other people about their lives
3: Magazines in waiting rooms
2: Old and interesting buildings—better yet abandoned ones
1: Overheard conversations—restaurants can be golden
But tell me honestly, what’s your opinion of Number 11? I mean, really, there has to be story kernel in a picture of a broken, bleeding heart drawn with a thick black felt pen, captioned Gloriana Marie hates Bob. Hm-m…