Top Eleven Places To Get Ideas.


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…


Article written by

EC Sheedy writes romantic suspense, because she loves writing weird and nasty villains. She lives on Vancouver Island in the moody, green, and rain-washed Pacific Northwest. When she's seriously story challenged (too often in her opinion) she often walks the beach and communes with the stunning and multi-talented Mother Nature. (Make that begs for inspiration!) If that doesn’t work, a few minutes thinking about the quirks and foibles of human nature usually does. She loves reading, writing, her twin granddaughters, her Ridgeback, Zuke--and most of all her first and last husband, Tim. You can follow EC on Twitter, if that's something you tend to do. @EC_Sheedy Or you can check out her website and titles

One Response

Page 1 of 1
  1. Gail Whitiker
    Gail Whitiker at | | Reply

    Great blog, EC. I missed the boat but #3 and #7 were bang on for me. As for the stall door, I’ve often wondered about the (usually) broken romances I see scrawled there. Who wrote them? The jealous boyfriend? The spiteful girlfriend? Or one of the scarred lovers. We’ll never know…but I have to believe there’s a kernel in there somewhere!

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.