Where/how do you get your story ideas?

Ideas and creativity in businessPeople often ask authors, where do you get your ideas?

Occasionally,  I’ll hear a news report or somebody will say something that will trigger an idea. But usually an idea, a “what if” will materialize out of the ether while I’m daydreaming. I don’t only get story concepts and plot snippets, but also promotional strategies or insights into why something is or isn’t working.

In prioritized order, ideas come to me in these ways:

  1. While I’m walking. I walk every day for exercise and “zone out” while I’m doing it. Walking is so great for idea generation, that often when I get stuck, I’ll take a short walk to figure out what happens next.
  2. In the shower. I get a lot of ideas in the shower. If I didn’t mind becoming a prune, I’d spend more time in the shower, and then I could conquer the world!
  3. While driving.
  4. At 3 a.m. And I don’t just mean in the wee hours of the morning, I mean 3 a.m. My muse often wakes me up at this time. “Hey, I’m talking to you! Wake up!”
  5. When I don’t have the time to write. Often when my husband and I are preparing to go out of town and I have no time to write, I’ll get a flood of ideas.

Once thing I’ve learned is when the ideas materialize out of the ether–write them down! Because they can disappear into the ether just as quickly.

What works for you? Where do you get your ideas? 

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