Are you a writer who struggles for each new idea? I have to admit — that is so not my problem. In part, I think this is because I write nonfiction. But it also because I’ve taught myself to harvest. Wherever I am, I filtering what I see and hear for ideas.
When we visited several Lincoln sites, one referenced a particular woman as his first love. Interestingly enough, at another site the day before, we had read about what bunk the whole theory was. Why the controversy? Could that be an article?
At Meramec Cavern, I found a display on cave formation. Then I cornered a ranger who didn’t move quickly enough. She gamely answered my ridiculously picky questions and gave me the name of the rangers whose expertise includes the history of this particular cave system.
Parent/teacher meetings generate ideas for educational activities. A trip to the zoo becomes research for a Noah’s ark story. Whatever I read, whereever I go, I’m collecting ideas.
The biggest problem is that it is habit forming. I thought it was just me until I got a message from my friend Stephanie Bearce. She’s writing like a maniac to meet the deadlines for her first series. The more she researches, the more she writes, the more ideas she has for additional nonfiction projects and fiction projects alike.
How do you come up with ideas for your work?