Finding Inspiration

fire, street artist, fire-eater
Looking for inspiration doesn’t have to be this scary.

It’s November and you know what that means — once again it is time for Picture Book Idea Month.  The goal of this challenge is to brainstorm 30 picture book ideas in November.  That doesn’t sound too bad.  It’s only ideas.  Not full books.

Then again, November is also the month with Thanksgiving.  And I have a young adult nonfiction book to write and turn in.  We’re rehearsing for the cantata.  Where on earth am I going to find the time to come up with 30 ideas?  The key is to draw my inspiration from what I am working on, what I am reading and where I am.

By November 5th, I had 11 ideas.  Splitting them into rough categories, I have:

Stories based on what I’m working on:
2 on sports/exercise.

Stories based on what I’m reading:
1 on childhood problems (getting left behind)
1 on ghosts
2 on zombies/monsters
1 on Columbus Day
1 on surviving large predators
1 about pets

Stories based on what is going on around me:
2 inspired by the cluelessness of adults

Other places that I turn to for story ideas are photo or image based sites.  I may not be a great artist or photographer, but I am visual.  When I need ideas for crafts, blog posts, or just brainstorming, here are 4 sites that I visit.

Pinterest: Sometimes I search Pinterest for a specific topic (deer) or I look at what is popular under a given topic.
Illustration Friday: This site provides a weekly prompt for illustrators.  I use both the prompt and the illustrations as a basis for brainstorming.
Unsplash: Unsplash is a site where photographers post image that are copyright free for use by other people.  Althoght there are cityscapes and other images, the vast majority center on nature.
Pexel:  Pexel is another Creative Commons 0 site.  Although both Pexel and Unsplash are searchable by topic, you can also just browse the front page and see what people have recently uploaded.

These are a few places that I turn for inspiration.  What works for you?



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