Brainstorming

Where do I get ideas? I once made the mistake of telling an interviewer that I get my ideas everywhere. The flow can be so invasive, that I’d have to put a bucket over my head to turn it off. That was one line out of a 20 minute interview. Guess which quote she used?
In January I took part in Tara Lazar’s Storystorm. The point is to come up with one idea each day of the month.  I’m not 100% certain how many ideas I had by the end of January, but I keep on adding to the list.  At this point I have 178 ideas.  That’s not too bad given that we are 181 days into the year.
Of course, I can hear the doubters among you already.  What good does 178 ideas do?  How many of them are you going to write?  At this point I’ve queried on 4 pieces of magazine nonficiton and have roughed out two picture books.  Not too shabby for just over half way through the year if you take into consideration that I’ve written 3 other books.
But where do these ideas come from?  I get a lot from my reading.  I read a number of science blogs.  New findings and new interpreations can inspire both ficiton and nonficiton.  History blogs are just as good.  Writing blogs can inspire my own blog posts.  “Hey, that’s not what I thought I post with that title would be about!”  Blogs about books work the same way.
Having a brain that’s as chatty as mine is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve never been one of those writers who wonders if I will come up with another idea. I just have to pick which one to work on next.  But I also have to manage to stick with it. If I’m not careful, the next super shiny idea can lure me away.
 
So now I’m off to finish a draft of the poem I started yesterday for Highlights Hello. It has gone from 3 lines to 8. Ok. Actually 7 but that’s because one line is still AWOL. That’s the one I’m going to go chase down.  But maybe I should stop and find that bucket first…
–SueBE