Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009

Filling Your Idea Tank

Much of writing is done away from your computer. Just as one goes to the grocery store to replenish one’s food supply, so should a writer go to the world outside her office to replenish her idea supply. 

The best way to gather writing ideas is simply by living your daily life. Through your interactions with people, places, and things, you will discover enough ideas to last more than one lifetime. The key is to be observant. 

Paying attention to life is essential to writing success. Every day, right under our noses, are stories, poems, articles, anecdotes, and column ideas. But if we are not observant, we will miss them. 

As you move through your world today, take a notebook or a voice recorder with you. Record what you hear: snatches of conversation; serious or funny anecdotes; catchy turns of phrases. Record what you see: a moving facial expression; an angry interchange; a beautiful scene. 

The next time you face a blank computer screen, use one or more of your recorded observations to spark a new piece of writing.

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3 thoughts on “Filling Your Idea Tank

  1. I always have a notebook with me because ideas pop up when you are least expecting them.

    I’ve also been know to write ideas on the church bulletin during the sermon. 🙂

    February 11, 2009 at 1:52 PM

  2. Pam Halter,

    Me too. You should see my collection of sermon notes my pastor gives out on Sundays. I don’t keep them for the sermon notes but for all the “stuff” I write all over them instead of listening. Do you think God will forgive me?

    February 12, 2009 at 11:18 AM

  3. Hi Mary Ann –

    A co-worker once used an expression to describe unusual food. I wrote it down, and intend to use it someday. In fact, I’m formulating an entire character based on two words.

    Susan 🙂

    February 12, 2009 at 6:05 PM