As a writer, my head can be a circus sometimes. I can be locked in a conversation with a friend and something is said that sparks an idea that takes me on a flight of fancy. Anything said by my friend at that point goes in one ear and comes out the other. Sometimes it happens when you are reading a book or watching TV. Sometimes, I tell myself “I won’t forget this,” and then guess what? I forget a few minutes later.
So, I have developed a habit of writing these fleeting ideas as soon as I get them.
Here are three tested areas you too can draw inspiration from for your next project.
- From Items and Things around You: It is all about being aware. I have a writer friend who downloads art works from the internet and draws inspiration from it. In a few months, she has a new 300-page novel. From one art work! It can even be from a song. I am very sure you can get a romantic novel by just listening to Adele’s album. It can also be a landscape that captures your mind and kicks your imaginations into overdrive. All you need to do is to be aware and never stop your mind from wandering. No matter how silly the imagination is, let it in! It can always be refined into something beautiful.
- From News Articles: I have been stuck in a particular project for a while now and by just following the events before and after Nigeria’s 2019 elections, I have developed a lot of ideas that can move the project further. Strange things happen in the news these days and by reading the papers, watching the news or browsing through social media, you can come across a story that will light up your imagination. All you need to do is pay attention. Also, whatever story you draw inspiration from needs to resonate with you or else it would not have emotional power behind it. A story of human right abuse can spark the inspiration that will make you a bestselling author.
- From Conversations and Events that happen around you: Words that come out of my colleagues mouth are a goldmine! She says something and it sparks and idea and my mind drifts. I’m staring at her speaking and she believes I’m listening intently, but my head is creating scene after scene and conversation and conversation (I hope she doesn’t read this). You can always draw from people’s daily experiences or even conversations from strangers at the fast food (I’m not asking you to spy on people.) There is also a conversation with yourself which is extremely important. Many times, I am caught talking to myself and what goes on in my head simultaneously is a work of art! Finally, you can catch events on your way home from work, in the wedding event you attended or even a mall you just visited. The truth is, there is a story in every conversation or event! It is left to the writer to greedily take advantage of this and this can only happen when you see the value in it.
So remember to always use the note in your cell phone or a jotter wherever you are because that flash of idea from an unplanned moment can turn into a bestseller.