“I wish you had a GMC,” Gracee sighed. “So you could have a TV in here.”
If you’re going to be a writer, Gracee, you’ve got to look around. You miss too much treasure with your eyes on a screen–TV, Barbie computer, Nintendo.
Like there. That place almost looks like it used to be a little motel, but there are always cars there. Look outside that door. There’s a little tricycle. I think people live in those rooms. Who do you think lives there? Why do they live there?
Look at those beautiful tall flowers. I wish I had a garden like that. Who do you think planted it? Who takes care of it? What are they like?
Why are those fire hydrants all painted yellow and blue? (She later decided that whoever painted them must be University of Michigan fans. I would have painted them green and white.)
Why do you suppose that house is for sale? It doesn’t look like anybody’s lived there in months.
Did you see that bird?
Just look at the colors of that tree. The leaves are changing already.
I prattled on and on.
Then she asked, “Is that fire hydrant real silver?”
I don’t know. Let’s stop and check it out.
I whipped the car around and into the parking lot of the fire station. We got out of the car.
Nice hydrant. Real? Replica? I don’t know. There’s a water cover. Maybe real. But what if there is something hidden under there? Some kind of treasure? What if there is a secret behind this hydrant? What might be inside it if not water?
We could have gone in and asked questions and found out for sure. But we really didn’t want to.
We got back in the car.
“That was fun!” Gracee declared.
That’s the idea about ideas. Finding them should be fun. And sometimes they find us. We need to loosen up.
Here are some things that work for me. At least I’m working on them.
1. Get enough rest. Great ideas do not come to the weary.
2. Nourish your body. Eat healthy. Drink water. Don’t overdose on M&M’s. And, oh yes, exercise.
3. Nourish your spirit. Spend time in the Word daily.
4. Clear the clutter. In your surroundings. In your head. Learn to say no and let go.
5. Cultivate silence. Turn off the noise.
6. Cultivate stillness. Just. Sit. Still.
7. Read. Widely.
8. Engage in wordless recreation. Take a walk. Go for a bike ride. Bake something. Make something.
9. Develop eyes of wonder and awe. Rediscover your inner child. Play with blocks. Color. Swing. Get down on the ground. Look up. Notice details.
10. Take a journey to your past. Remember.
11. Be present on the page. Lock your editor up. Just write. What’s around you? What’s in your head? Free flow.
12. If all else fails, take a shower. Much more than water flows in water.
This post is part of the Christian Writers blog chain on Where We Get Our Ideas For Our Stories. See what others are saying. The schedule (still in process) is on my Links page above.