Writing with Lisa

Writing for Love or Profit

Where do you get your ideas from?

Written By: Lisa - Mar• 01•13

One of the most common questions I get asked when people find out how many books I have written is “Where do you get your ideas from?” so if you are struggling to come up with some ideas like I asked you to do yesterday then hopefully the tips here will help.

1.  Ask yourself “What if…”

I love playing the “what if” game.  The way I do it is I will get a book of short stories and read three or four of them at one time and then sit and wonder how the story lines I had written could be expanded in some way, or twisted so that a totally new idea is born.  For my non-fiction writing I find myself asking questions about things that have happened in the news, or I look at magazine stories and see whether or not there is anything else I could add to their information.  Remember magazines spend a lot of money on researching hot topics so if you can build a book around a problem found in a magazine it is probably going to be popular with readers.

2.  Brainstorm with friends

As simple as it sounds.  Call up a few friends or family, open a couple of bottles of wine, or set up a nice lunch and then sit and chat about possible book or article ideas.  You will be amazed at how quickly your brain will start to churn out ideas in the right environment.

3.  Go to Yahoo Answers

If you have never been there before and you are looking for non-fiction ideas then head over to Yahoo Answers and take a look at the questions people are asking others for advice on.  You can refine your search by niche – so relationships, or cat breeding or what ever else you are interested in and then scroll through the questions and answers until you find something you could research and write an article or a book on.

4.   If you want to write fiction then Pinterest is the site to visit

Those of you who know me well know that I am still in the process of writing my fiction story.  The other day I got a classic case of writers block and couldn’t write another word.  So I went onto Pinterest and looked at other people’s pictures of house interiors.  I saw this amazing study room in one such picture – printed it out and went back and wrote a complete chapter on the scene that I could imagine being played out in that very room.   People, places and quirky ideas can all be found on this great visual site so try that if you need a bit of a creative boost.

5. Relax

I find I get my best ideas when I am having a shower.  It is that whole process of getting off the computer and doing something relaxing that seems to set my creative juices flowing.  My husband is well used to me running out of the shower heading straight for some paper and a pen so I can get down the ideas I had while washing.  A walk on the beach, some meditation, a long hot bath or simply hanging out with friends are all relaxing ways of allowing your creative side to kick in and start working.

Remember when you are searching for ideas they don’t necessarily have to be the ones you will start working on, but the process of thinking about them will stimulate your creative brain and you will end up with notebooks full of ideas like the ones I have on my desk.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply