Who Has the Best Writing Ideas?
Writer’s block is probably the most frustrating experience any writer faces. You feel creative and you want to create, but you’re just not inspired. You need writing ideas.
It happens to most artists from time to time, this disconnect from the muse. Yet there are creative people who seem to have overcome artistic roadblocks — authors who publish one or two novels a year, filmmakers who produce annual blockbusters, and singers who are on the top-ten list week after week. How do they do it? Have they tapped into a secret, endless stream of inspiration?
How can you tap into that stream?
I always say look to the source. When I see successful artists and innovators who are consistently producing creative work, I find myself wanting to learn more about where they get all their great ideas.
The Keepers of Writing Ideas
It makes sense that as a writer, you would look first to other writers to find out what inspires them. So go ahead and do that. Read biographies of your favorite authors and listen to interviews with writers to see where some of the best ideas came from (there are excellent writer interviews on podcasts such as The Writing Show and Writers on Writing). If you look hard enough (or listen closely enough), these writers will explain where they get their best writing ideas.
But don’t limit yourself to writers. Inspiration is similar across all of the arts. So check in with folks from other disciplines too. And don’t limit yourself to only those artists whose work you enjoy and appreciate. You might find that a movie director whose films you don’t care for has a creativity technique that works perfectly for you.
I recently heard a musician talking about inspiration and he said it was like the music came through him rather than to him. He explained that his source is unknown and outside of himself. Other artists will talk about “the zone,” a state of mind in which concentration and focus are absolute and intense. In this zen-like state, creativity can reach an all-time high. In fact, in this state, creativity is the high.
The Idea Zone
How do artists get into the zone? Some meditate, others use rituals, which might include praying, dancing, or listening to music. There are countless ways to get into the zone. At times, you might find yourself slipping into it by sheer coincidence or by accident.
There does seem to be this space that all creative people share. It’s not a physical place that you can visit, but it’s a place in our minds (though some believe it’s outside of ourselves, and that certainly is worth contemplating).
The point is that by stretching your own boundaries and reaching out to other people who possess creative passion, you can find new ways to keep creativity flowing. The writing community is one you should belong to, as a writer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t engage with other types of creative people. Nothing is more valuable than the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and you never know — the next street musician you meet might have a little bit of wisdom that will open doors to a whole new world of writing ideas for you.
Do you ever exchange creative writing ideas with other writers? What about other artists who are not writers? How often do you think about the source of your creativity? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment.