I have never had a problem coming up with new ideas.
When I was writing in high school, I remember someone asking what I did when I ran out. Confused, I looked at her. It had never occurred to me that someone could run out of ideas!
I think there’s two parts to this question for me. The first is that sometimes I think we get an idea, and that idea comes from nowhere. It might be sparked by something else, it might be your mind putting X plus Z together, and you, and a few other people in the Earth, end up having the same idea at the same time.
I had some novel ideas like that, and I have come across other writers who have experienced the same thing. Like there’s idea neutrons shooting across the Earth and one in five hundred thousand catch the same idea. Or maybe the angels visited some inspiration on us.
But much more interesting to me is the second part of where ideas come from, and that’s something that’s inside EVERY person ever born.
I don’t think it’s possible for us to NOT create ideas every day and with every thought.
We just don’t recognize this power within ourselves. It gets trained out of us. Or we get taught that this is just ‘being human’ and we fail to appreciate it for the gift it is.
Every one thinks ideas are part of this creative process where you sit down, get your grumpy copywriter face on, and apply yourself to writing words. There’s a resentment; a dislike; a well spring of negativity that comes with it. I must write for this purpose. I must write this THING in this FORMAT for THIS REASON.
I mean, the bad news is that we always do something for a reason. Whether it’s to bring us pleasure, or get away from pain, there’s always a reason. Make a sale, make your boo smile, get rid of the tax man, there’s a reason to write.
Every time someone asks a question, we create ideas in our heads. Every time there’s an exchange of communication with another person, we create ideas before we respond. it’s that moment of tension that we interpret before response that calls creativity up every day and every second.
Writing novels is just asking ourselves (or raising that tension to be resolved) questions. What would happen if I wrote a book? What would happen if my character did this? What would happen when this character does this and that character does the other thing?
Writing for digital communications and social media is the same. What happens when someone gets to my page? What happens if they like my page? What questions do they ask? How can I help them?
Eventually, after staring at this poor fifteen year old girl for a while, I said that if I ever ran out of ideas, I would take a popular book written from a male POV and rewrite it from the women’s POV. If I renamed the characters and book, I bet no one would even know.