The truth is once a piece is finished, most ideas conceived will have no place of origin. Plus, some things are meant to be kept as an artist’s secret, and I respect that.
However, Henry James left us a list of places that ideas come from and it’d be my pleasure to share that with you.
Curiosity killed the cat but created a writer. I try my best not to push away the things that I’m curious about especially when it keeps returning to me. I like to dive in and find the answers I’m looking for. Then, I find new questions to explore.
Variety of attempts
If at first you don’t succeed try try again. I definitely don’t always get it right the first time and that’s ok. Art thrives on failure. I’m not going to give up on writing because I messed up a couple hundred times. I keep writing! And If I have to scrap an idea, I don’t throw it away, I always try to tuck it away in case I can incorporate it into another piece. Or even use it to inspire new ideas.
Exchange of view points
Hearing someone else’s perspective of the world is so interesting to me. It helps to see things from outside of the box that I sometimes live in. It can definitely spark ideas after a good conversation with a friend.
Experimenting and tinkering with different styles, plots, genres, or whatever else helps me to get out of the monotony of it all. Experiments are uncomfortable, they don’t have a home, and they take a lot of time and focus which is all great because there’s something about getting out of my comfort zone that gets my creative juices flowing. You should totally try it.
Comparison of standpoints
I love to use conflict to inspire my writing. Passion fuels a lot of my poetry and the purpose for a couple novels I’m working on. Comparison of standpoint helps to conceive new ideas because it make me want to give my audience a story that helps to explain my perspective.
So there you have it. The five places ideas are conceived.
I challenge you to try a couple of these (or all) then spend time just brainstorming a bunch of ideas. Or use them create new ideas to add to a story you’re currently working on. I’ll be doing it with you.
Saschia Johnson On the Creative Process, Conceived Ideas