Ideas can strike anywhere, at any time, often without warning. They whisper while I'm drifting off to sleep, or scream in clear thoughts as I juggle bags of groceries. They are occasionally persistent, but often fleeting, so I find it best to jot them down before my mind decides to move on to something else.

Where do you get your ideas? is probably the number one question I'm faced with as a writer. In my experience, people don't usually ask because they honestly desire to know the origins of my flippant thoughts. What they want to know, what everyone wants to know, is: How do you take an abstract idea and turn it into an entire book?

A book, in its simplest form, is one thought after another, after another. Somewhere along the way, these musings take on a magic of their own, spilling into plot, character development, and all of the other elements necessary to create a story. But none of this is done without fingers waiting to filter them into my keyboard.

My words won't make it to my page unless I type them. My daydreams won't surrender to a story unless I cultivate them. Writing is like anything else in life—I get out of it what I put in. It is my willingness to do the work, to sit down and write, that results in a book.

Don't waste time waiting for ideas to smack you upside the head. Pick up your pen, or paintbrush, or guitar, start with what you see in front of you, and just get to work.

Michelle BredesonComment