Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Discussion: Do Ideas Strike Twice in the Same Place?

I'm curious to know, how do your ideas hit you? Which situations are most conducive to clear thinking? 

Personally, my best thinking is done with some form of mild brain stimulation. For instance, I've gotten a lot of my ideas while riding a lawnmower--just enough of a task to keep the wheels turning without absorbing too much brain power. I also find that some mild exercise helps the inspiration flow. Enough exercise to enable the blood to circulate through the ole' cranium, but not so much that my lungs steal all my oxygen. (that's my theory, anyway) I've discovered that when I'm deep in thought I start to pace without even noticing it, especially if my thoughts are exciting. So now, if I need to work out a problem, or come up with an outline, or develop a method to increase the nation's energy efficiency, I just pace, often with something in my hand to fumble with (brain stimulation) such as my keys. 

Wow, that was long-winded. Now, how about you guys?

photo by: collinedwards99


JT Norlander said...

These things just kinda tend to hit me, I don't really have much of a "method" of getting ideas. Sometimes things just kinda pop into my head and I file them away until I can actually put them to use.
I really do like your method though, I seems quite good. : )


Jillian L. said...

I tend to find my inspiration from everyday things, whether from a movie, tv show, book, or from real people. My mind goes to a place of creativity and creating alternate situations to a lot of things.
In the end, I tend to come up with lots of stories of diverse situations. They become a whole other world.

~ Jillian

Rachel Danielle said...

Most of the things you mentioned can apply to me. It's kinda embarrassing... when I'm working on thoughts or ideas you'll see me pacing furiously back and forth in the basement, playing piano like some sort of mad person, or rocking myself back and forth like a lunatic. Typing also gets ideas flowing for me- and it's usually when I'm typing that I rock myself back in forth in my chair. (It's probably a bad thing that my chair is one of those really squeaky spinning ones). More than once my family has told me that people who rock themselves back and forth like I do, end up in rubber rooms.
Another really good place to find brilliant ideas is in the shower, or in some sort of water. I get some of my clearest ideas there. I've figured out lots of problems and thought up most of my books in the shower. My 'indian' name amongst friends and family is 'Rachel Long-Shower'. :)

Rachel Danielle said...

Did I mention Lakes? Everytime I've gone swimming in a lake I come out with ideas. I like lakes.

ElizabethOfMena said...

Most of my story ideas come from dreams I've had. The book that I'm currently writing was actually the result of one of the most exciting dreams I've ever had. Listening to music also helps get my mind churning, I don't know what it is, but usually whenever I sit down to write, I pop in a CD or turn on the radio, and it just seems to help. But I can basically write in any environment, as long as there isn't too much noise or commotion, I can write.

Assr lei∂r ykkarr or∂.


Evergreena said...

Since I work at the library as a shelver, I see ALL sorts of books while I'm there, and that usually gets my mind going, trying to imagine what the book is about without getting to read it. Usually my mind is pretty occupied with getting things in alphabetical order until the end of the day, when I have to clean up. Then my brain is freed up a bit so I can start thinking about my stories. This has become a regular thing for me now, and I have gotten some GREAT ideas during this time. I almost wish clean-up time was longer than half an hour!

J.R. Parker said...

JT: I've found that the suddenness of getting ideas out of nowhere adds to the excitement.

Jillian: I've often thought of inspiration as more of a state of mind than an event. When I'm open to being inspired I, too, find it everywhere.

Rachel: I can beat that! Sometimes when I think I throw around a poor stuffed bunny rabbit. Yes, the same one that makes a cameo in the video in the sidebar. Really, sometimes I wonder if I look possessed when I think.

Elizabeth: Personally, I've found music good for inspiration but not thinking, especially when there's words.

Evergreena: That sounds like an awesome setup!

Eruanna said...

When I am talking about my story to my brother new ideas just come to me and I think of most of it up right there!

Ranger Hawk said...

It's usually when I have a pile of homework that I find ideas come pouring forth, and dialogue forms perfectly in my head, just begging to be written down.

Galadriel said...

I agree with Ranger--it always happens when you are unable to write it! Dreams and music are good, but sometimes I just wait and start thinking about it while I work, because I know I'll get ideas when I can't write em down.

Cloe said...

I find that when I am cleaning my room I get ideas. But sometimes just sitting works too.
One time when I was at my grandma's house I had been writing my book when I didn't know what to write next. So I got up and sat on a chair (I was on the floor you see). Then after a few min. I flew out of the chair and started to type like mad.

LocaChica said...

For me, I can have a "dry period," when I don't get many ideas or have any creative juice at all for a while, and then I have a day where I can't keep up with myself! I have found that I get a lot of idea's when I'll be either listening to music, or playing my violin, piano or guitar. Music speaks to me a lot, so I guess that's probably why. Also, it's pretty much a given, whenever I'm completely exhausted and really want to climb into bed and go to sleep, I get my best idea's.
Not sure if that answers your question, but that's just how my brain works :)


tinydancer said...

hay, thanx for following Waning Candles! :)

Ivorydancer said...

Thanx for following!

Robert Treskillard said...


The best time for ideas to come to me is on my once a week two hour drive I have to make for work. I put on an album called "Scottish Moors" and it powerfully creates the proper mood for the book I'm writing.


Jacob R Parker said...

Eruanna: To be able to think it up on the spot must be nice!

Hawk/Galadriel: I can certainly understand the frustration of being unable to write ideas that are begging to be free. Especially since it seems like they keep mounting in such instances.

Cloe: I love it when my thoughts are flowing faster than I can type them.

LocaChica: I've gone to bed only to get up and type out my thoughts many times.

Tiny/Ivory Dancer: Thanks for making a follow-worthy blog.

Robert: I looked up and listened to some of Scottish Moors and I can definitely see how that would put you into the right mood for your book.

Brandon said...

I prefer to stare at my computer screen. That's how I really get most of my ideas.

But oftentimes I'll get ideas during any given time of the day, at any given place.

During Church worship or during the message I'll get ideas. But I try to tell them "stop!" Now is not the time.

Gabrielle said...

I like to stand on my head, get all the blood and ideas flowing. And Lizzy (my sister) sometimes tells me what to write. Like, "why don't you write a story about..." And then we iron out the finer points of it while we argue who is hogging the blanket.

The Reluctant Dragon said...

This will be silly sounding... but I don't care! =D I don't mean to sound arrogant.

I get my best Ideas from make-believing. Or, more of, as I do some form of work, "changing" my "situation" around to something more...interesting.

I highly doubt this would work for anybody else, but it's my tried and true technique.

The Reluctant Dragon said...

This will be silly sounding... but I don't care! =D I don't mean to sound arrogant.

I get my best Ideas from make-believing. Or, more of, as I do some form of work, "changing" my "situation" around to something more...interesting.

I highly doubt this would work for anybody else, but it's my tried and true technique.

Isirian said...

I usually am walking some where, I've noticed that also with memorizing things I start to pace when an idea is coming on. So things come to me when hiking, going home from school(to tired when I go to school), and just walking around the city, like to the mall and stuff.

Kat Heckenbach said...

My ideas can hit at odd times, but they fairly consistently come when I am either taking my dog for a walk, reading, or whenever it is highly inconvenient for me to get to something to write with/on :).

I love having ideas just pop into my head, but I do sometimes have to plot on purpose. At those times I tend to read my latest installment in whatever I'm working on while I pace around my living room, or out in my garage while my kids play.

And of course, there is always the middle of the night, I am just TOO TIRED to get up, but I drag myself out of bed anyway lest I forget...

And for some reason during church. I'm not sure if that's good or bad--scribbling all over the bulletin while the preacher is talking :).

Evergreena said...

"And for some reason during church. I'm not sure if that's good or bad--scribbling all over the bulletin while the preacher is talking :)."

I do that, too!

Nathan Petrie said...

My ideas? Well my friend...typically they hit me while I"m trying to write the idea. Sound strange? It is.

For instance, one of the stories published in my book was halfway finished before I had any clue what it was going to be about. As it turns out, it was my best story ever.

Also...they hit me when I stare at water....yeah...don't ask lol

Jacob R Parker said...

Thanks everyone! I've definitely got a lot of new methods to try next time my mind goes blank.

Hannah said...

Lets see...whenever I go up to the lake, tons of ideas come to me. Being alone, sitting on the dock is very refreshing and calming and it gets my ideas flowing.

Once with two friends, we were thinking up plot ideas for a story, we started out by sitting on the floor with a notebook and writing things down, and at the end we were jumping up and down and practically yelling. We had a great plot though.


PS In reply to your comment: Yeah, it was a ton of fun. His fish was so huge...