Finding Creative Writing Ideas

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Where Do You Get Your Creative Writing Ideas?

As a writer one of the most common questions you’ll hear is “where do you get your ideas?” Non-writers think that writers have some magical power or that ideas for writing a story just come to them from out of nowhere. And maybe that does happen for some lucky writers, but for most of us finding good writing ideas is hard work.

Writing Prompts Can Help

Whether you search for ideas for writing by delving into your memories or emotions or by honing your powers of observation, by people watching, or by jotting down things at you notice or overhear in a journal, there’s one thing that’s certain—generating writing ideas takes practice. Writing prompts and exercises are often good ways to kick start your writing muse.

I have a few books that I like to recommend including Jack Heffron’s The Writer’s Idea Book, a classic book filled with writing prompts and exercises, and The Writer’s Book of Matches, a book that some of my colleagues and I wrote filled with 1001 writing prompts. This list could go on and on, but the point is that often times an exercise or prompt can help you change your routine or think about things in different ways and that can spark new ideas.

If you're looking for writing prompt ideas, an excerpt from Don Fry’s excellent book Writing Your Way: Creating a Writing Process That Works for You offers 15 inventive ways to help you generate good writing ideas. Read the excerpt “Generating Ideas for Your Writing” here.