Now over 45,000 readers.
"Where Ideas Come From"
I write a lot of songs and stories, so I often get asked:
Where do you get your ideas?
Woody Allen says he gets his ideas from a post office box in Schenectady.
Edison, or Einstein, or one of those guys said:
Ideas come from space.
Ideas are easier to find when you're looking for them.
I keep an eye out all the time.
Everything in my life, every conversation, event, and so on,
is filed somewhere in my head under Possible Song or Story Ideas.
I write down a million little notes and lose most of them,
like a crazed squirrel hiding nuts.
Then at a later date, when I've completely forgotten about them,
my crazed squirrel nuts show up unexpectedly in an old loose leaf,
or in the back of a drawer.
Sometimes they're better, or worse,
after staying away from them for a while.
I had writer's block for a long time.
It was terrible!
I even went to a hypnotist.
I read all the self-help books,
and finally found one thing that helped me out of it.
This is what it said:
"Inspiration comes AFTER action."
It took a while for that to soak in.
What it means to me is:
Don't wait for an inspiration.
Start writing first, and the inspiration will follow.
At first I had to write pages and pages of crappy stuff,
but then it started to come together, if I let it.
I may have to dump my original idea,
and let myself get sidetracked onto something else.
Usually I don't know how the story will end until it does.
I almost always write the title last,
because I find that sticking to a title idea is confining.
The original "great phrase" often stays somewhere in the song or story,
but it loses top billing along the way.
I heard that writing every day makes it easier,
and I like easier.
This one turned out to be true.
It helps me.
Back to the original question about where my ideas come from.
Other than having a habit of looking for them,
I have no idea. (Puns always intended.)
Every single time I finish a story or a song,
I think it's going to be the last one ever.
That's because I don't know HOW I do it.
Not a clue.
I just start.
Copyright © March 8, 2001 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.