“Where do you get your inspiration from?” Is one of the most commonly asked question at any talk given by a successful author. All writers will be asked this same question at some point in their writing career.

It’s quite a simple question, but the answer is more elusive. It’s a case of one idea developing into something else. If you’re expecting a quick, sure-fire answer like buy a certain book, or go online to a website to find great ideas all in one place, then you’ll be out of luck. Finding the right ideas which will guarantee your book will become a bestseller is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. It’s impossible.

Finding ideas is a bit like being happy. To be truly happy one has to work at it. You can’t buy happiness, or be gifted it. It comes from within. Just as finding the ultimate idea, which will guarantee you a bestselling novel, one has to work at it. It’s as though happiness and inspiration sit side by side on the same shelf, but in separate boxes.

Oh, you don’t believe me.

Oh, okay so I was joking 😉

I found these herbal teas in my local health food shop, (other brand of teas were available) I can’t guarantee that drinking either one will bring you happiness or fresh inspiration. I found both had a pleasant taste and a wonderful quotation on each teabag string.

Things like: To be calm is the highest achievement of the self. Your strength is your own belief. If you let yourself be successful you shall be successful. We all know we have a destiny, and the one I like best, A relaxed mind is a creative mind.

A relaxed mind is a creative mind to me means your mind is more open to new ideas. Ah, see I knew you would catch up with my train of thought in the end. Ideas come from everywhere, but it’s what you do with the first initial idea that counts.

After reading a book about owls, what caught my attention was how other cultures relate to the bird. In the Arabic culture it is believed that owls carry the souls of murdered victims. This sparked an idea for me, but how to put it into a book. The Arabs called the owl, funeral birds. Oh, you’re ahead of me. Yep, this is the point when I tell you, its where I got the idea for my book called… 🦉That’s right.

But, there’s more to writing than just having an idea. It’s what you do with it. Just knowing the owl carry the souls of murdered people wasn’t enough to create an interesting story. The next stage was what type of story would be most suitable for the information to be used in. Well, of course it would be crime. Murdered victims.

Okay, so what next?

Who’s going to tell the story? Who is the victim? Where is the setting?

Slowly, the idea is taking on a life of its own as you find yourself asking more questions. At this point you might be able to create an outline of your story. This is the first step in developing your idea and taking it to the next level.

Happiness is the same. You have to build on it. When I was young I used to ask myself. Where do I want to be in ten years time? Of course now my life is heading down hill fast and I’m contented with my life because I’ve achieved far more than I could imagine when I was young. If I could talk to my younger self, I would say. You were right to keep believing anything is possible, if you stay strong in your self-belief.

When my marriage broke down, and I was on my own, with a young son, I worked full-time, on low wages, paying off a mortgage, a loan on a car and paying for a childminder. At times it was a real struggle and very worrying about how I was going to manage. As soon as the bank statement dropped through the door, my son knew he had to remain quiet while I checked that all the bills had gone out on time. I wouldn’t be happy until I had ticked everything off and saw what we had left to buy food with for the rest of the month. As long as there was a penny left in the bank, I was happy because I knew we weren’t overdrawn. Just knowing I had made it through another month without being in debt, brought me relief and piece of mind. If I had tuppence left in the bank I was rich and happy. Things could be very tight and there wasn’t any money for luxury goods, or special trips out. If money was really tight one month and there wasn’t enough money for the food I was able to magic up delicious meals out of nothing. With a few tin food from my store cupboard, and herbs and spices.

Okay, so my son might not agree with me. To this day he still hates marrows, but it has given him a wonderful memory. I managed to grow a few vegetables in the garden, mainly, potatoes, onions, beans, tomatoes, and marrows and I would make my own bread. At the end of the month when money was tight I could still put food on the table. This made me happy knowing I could provide healthy meals for my son.

So to find plot ideas and to be happy you need to start small and keep building on them.

I hope you found this post helpful.

4 Comments

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by. You’re so right. Many new writers believe once they have written a novel it will become a bestseller overnight. But in reality you might have to write several and still only have little to no major success.

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