Ideas About Having Ideas

Where do your ideas come from?

I’ve been asked that question both as a writer and as a knitter.  Where do those ideas come from?  What sparks your imagination?  I give what’s probably the most frustrating answer known to mankind.  “I have no idea.”

A lot of these ideas pop into my head for no apparent reason.  I’ve written about where I got the idea for my book before.  And I have ideas for follow up books that were extensions of ideas and questions raised in the first book.  It just starts as a game of “what if” and goes from there.

I also have a few ideas for short stories that are based off pictures in my head, or one line of text. Those right now are rattling around in my subconscious, waiting to spring forth from my brow.  And yes, that is every bit as painful as it sounds.

I have a few ideas that I can trace the exact origins of.  Right now I have the barest outline of an idea for a steampunk universe where instead of dogs and cats and birds, dragons of various sizes are kept as pets.  This idea came from my wrist-perching dragon Drakena and the desire to write a story explaining why she sits so docilely on my arm.  It hasn’t evolved beyond that point, but I’ll keep the idea tucked in the back of my head until I can look at it properly.

The same can be said about my knitting.  Most of the things I knit I make are patterns that other people have created.  Occasionally I do see something and wonder “Hmm.  How could I create that in yarn?  What shapes are needed?”  Other times the ideas just pop in my head almost fully formed.

But they have one thing in common.  All my ideas show up at the time I can’t work on them.  Usually when I’m at my day job, when I can’t stop and take detailed notes.  I have to be content with scribbling down a few words on a piece of scratch paper and hope they inspire me to remember the full thought behind them.

That being said, I would rather have my ideas come to me that way instead of not at all.

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