The Tuesday Tell-All

At our Tuesday Tell-All, CWILL BC members answer questions about their lives, their work, and their interests. Members with their own blogs post links to their sites. Others answer directly in the comments section.

If you’d like to contribute, even if you’re not a CWILL BC member, please feel free to post a comment (or suggest a future question!). We’d love to hear your thoughts.

This week’s question:
When you run out of ideas, where do you turn for inspiration?

This entry was posted in just for fun, Tuesday Tell-All, writing process, writing tips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Tuesday Tell-All

  1. kc says:

    Yipes! I’m a bad one to start…I NEVER run out of ideas!

    In fact, right now I am highlighting a whole series of ideas on my blog — Seasonal Gift Ideas, to be exact. If you’re looking for a Seasonal Gift idea for a teen (from eleven to eleventy…) be sure to check it out at

    Happy holidays and see you there!


  2. I always find inspiration in art…so when I’m stuck, I either start drawing, or start flipping through the various fantasy, mythology, and art books on my shelf. If that doesnt’ work, I just hop on my bike. Nothing jiggles the old coconut like a good bike ride.

  3. Adrienne says:

    I’m with KC. The problem is too many ideas, not running out of them. But keeping track of them can be problematic so I always try to keep a small notebook with me and hope that one day I’ll be able to get back at these “brilliant” (or, perhaps in hindsight, not) ideas. But I’m also with Lee on this, too, because when I’m into the writing I DO sometimes run out of ideas (or, more accurately, steam). So a bike ride, a walk on the beach, a shower, cleaning my kitchen, painting a wall…doing anything but writing, often helps.

  4. I never run out of ideas either, but new ideas are one of the many things that can distract me from progressing with whatever I’m supposed to be working on. I have several novel ideas on the back burner and keep a notebook on the go for each one. If I get distracted by a thought about one of these backlogged ideas, I jot it down, then try to focus on the novel I’m supposed to be cooking. If I can keep the distractions at bay (the Internet being one of them), stop procrastinating and actually get going, then the writing usually starts flowing. I still get stuck or slowed down from time to time. Then I go on some kind of outing (or “mission”), and as I stare out the window of the bus or Skytrain, the next scenes in my story often start to materialize.

  5. P.S. One of the places I turn for inspiration is little-known local history (stories lurking in old photographs, newspaper clippings, old buildings, buried streams, and the memories of people I talk to).

  6. Pingback: Where do writers turn for inspiration when they’re stuck? « wild ink

  7. cynthia says:

    Sometimes I get ideas from dreams. I often have dreams that I’m flying, or that I’m a bear or a seal swimming in the ocean. Or I’ll be amazed by dreams that show massive movements in the earth’s crust with trails of fire along the edges of tectonic plates.

    Riding on the bus is my best place for consciously generating ideas. I scribble or draw in a pad. For some reason I am able to get totally oblivious and focussed (as long as I can get a seat, that is).

    I think that getting ideas is simply a matter of belief. Sometimes, I feel dumbstruck when an editor rejects my brilliant (I believe) idea for an illustration or scene in a story. Then I say to myself, “I’ve gotten ideas before and there’s plenty more where they came from.” Then I tell my brain to come up with something and it does. The process is a lot like solving a puzzle or a crossword, tinkering and tinkering until you get it. I often start with making scribbles or writing nonsense until it starts to shape itself into something, like looking at a Rorschach test. You need to believe there’s an answer and that you’re as smart as the next person.

  8. K. L. Denman says:

    I have more ideas for new stories than I’ll ever have time to write but what does happen sometimes is a glitch in the process – as in, I’m half way through a novel or finished with a rough draft, and some aspects just aren’t right. More on my blog:

  9. When my creative well runs dry, I turn to others’ creativity for inspiration. I read books, I watch movies and TV shows, I listen to music and I stare at visual art until my creative well is overflowing again.

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