Jeremy J. Jones – Stranded in Thought

January 11, 2010

Where do you get all your ideas?

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Thoughts — Jeremy @ 8:58 pm
Work, work, work

Image copyright © 2009 Jeremy J. Jones

Too many times to count, I’ve read or heard published authors say that by far the most common question they are asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” or some variation on that. Invariably these writers say that it’s not coming up with ideas but finding the time to write the stories the ideas generate before new ideas occur that is the problem.

I’ve really got a fire burning under my tokus the last couple of weeks, and it is due to my own drive, but considerable thanks are due to Dean Wesley Smith’s series on motivation.

I decided that I want to start working on a longer story that I’ve been kicking around, mostly because I love the idea and because my niece and nephew are aching to read it. So I went looking for my notes on the story.

I’m apparently like most writers; we all keep many notebooks, notepads, electronic versions, and sticky notes, all with scribbles about various projects and topics. As I flipped and clicked through everything, I realized that I have literally dozens of story ideas documented, in various states of development. I became overwhelmed briefly, before realizing that this is a good thing. I could work four hours a day for the rest of the year and not finish writing everything.

Yet I come up with at least one new idea per week, and I’m sure that pales in comparison to many.

So I had to stop what I was doing and write this. The internet can be harmful to the creative process. I really should be writing.


Copyright © 2009 Jeremy J. Jones



  1. Unrelated note: I like your desktop wallpaper. Very much. Some time I need to take an updated photo of my writing desk, with Heinlein’s Rules and the check under glass and now the “publishing flowchart” thing.

    Good luck in 2010!

    Comment by Brad R. Torgersen — January 22, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  2. Thanks, Brad. I have a feeling that will be an ongoing development, as I can already think of a couple more items that must go there.

    Comment by Jeremy — January 23, 2010 @ 1:51 am

  3. I get asked the same question all the time. My ideas come from everything I see around me. I’ll hear a phrase or see someone doing something weird and it will spark something in my imagination that will say “hmmm… what if that one thing led to… or started something… or was secretly something completely different…” And another idea is born. 🙂

    Comment by Lee Masterson — January 29, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  4. Indeed, Lee. I had such a moment tonight, while out drinking with my wife, her cousin, and her cousin’s cousin. Pulled out my handy note pad (which I nearly didn’t bring) and wrote the idea down.

    Notepads. Best money ever spent.

    Comment by Jeremy — January 29, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

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