Take a Trip to the Writing Store

A writer’s path to unusual ideas

Sep 10 · 2 min read
Photo by Artem Gavrysh on Unsplash

Creativity sparks often from unusual places. As writers we are required to pay attention as part of the job.

I am continually writing down ideas in notebooks, apps on my phone, my hand, or doing the “I will repeat this phrase until I find a pen”. I do not recommend the last one.

I started composing a “List of 10” over a year ago. Shaunta Grimes does this, Austin Kleon does this too. With daily lists you always have something to write about.

I write what strikes me as funny, unusual, appealing or something I cannot stop thinking about.

Authors will tell you to keep a notebook of ideas. Most of us have several notebooks.

Here is a list of places to shop for ideas for those little worlds of paper:

  1. Tarot cards — just use the images on the cards or use spreads
  2. Open 30 random books and write down the first phrase or sentence that pops out to you
  3. Keep a collection of words
  4. Write down the idea that randomly comes to mind when listening to a podcast — even if it doesn't make sense or isn’t about the topic you are listening too — ESPECIALLY THEN
  5. Random memories — when I was blow drying my hair yesterday I remembered a friend whose dryer in high school caught fire
  6. A Grateful list
  7. Write what is important to you
  8. From Julia Cameron — write down 5 imaginary lives
  9. Write down snippets of overheard conversations
  10. Write a description of a person you are watching in a cafe or at work
  11. Words from children
  12. Those words and phrases that fly at your from your intuition
  13. TEDTalks
  14. Look at the table of contents from books and magazines and modify them to title and headlines of your own
  15. Make a list of 50 potential headlines for articles
  16. Make a list of 50 potential titles for short stories
  17. N+7 http://www.spoonbill.org/n+7/

Here are some things I wrote down the last few days:

  • ”I can’t believe you aren’t a morning person-you do it so well”
  • He’s sitting on your chew [shoe] — little kid dialect
  • Duke the boxer puppy
  • “I have learned to love a surprise”
  • The chainsaw sounds like a screaming deer.
  • Think about my time blocking as a coach for article.

Tammy Breitweiser

Written by

Tammy is force of nature; woman of honor; seer of nuance; ultra runner and ultra reader; & an accidental inspirationalist who writes.

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