One of the questions I am frequently asked is: “How do you come up with your ideas?”
The quick answer is that ideas are everywhere. I simply have to look around and see what interests me.
The long answer is that an idea comes to me and I mentally inspect all its edges and corners to see if it is truly interesting. If it doesn’t hold my attention, or if I can’t see a series of drawings in the text, then I file it away as a partial idea. No idea is sent away for good!
Every idea has value. If you think it up, or it comes to you as you take a walk or stare out the window, then you should pursue it. Sometimes these ideas aren’t sturdy enough to stand on their own. Sometimes they have too much to them and need to be pared down. But they mean something and can be a part of a lovely story. It may not be the story you intended, but give your story a little freedom and it can surprise you (more on this another day!).
I will write more about using ideas on a later date. For now, have the courage to take out one of your ideas and make it into a story. You never know where it will take you until you give it wings.