Saturday, 26 October 2013

How I Come Up With Ideas

I was originally going to title this post: "How Do You Come Up With Ideas". But I figured since I'm going to write about how I came up with an idea, it made more sense to title the post: "How I Come Up With Ideas".

So why, you ask, am I going to talk about coming up with ideas? Well, because I came up with an idea in a really random way last week and I wanted to see if there was anyone else out there like me. Also, I feel like a lot of people want to know how to come up with ideas. Just Google it, and you'll find plenty, (note: do not actually Google "it").

Anyway, last week I was in a lecture (at University), and I was extremely bored. I can't really blame it all on the professor though, because I was also super tired, and probably just about any subject would have bored me. Anyway, I started to think about what would happen if someone with a gun burst in through the door, like how people would react to it. Then I thought about what would happen if someone came in and started pouring gasoline on people, and I imagined people not moving and me being like, "why is no one moving?!". Then I got an idea for a book, which I'm not going to tell you because I am paranoid that you will steal my idea. I'm sane, right?

The point of me telling you this is that ideas come to me, I don't go to them. Which sounds kind of pompous when I read it back, but essentially what I'm trying to say is you can't force inspiration. You can coax it, but you can't force it. When I do try to force inspiration, the ideas are usually really sucky ones. Like one time, I decided I was going to write about how to use a day planner. If you like day planners, fine, write about them, but they're not really what I enjoy writing about. I also don't like them very much. I normally try them every once in a while thinking they'll be some magic tool to make my life organized and flawless, and then after three weeks I shove a knife through them and tear out their insides bit by bit and listen to their agonized screams, when I finally burn to a fine crisp on a blazing fire. (Some exaggeration may be present, but you get the idea that it wouldn't make much sense for me to write about day planners).

But back to ideas. What if you don't have time for ideas to come knocking on your door? What then? Well, there are a few thing you can do to stoke the idea fire.

The first is to be patient, and trust that you will suddenly be inspired by something you want to write about (or whatever you need ideas for). This can be hard to do, especially if you need that idea soon, but often if you do something else, you may be hit by inspiration when you least expect it. Additionally, it helps to write down ideas when you do get them, that way when you need one you can go back and look at it.

Another thing you can do is to try to remember your dreams. Many creative works have been started from dreams that people have had. Also, if you don't get an idea from your dream, you could simple talk about your dream, which odds are will be bizarre enough to keep the attention of your audience. Though you risk looking like a crazy person depending on what your dream is...

You can also look at what others have done in whatever you're trying to get an idea for. What I mean is, if you're trying to get an idea for a YouTube video, look at YouTube videos that interest you and perhaps something will pop into your head. But don't blatantly steal their idea, and give credit where credit is due.

That's about it. I would genuinely like to here from you in the comments about how you come up with your ideas. But if you don't have a blogger account and you don't want to give away your email address, because you just know that the moment you do guys in black suits will jump out from their hiding places and be like "we got you!", and drag you off to a top secret military place, I understand. I too have this fear sometimes. Which is why if you like, you tell me on twitter (@ehowitt), how you come up with ideas, or ask any random question you want, and I'll probably answer it. Also, check out my YouTube Channel if you like.

Have a great day, and trust inspiration to come on its own!

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