Like most writers, I'm always looking for my next story idea. Something that plants a seed in my mind that just might germinate & develop into a new character, scene, book. Something that makes me stop and look - makes me think "What If...?" Like everyone else, I grasp ideas wherever I can - past experiences, real life, travels, music, and the occasional crazy dream (Sadly, no dreams leading to the next epic book - Yet!) However, it appears I've been missing a virtual smorgasbord of ideas every single day by not paying close attention to things occurring around me.
This quote from Orson Scott Card caught my eye the other day and stopped me in my tracks...Really! Is that true? Everybody (except those envied few) walks past a thousand story ideas every day without recognizing a single one as a potential new story idea? Wow...that's mind-boggling. One Thousand story ideas...That made me stop & think! Am I truly that blind to the people & things going on around me? I "see" them...I interact with a few of them...but am I seeing them through a writer's eyes? Am I opening myself to possibilities? The answer is "not nearly often enough".
Yes, I keep a notebook handy for notes & ideas that occur as I maneuver through my day. People interest me, and I often wonder what their story is...the couple arguing in a restaurant - the girl working in the bakery downtown - the man looking lost standing in the produce aisle. But way too often, I am so engrossed in my own life, (my daily must-get-done list) that I often fail to really take note of people/events through a writer eyes. I need to hone my observation skills & soak up the ideas that are there for the taking every single day.
Orson Scott Card drew my attention to something that I knew all along - story ideas surround us every single day - just waiting for the right person to notice and tell their story. Be that writer! I don't know if there are 1,000 of them each day but I know there are opportunities to discover that next great idea every time you venture out into the world. Be alert...take note...open your eyes & mind to everything around you. Let them in. You never know what might happen.
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group posting day. IWSG is a place where writers share and encourage each other. Please stop by to check out what other writer's have to share this month at: IWSG