Creating art is such an impossible thing to describe. How does one explain the genesis of the fantastic world she’s painting, or the witty characters she’s chronicling the adventures of? Where do our ideas come from?
And, perhaps more importantly, where do we go to find them again when they’ve fluttered away?
For me, the first priority is always music. Although I’m distracted by coffee shop chatter, I’m never annoyed by music. In fact, sometimes a song hints at a new story for me and I’ll listen to it on repeat for an hour as the idea bubbles to the surface. I have playlists for all my characters.
But, some days, even music can’t shake my creativity awake. In that case, I’ll go for a run, exercising my physical muscles in the hopes that my mental muscles will soon respond.
If that fails, then I curl up with a mug of tea and some knitting, totally admitting defeat in the quest for words for the day. But that doesn’t happen too often. Plus, within an hour of some caffeine and some mindless knitting, my brain is almost always ready to go with new ideas.
Other writers I know have certain teas they always drink when they’re writing, or a candle they light before they sit down to type. Some swear by browsing Pinterest for a while, letting ideas percolate. The ancient Greeks used to summon a muse with words, incantations and rituals. A famous author I follow on Twitter once admitted to trying to tell the story to his dog, verbalizing the plot points as they happened.
I don’t think there’s a wrong way to find new ideas. Every new way might promote new ideas!