A few months ago I was just standing around talking to friends, when wa-la! an idea came to me for a new book! Actually, it's a book idea that stems from my mystery series. I'm not sure if any other writer is trying it, but you should see the beginnings of this idea in the next couple of years (I still have to write book 3 in the Susan Cramer Mystery series, first).
Anyway, the idea of ideas dropping into my head at any given moment; especially those unexpected moments, reminded me of something I heard years ago about getting and keeping ideas.
The idea had to do with a notebook.
"Keep a small notebook handy in your purse or car. Take it with you everywhere. You never know when you'll need to write down an idea."
Ideas have come to me:
While in conversation.
At a stop light.
At the bank.
While I'm watching a television program.
While I'm reading a book.
Notice that ideas come to me when I'm doing something else. I can honestly say that rarely ideas come to me when:
I'm trying to think of ideas.
Like me, you may be wondering why that is, but I think the ideas come slower when we are pressuring ourselves to think of something. When we're enjoying life and all it has to give us; whether we're doing something we consider "fun" or not, it's in the act of doing that we receive what we need.
I find that interesting, don't you?
So, the next time you're struggling with an idea, a character, a setting, a plot, STOP. Get outside yourself. The idea might just come.