Where do you get your ideas?

where do you get your ideas One of the questions people often ask authors is, 'where do you get your ideas?'

This was something that used to trouble me. A lot. I worried that I didn't have any ideas.  Then before I knew it my problem was not a lack of ideas, but in fact, too many ideas. So many ideas that it is hard to know which idea to focus on and hard to discern a good idea from a bad one.  In many ways it feels very much like the same problem.

I think it is because ideas come from the wild and free part of us that the rational, critical self fears so much. As children we spend much more time in that wild free place where ideas abound, all ideas are good and nearly everything seems like fun.  We have to learn to tap in to that child like part of ourselves again to find those ideas. When we do they multiply like John Steinbeck promises.

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." John Steinbeck

Armed with too many ideas, the only way forward is to remain in that same child like state of creative abundance.  Free of judgement, open to exploration, and holding off that rational, critical self for long enough to let the best ideas develop enough to reveal themselves.