Yep. Paint. I mean it. If you don’t believe me try this. Switch off your mobile and the laptop. Say ciao to Alexa, the daily headlines, radio and everything else that might distract you. Now stare at that paint.
Don’t give up too quickly. Let your mind wander. Where did you go?
I think one of the most common questions I’m asked – and I’m not unique here as it’s a question many authors are asked – is where do I get my ideas from? Cue my rabbit in the headlights expression, because I honestly don’t know.
Aliens? A sixth sense? Weird dreams after too much wine and cheese? Sometimes. But more often those ideas come when I’m doing something boring.
Making tea, folding the washing, watching the rain. My writing buddy, Jules Wake, swears by ironing. I love long walks alone, swimming and staring at nothing at all. They all really help to get those creative juices flowing. When I was completely stuck and figuring out what my hero and heroine (Evie and Callum) were going to do next in The Little Village of New Starts, I went for a swim and came up with a whole scene around them rescuing an injured bird. No idea why that popped into my head, perhaps it was something to do with the water?
I guess it’s all about finding that sweet spot where you stop filling your head with life and just let your mind roam free. The ideas will come, if you let them. At least they do for me.
Now I’m off to watch some paint dry. Want to join me?