A blog entry inspired by The Big Idea Competition
Most ideas pop into my head when I am zoned out, lost somewhere in a daydream. There’s a lot of inspiration up for grabs in the middle distance, I can tell you, so glaze over and see what pops into your head.
I have discovered the following triggers are excellent for inducing creative daydreaming.
- Watching repeats of husband’s favourite TV programmes. Top Gear and Grand Designs are particularly recommended for zzzzz.
- Consuming several glasses of wine. Though can cause forgetfulness or overestimation of personal brilliance.
- Sitting in a traffic jam with windscreen wipers on, raining or not.
- Listening to husband snoring. I keep a UV pen handy in the bedside drawer and write on sheets if I forget my notepad.
- Sugar highs. Who ate all the sweets, Mummy? Ummm.
- Personal favourite. Lying on the trampoline watching the clouds float by. Though, risk of falling asleep and forgetting to pick the children up from school is a problem.
Recent Inspiration Credits:
Fact really is stranger than fiction. Thank you David Attenborough for the Pink Fairy Armadillo and the Blob Fish.
Thank you cool science magazine for a digital artists impression of the planned Mars Space Station and thank you Jack (son and heir) for a fab space plane drawing, which could definitely fly us all there.
Yes Jack, I have your picture. It’s on my desk.
No, you can’t have it back yet; your space plane is about to enter an asteroid belt.
Mars-flyer? Hmm, you’re right, that does sound better. Thanks Jack.
Recent children’s fiction is of such a high standard it blows me away. I can’t remember the last time I shed a tear or snorted with laughter over an adult book, sadly. Children’s writers new and old are the best at evoking emotion in their readers and keeping reader attention from the very first line. I see the affect such writing has on my nine-year-old daughter. She devours the delights of Harry Potter and The Famous Five like chocolate and then asks for more. I dutifully conjure up the books. My price is her exacting and helpful review of the pros and cons of each book.
It’s interesting to watch her reading preferences mirror mine, we both love quest and adventure stories about far away lands, and stories about animals. Narnia, 101 Dalmatians and The Call of the Wild were some of my childhood favourites.
My son is another breed entirely. Aliens and spaceships float his boat, he giggles at quirky tales with subversive or gross humour. The pace must zip along at lightning speed.
My problem is I have too many ideas. I have a collection of picture book texts and texts for short illustrated stories. They are under 1,000 words. I can finish them fairly quickly and move on to the next idea that pops into my head. One is excitingly on its way to publication.
But I also have ideas with deeper roots and a spread of characters. A story that has something more to say, that could be a middle grade novel or a series for emerging readers, a story that would take many weeks to write. I have to learn to kick the doubts out of the writing room door.
My entry for The Big Idea is one of them.