Where Do You Get Your Ideas

Having made the decision to write, the next step is finding something to write about.

Watching the world go by

Watch how people behave in everyday situations, jotting down ideas in your notebook as they occur to you.

The next time you go to the supermarket, for example, observe the behaviour of the other customers. Take a few seconds to chat to the checkout girl or the assistant who packs your shopping. Listen not only to the words they say but to how they say them.

If you commute to work, use your journey time to study your fellow travellers. Try to imagine what sort of homes they come from and how they might lead their lives. Whatever situation you find yourself in during your daily life, observe the people around you.

Not only should you watch but you must also listen. Writers are terrible eavesdroppers and will shamelessly listen in on the most private conversations. You can pick up some wonderful snippets that will effortlessly turn themselves into ideas for all sorts of things, from brief letters to your favourite magazine, factual articles explaining the apparently inexplicable, to lengthy works of fiction.

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