Neil Gaiman on finding story ideas

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it”

Neil Gaiman (1997)

Inspiration is one of the most important things to a writer. Without them, we would pass our days staring at a blank screen, taunted and mocked by that flashing cursor. We writers are constantly on the prowl for that next big idea, that flash of inspiration that has us reaching for our notebooks. They can happen at the most inopportune times: when we are sleeping; during important meetings; and even when we’re arm-deep in dirty nappies (trust me on that one).

Every writer carries with them a notebook and pen or, these days, a smartphone app for recording those flashes of inspiration and half-formed ideas that the universe whispers in our ears.

So, my question is this:

What is your preferred method of capturing your ideas? Do you scribble them on the back of your hand? Jot them under date-stamped entries in a notebook? or, something else entirely?

Coming soon: When will inspiration get here? Tips on beating writer’s block.

6 thoughts on “Neil Gaiman on finding story ideas

  1. I’ve always used a voice recorder when I’m out. When I’m home, there are files on my computer full of ideas that I eventually sift through and organize.

    1. I’ve never been all that good at using a voice recorder. Sometimes I feel a little self-concious recording myself.

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