One of the most popular topics among writers is: where do you get your ideas? The most often answer is: I get my idea everywhere. I wish I could say that but over the last few years I learn that instead of writing to ideas, I write to triggers.
1) Free Writing * and Visual Images
I do daily free writing to keep the creative mind limber. I write for 10 mins without thinking and stopping. The purpose is to empty my mind for whatever is troubling me. The beginning of the free free writing could be a shopping list, a to-do-list or any personal issues that I have. After a while, the active mind will become settled and I'll begin to "see" images appear in my mind. I follow the images and write them down for whatever time is left out of that 10 mins. Someday, it works and someday I just keep on writing of my to-do-list :)
After the session is finished, I'll transfer the image part to OneNote (a Microsoft note-taking programme). Every couple of weeks, I'll re-read them to see which one pops out to me. That jumping one will become my writing project.
2) Aimless Walking
I enjoy wandering around my suburb. This is similar to free writing, but I'm using the walking motion to settle the active mind and loosen the creative one. Also like free writing, the ideas come to me as visual images. I carry a notebook to jot them down.
Every now and then I ask questions to generate story ideas. They are:
I reckon I'm that kind of intuitive / instinctive writer-in-practice, who relies on the un/subconscious to do the wool gathering. Free writing is my essential creative tool which acts as a doorway I keep opened diligently to ensure material surface.
How about fellow writers and creatives. Where do you get your ideas for your project?
(This post is inspired by Sophie's comments to my other post.)
(* My free writing is an adaptation / modification of Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Practice". For details, plesae refer to her books titled: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within & Wild Mind: Living a Writer's Life)