Ideas --How to find 'em and make 'em grow (A-Z) blog

Orson Scott Card said, "Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any." People tell me all the time how they want to write, but they don't know what to write about (Having taught every kind of writing for almost 19 ears, I can't even tell you how many people are SURE they have nothing to write about). If I lived to be 1000 years old, I could never write about every idea I have and that is only considering the ideas I have in my head right now.

I see ideas everywhere. I overhear a snippet of conversation and put it in ColorNotes, knowing it will go in a story or poem somewhere.

The grocery store checkout line? A cornucopia of ideas. (What would cause a person to buy those three items together -- a lipstick, a quart of oil, and fabric softener). What is the person behind me thinking about? The person in front of me just smiled at her phone -- what caused that smile? What is the story of the person working the cash register? Heck, even on a slow day, there are magazines and tabloids to inspire ideas.

I see ideas everywhere. How do I do this? I observe. I like to mentally remove myself and just observe the people around me (if you have ever been out to eat with me when I get a story idea, you've probably seen the vacant expression on my face...and my apologies.)

I walked out of Perkins one day and saw a single pink rose in the parking lot. Was it dropped accidentally? Thrown down in anger? Who bought it? For whom was it bought? Was the flower sad to be on the ground? Did it miss its flower friends? Did it hurt when the flower hit the ground? All this from a single rose.

Each of us has experiences and feelings and thoughts which would fill journals of possible ideas we could write about. The problem is not having anything to write about...the problem for each of us should be having too many ideas and trying to sort out which idea really grabs us and claims it for its own.

(Oh and the people who have always wanted to write a book...when you find an idea, or it finds you...and you can't shake it or forget about'll know...but be careful...once you start writing, you might not be able to quit.