Whenever I have the chance to meet an author, I like to ask them where they get their best ideas. Answers have ranged from sitting in front of the computer, driving, exercising, on the toilet, or showering. I never asked myself that question, but my answer came to me recently:

I get my best ideas when I am bored while listening to someone speak at a meeting (or a conference, or something like that) and have a notebook in front of me.

Homer with glasses

I always have my notebook open, intending to jot down the speaker’s wisdom. But when I’m bored–something easily accomplished–my mind wanders. Instead of listening to the speaker, I start jotting down ideas for new stories, notes to revise current stories, blog post ideas (like this one!), books I’d like to read, etc. It’s like tapping into a river of inspiration. It can make me feel somewhat rude, but I’m sure I look like the most attentive person in the room, as if I’m scribbling their talk word for word.

Where do you get your best ideas?

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