3 Launch Pads from Which You Can Blast Off Creative Ideas

by | Creating | 11 comments

“In the dust of defeat as well as the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best.” —Eric Liddell

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you used the same launch pad, the same source, for your creative ideas? Has the distance your ideas have soared become shorter?

Then it’s time you try a different launch pad or improve the one you’re using. Here are 3 launch pads your creative ideas can blast off from.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Launch Pad 1. Your Experiences

This is probably the easiest and most popular launch pad. But in our Financial Peace University class, Dave Ramsey made a poignant point about our experience with money. With credit, debit, and ATM cards, we no longer feel the pain of shelling out money as we do when we count out dollar bills and coins. Instead, the pain comes when a check bounces or we realize we lack rent money.

Possibly, we need to revamp our “experience” launch pad. The experience of attending that class alerted me to how some of life’s improvements have desensitized me. I want to seek new experiences that allow myself to feel all the wonderful emotions God gave me.

My creativity thrives from those experiences in which I feel wonder, surprise, sadness, empathy, pain, awe, joy, my funny bone, etc.

Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Launch Pad 2. Your Research

For us who see research as work, we may forfeit some great ideas if we avoid it. I’m often surprised when I’m reading a book or article and an idea pops up for a project. Or while I’m researching the Internet for my novel, I’m delighted when something grabs me and an idea forms for another activity.

I learned how amazing research could be when I attended an American Christian Fiction Writers Conference when Francine Rivers was the keynote speaker.

Earlier on a cruise in the Mediterranean, I happened to be reading Francine Rivers’s A Voice in the Wind. The ship stopped in places the Apostle Paul visited: Rome, Corinth,  Athens, and Ephesus. I was stunned how Rivers brought alive Rome and Ephesus, whose streets we walked.

At the conference, I said to her, “You must’ve had the same tour guide we had in Ephesus, because you captured what he related in your novel.” She answered, “I’ve never been to Ephesus.”

This experience launched my great respect for research and how it can give me ideas for scenes in novels.

Image courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Launch Pad 3. Others’ Experiences. 

This could come in the form of eavesdropping, an email loop, biographies, famous quotes, friends and family.

After I watched the movie, Chariots of Fire, I watched an interview on the DVD about Eric Liddell. He was the 1924 Olympic medalist runner who refused to run heats on Sunday. Elderly people, who’d been youths imprisoned in the same Japanese interment camp as Liddell, related Liddell’s selfless service. His example for youth as a runner and missionary touched me.

This birthed the idea for my hero in the romance I’m working on. My hero also saw the movie when he was young and his dream is to be the Eric Liddell of golf. Giving the youth of today a role model.

If you’re running dry for ideas from your favorite launch pad, try increasing your exposure in another.

Do you have another launch pad for creative ideas? How have you used it?

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American Christian Fiction Writers

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  1. Crystal A. Murray

    Reblogged this on lcwriters and commented:
    This post from “Creative in Everything” has some great ideas for getting more ideas. For those who are doing NaNoWriMo, it’s good timing to find more places to fuel your creativity.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thanks, Crystal. I hope something from the post will give your readers a new idea.

  2. Crystal A. Murray

    Great ideas here thanks! I reblogged it to our writer’s group blog where I’m hoping to get more active, and this post seems like a good way to do that.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      I hope you’re right, Crystal. I’d like to think the post will be helpful.

      • Crystal A. Murray

        Me too. And sorry about the double comment. I didn’t realize the reblog would create its own comment. 😉

  3. Jane Foard Thompson

    You’ve reminded me of how much I love research, so I’ll head to more of that when I’m bogged down or feeling uninspired.
    Another “launch pad” for me is a great critique partner who keeps my feet to the fire in terms of showing my character’s emotions, when it is so much easier to just show what she is doing and hope the reader knows what’s going on inside.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Well, Jane, you showed your critique partner a thing or two about her heroine, that gave her an idea for next week’s blog. :0)

  4. Marcia A. Lahti

    For another Launch Pad, how about taking a story you enjoy and making it you own. The For example:Taming of the Shrew into Ten Things I Hate About You

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Launch ideas from other ideas you like, changing them. I like it, Marcia. You could do something similar and change the time period or setting or do something opposite to the original idea.

  5. Janet K Brown (@janetkbrowntx)

    Great suggestions, Zoe. My debut novel came out last year. It’s set at a real place within my county. In this general area, I was able to schedule events telling about the history of that community that is now a ghosttown. I guess that was using my research. This article sparks lots of other ideas. Thanks.

  6. Zoe M. McCarthy

    Great idea on using your research, Janet. A wonderful marketing idea.

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