New Video: Hunting for Wild Ideas

by | Jul 20, 2017 | writing | 4 comments

One of the most frequent questions authors get is “where do you find ideas?” It’s an understandable question. People want to know the secret. Where can they find ideas that are worthy of making into books? Surely there must be a special process. Or maybe they want to know that there’s not a special process. They want to forgive themselves for not coming up with good ideas, because they aren’t royalty or a wizard.

The secret is that you’re all royalty, and you’re all wizards. And I do have a special process for finding ideas.

  1. Get outside. I very rarely find ideas inside. They all live outside.
  2. Write a lot. Write even if the writing is terrible. Just keep writing. The ideas won’t come find you if they don’t think you’re serious about writing.
  3. Write down every idea. The ideas are egotistical. They want to be written down. Once you write down one, more will show up, wanting to be written down.
  4. Exercise. The percentage of my ideas that I’ve gotten when exercising is probably around eighty percent. There are scientific reasons, blood flow to your brain and all that, but all I know is that it works.

That’s pretty much it.

And in related news, I got my kid Eli to be a wildlife show host, hunting the dangerous and elusive wild idea. Check out our very silly video!


  1. wendy myers

    Such good advice Julie! I always get tons of ideas when swimming, riding horses, or just being active in any way (outside especially). I love that ideas are egotistical! I never saw that, but now it seems perfectly obvious! 🙂

    • Julie

      The one place I never, ever get ideas is sitting inside at my desk.

  2. Claire Bobrow

    Loved the video, especially the last line! Hmmm. I stare out my kitchen window while I write, but maybe I need to set up shop in the backyard, where there’s (relatively) fresh air and hopefully a few great ideas hiding in the shrubbery. Thanks for the tip!

    • Julie

      I really do think there’s something to actually getting outside that gets the ideas flowing!


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