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Finding Story Ideas From Real Life

Updated on September 16, 2013

How Do You Keep Generating Ideas for Stories

Slam your head up against that writer’s block. How does it feel? Are you a little bruised and bloody from the impact? Don’t you get a little tired of the pain involved with bashing your head like that?

I can say in all honesty that in the past two years of writing full-time I have never had writer’s block, and I write every single day.

What are you, bionic? Where do you keep coming up with ideas for your stories?

Well, my short answer for those questions goes like this…..I am alive, and as long as I am alive, ideas are everywhere. All I have to do is pay attention and be receptive.

I was told by a teacher once that all I had to do to get story ideas was keep my eyes open and look around. Now that may sound incredibly easy but in truth it is not. Most people are busy doing other things. They are busy with the business of living. Their normal daily routines keep them quite pre-occupied and they really don’t notice much of what is going on around them, and if they do notice it, it’s in a familiar fashion.

Let me give you an example. I am notorious among my friends for not noticing who is driving in a car coming the opposite way on a two-way street. I have had countless friends tell me that they wave at me when we pass each other but I never wave back, and on some occasions I have hurt their feelings by not noticing. Believe me, it’s not intentional, but rather a focus on what is in front of me to the exclusion of everything around me.

Writers need to be aware of life around them. Writers need to see the new in the familiar and witness events like it is the first time they have ever seen them. In other words, writers need to be a bit more like little children so they can see the wonder in the mundane. If little kids were capable of writing short stories, they would never run out of ideas, simply because everything is new to them and everything is exciting.

What follows are several suggestions to help you find story ideas. They have worked for me and they will work for you if you are willing to see life for the very first time.

Your experiences are stories waiting to happen
Your experiences are stories waiting to happen | Source
My family has inspired many an article and story
My family has inspired many an article and story | Source

Where do you get your ideas for stories and articles?

See results

LET MUSIC DO THE JOB FOR YOU

I was listening the other day to John Lennon’s song “Imagine” and within two hours I had written an article called “The Other Side of War.” It was just that simple.

Music is a wonderful medium for generating ideas because we all associate certain events in our lives with a particular song. Think about it and you will see the truth in that statement. I was listening to an Oldies station yesterday and the song “Color My World” by Chicago came on, and that song was played at my wedding back in 1978, and that led to an article about love. It could have easily led to an article about divorce, or a short story about a failed marriage that nonetheless resulted in the adoption of a special child, or a hundred other ideas. The catalyst was the song; the materials used to construct the story came from my life.

And that leads to my next suggestion, which is…..

USE YOUR REAL LIFE

“But I can’t write about my real life. My life is boring.”

Well no, it isn’t. You are just so used to living it that it seems mundane and not worth writing about.

I have written numerous articles based on some words of wisdom spoken to me by my father. Mind you, there was nothing newsworthy about my dad. He was a hard-working laborer who lived hard and died young, but he had a strong grasp of what is important in life, and an uncanny ability to state it in words that made an impression on me. Based on the responses I have gotten, he made quite an impression on my readers as well.

Now, I could have gone several directions using the words of my father. I could do what I actually did, and write a philosophical article about life based on his words. I could have written a fictional short story based on the situation that prompted his words.

The whole point is that I took a very normal situation from my life, my father talking to me, and managed to find 1,500 words describing it. One thing I know with certainty is that we all have numerous commonalities. What was meaningful to me will be meaningful to thousands of readers because there are certain universal truths that we all recognize.

PLAY MIX AND MATCH WITH YOUR LIFE

Say you want to write a story about family vacations and you are looking for ideas. Well, you could write a story based on one particular family vacation you went on, or you could remember ten family vacations and combine them into one story, using parts of one and parts of another, so that your story really is a compilation of several stories.

In other words, turn your real life into fiction.

For a fiction writer, flexibility is crucial. If you are unwilling to change events in a story because they “really happened,” then you might want to stay away from fiction. Thank the gods there is no rule against doing this or most of the major works in Literature would not exist.

THINK OF TRAGEDIES IN YOUR LIFE OR THE LIVES OF OTHERS

Again, remember that we all share commonalities. What is a tragedy to me will most likely elicit emotions from my readers because they can associate with emotional trauma.

Take an unsettling story from your own life; change the names and write a short story about it or again, take several tragic stories from your life and make them into one short story.

Emotions are a powerful tool for a writer. To ignore them is to ignore a very basic component of writing. As my friend Anais Nin says:

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.

Unlimited possibilities for stories
Unlimited possibilities for stories | Source
Think of the jobs you have had
Think of the jobs you have had | Source

REMEMBER FAMILY STORIES

Unless you grew up in an orphanage, without a doubt you have family stories that can be made into a fictional tale. My Uncle Les from Missouri was a great storyteller and you better believe I have used him during my writing travels.

I took it a step further and moved outside of family when I wrote a short story called “Sam’s Legacy.” Our next door neighbors, when I was growing up, were an old couple who came to Washington in a covered wagon over the Oregon Trail. Their tales of that journey were used to form the backdrop of that short story, and their recollections have found their way in several other articles I have written about the Oregon Trail.

JOBS YOU HAVE HAD

I worked for two weeks one summer shoveling coal into a blast furnace in the hull of a tanker ship. That experience hasn’t made it into a story yet but it will because it was the worst job I have ever had; hence the two week job duration.

Even if I never write a story about shoveling coal, I can write a story where one of my characters has that particular job, and another character can work in a convenience store, and another can be a teacher and on and on, because those are all jobs I have had and I can write from experience.

NEWSPAPERS AND TELEVISION

How could anyone be short of ideas with the daily news bombarding us with stuff that is stranger than fiction? I’m serious. I have three words for you….Honey Boo Boo! I could write 5,000 words using that family alone as the backdrop…..and if you are being honest you will admit that you have someone in your extended family who is almost as strange. LOL

Politicians can feed my writer’s soul for weeks all by themselves. The state of the economy, child trafficking, kidnapping, serial killers, corrupt corporations, greedy CEO’s….my God, it is endless…and if you don’t want to write specifically about a current affair, then use it as an example in a short story or book.

DREAMS

I am falling. It is dark, but there is enough ambient light for me to see the walls that surround me and to have a sense of rapid descent. The dream comes to me almost nightly, and I wake up before I hit the bottom, covered in sweat and shaking like a 4th Avenue hooker on crank.

That dream came to me for a good two years after my father died when I was twenty. I have a short story/possible book sitting in the wings and it is titled “Reflections From A Black Hole.”

I rarely dream. For those of you who do dream on a regular basis, you have a veritable bonanza at your disposal. Put a notepad by your bed and when you wake up in the morning fresh from a dream, write it down before you forget it. You just might be able to use it later.

Great ideas in this video

Enough for Now

Take everything I just told you and boil it down to this: real life is waiting for any writer. We do not have enough time in our lifetimes to write about all the ideas that are out there waiting for us to notice them. All that is required is for us to be observant. All that is required is for us to see life through the eyes of a child.

Embrace the wonder of it all and start writing.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is magical, Jacope. I still don't understand how it happens but I'm sure glad it does.

    • jacope profile image

      jacope 20 months ago from Missoula, MT

      Wonderful article! I have several stories that came from dreams. I've also had stories blossom from books I've read and movies I've watched. It's magical when an event or character or phrase spawns a whole new world.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Liz!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Thank you, Bill. ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know, Mary. I guess making money is a goal??? I've done all right here on HP with personal stories, so I'm not the one to give counsel on that one. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I would be honored if you linked it. Thank you and I'm glad you found it....Hooray Heidi!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I've lived long enough and have enough life experiences to never run out of ideas to write about, BUT: would I get any traffic from HP?? I think not. Seems to me personal stories belong more on a blog. Maybe I'm wrong, huh??

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Well, well--I only just discovered this article because of a link to it from one of heidithorne's on writer's block, or its opposite; too many ideas and paralysis of thought.

      This was very interesting, and if it's okay with you, I'd like to also include a link in my own article about exercises to break writer's block.

      Voted up +++ shared and pinned.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey John, good to see you buddy. I hope you are well and happy. Thank you!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Bill,

      Great article! Voted up and sharing.

      John

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, any writer who carries a notebook is a smart writer. No wonder I like you. :) Thanks again my friend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      These are great suggestions for everyone! I find it hard to sit down and come up with something to write about. For me it is easier to get that inspiration from around me. That's why I always have my trusty notebook with me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Schoolmom, stick with it. You'll find the flow again. If I can be of any help at HP let me know....and thank you!

    • Schoolmom24 profile image

      Schoolmom24 3 years ago from Oregon

      Excellent ideas to get the juices flowing again. I am in a bit of a writer's block...however, I know ideas are all around me, it's all about becoming aware of them! Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it Gail! Thank you again!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 3 years ago from South Carolina

      Aw Bill, you brought a smile to my heart today with your lovely comment.

      I'm doing great and appreciate your kind thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail! How have you been? I was just thinking about you yesterday as I was thinking back to my earlier days of writing and how you were so supportive and kind. I remember and value loyalty and I want you to know I am very, very appreciative for all the support you have given me. :)

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 3 years ago from South Carolina

      Great article with, as usual, lots of useful writing suggestions.

      I am continually amazed by how the story of my life and the perspective I have about true events change and evolve as I grow older and write about them. When I focus on a particular theme it actually expands my understanding of what happened and I often see things in a totally new light.

      As you said in this article, there are many ways you can use one event to come up with many different story ideas each told from a different perspective.

      Thanks for sharing this info.

      Hugs and Love to You and Bev,

      Gail

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! There are hundreds of stories in our lives if we just take a close look at them and realize that most people can relate.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Thank you for this excellent advice on writing ideas. I find life experiences and observations are plentiful enough to form writing platforms. Your suggestion to write from family stories would fill volumes for me. Have a great weekend with Bev.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, it sounds like you have several books just based on that huge family. Get to writing girl! :) and thank you!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Another great article. You've got me thinking about all the stories I've heard from extended family about growing up in a large family - eight on my mom's side, 11 on my dad's - very poor but full of love. Inspirational for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, those are three fine sources. Thanks for sharing and the visit.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Lately from three sources - the Internet, music and books I'm sorting out at home. Passing this on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, rowing a boat is greatly over-appreciated in my book. LOL I'll see what I can do to keep you awake and interested. Thank you as always!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As has mine, Deb, and I never want to lose those memories.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Re your comments about music as an inspiration for writing, Bill, I'm with you all the way now that I realize its importance. 'Row, Row , Row Your Boat' just isn't doing it for me - just makes me tired!

      But all is not lost - your inspiring articles about writing well do wake me up.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, my childhood has always been with me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, you said it all perfectly once again. Perhaps when you are looking through your viewfinder on that camera you have the sense of what a child must see....?

      Thank you my friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, Billy. Seeing life through the eyes of a child is truly a remarkable thing. It is then that you can truly show the fresh, the innocent, and the wonderful is one fell swoop. people will notice that, and reflect about t. Then they will learn to see beauty, too. Growing old is not a bad thing, but growing old without recognizing those innocent and wonderful things is lost from your psyche.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, those ads are showing up everywhere of late and they are distracting.

      I believe everyone's life would make a book....we are all such fascinating creatures.

      Thank you for the visit my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Mike, good to see you here buddy. If you're breathing then you are living and if you are living you have a multitude of things to write about. I don't know what it is like to take a break from writing. LOL....I'll have to think about that one.

      Thanks buddy and have a great day.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Alicia, if we would only allow ourselves to do that, the wonder would never end. :)

      Thank you and I hope your week is going well.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As do I, Vinaya...as do I. :)

      Thanks my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, all things come in time....thank you for being here always my friend.

      blessings,

      bill

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      My life has been so crazy. I mean good crazy. I've often though I could write a book about my goofy but wonderful family! They are always doing something "different".

      Great Hub, thanks.

      BTW, I just saw a "rolling ad" moving across my screen when I tried reading this. How distracting!

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 3 years ago from New York City

      Extracting stories from true to life experiences as a form of inspiration works well for me too Bill. Thank you for sharing all of these cool tips and ideas with us, its truly motivating to read.

      I myself love writing when I am inspired by others to do so mostly, I also enjoy taking long breaks from it all, sometimes its years, other times its months as I do frequently on Hubpages and elsewhere online.

      I think any true writer can scribe from the core of their existence on earth about anything, and at any time that thought or Multitude of thoughts comes to mind for sure, especially while living, learning, and sharing our love for this life.

      Bravo on yet another example of what makes you a brilliant writer, wonderful imagery here, and very helpful article indeed. Nice! work bro.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub is filled with great suggestions, Bill. My favorite is that we should be like children and "see the wonder in the mundane"! Thanks for all the ideas.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

      Bill,

      The life, the living and the world inspire me. Most of the stories and characters in my fictional work are taken from real life. Even when I write non-fiction, I take inspiration from real life incidents.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Greetings,

      @ Nellieanna deeply affected by your impelling concern I need to reevaluate my presence at HP, ( not done yet). Not repeating my previous" excuses" , in short , there are certain subjective and some objective points preventing. One day I'll share with you in my life's story the reasons " why " - if my presence will be permitted to continue in present capacity.

      @ Bill, dear friend , I did hear and understood Nellieanna and do solemnly promise not let her wait forever.

      Regretfully, Michael

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...love to you too, Maria!

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 3 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Ohhh... you men are all cut with the same scissors. I love you both funny guys.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Greg, I get the same thing from Bev and I have the bruises to prove it. LOL She takes everything literally and just assumes that seven billion other people do the same. :) No worries buddy.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Me too billy--you do know I was joking I hope--Maggie made me run up here and tell you. She says I am mean...

      I told her I know you know that I am joking, but she has the broom ready to swat me with it. So I am sorry for joking billy.

      Ow, Maggie--don't hit me so hard!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Greg, I get so wrapped up in my writing that I don't even look out the window. My apologies. LOL

      Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I see more fly daily and it is a beautiful sight. Thank you my dear.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Great hub billy. I am kinda' hurt though; I drove by you yesterday and waved and you didn't wave back--why????

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAvhitKz7OE

      ROFL

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 3 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Are you seeing some flying, and now you are working with the sight? Thanks so much dear teacher!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monis, we all have things to work on. The learning never ends for a writer. :) Thank you for the visit.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      I like using my own experiences, when I can. I just have to make it more colorful :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I love your comments. James Blunt eh? Interesting where ideas come from. My article today came from the song Bye, Bye Miss American Pie....and then I just had to get out of the way of myself and let it write itself.

      Love your recipe. :) Thank you! Next time call ahead and I'll get you right in for an appointment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, it is all around you my friend. You just need to be aware and willing. :) Thank you!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      As usual, here's me propping up a column of comments. That's the trouble with visiting your pages, Bill. It's like trying to make an appointment with the doctor during an epidemic!

      Familiarities out of the way, let's get down to biz.

      I found an idea for a series of books after reading an interview with the singer James Blunt in a Sunday tabloid. To find the details you'd have to visit the 'RAVENFEAST' page if you haven't done already, but it's enough to say that saga could run... and run away with me. Add a touch of witchcraft, oppression, land-grabbing, sex (what, that as well?) and politics as well as copious mediaeval bloodshed and you've got the ingredients for black pudding... what was that? Sorry, thought I was on a recipe page... the ingredients for a rollicking saga. Add also a bit of people-watching and sideways observation of your mates and hates and 'Wey-hey! Off you go, Billy-boy!'

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the advice for finding new ideas, Billy! There is nothing like finding inspiration from anything around you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, that is my hope.....otherwise, what's the point in having knowledge. :)

      Have a great week my bird-loving friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, we are all richer because of your established routines. Keep having that tea and the cats will just have to wait. LOL

      Blessings to you my friend and a ton of love from Olympia

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I would be lost without my notebook. A thousand ideas need to be written down or they are lost to me....I hope I never forget my notebook. :)

      blessings always and thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, writer's block has always been a mystery to me...but maybe these ideas will help someone other than you and me. LOL Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, we will share in your talent as long as possible. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Nellieanna! Maybe Michael heard you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always a pleasure, Vellur...thank you!

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      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, after being alive these many years, my observations and experiences long to break free! It's finding the time to get everything down that is the challenge!

      I can only imagine the number of individuals you have touched and helped with your vast store of excellent wisdom, my friend ;) Pearl

      Voted Up+++++

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Thanks again Billy my dear friend. As I love to write from my heart my writing does indeed come from life experiences.

      My ritual seems to be getting up at 5.45; make a potful of tea and feed cats .You notice that my cuppa comes before feeding my gorgeous cats. Well of course it does !!!I have to prioritise don't I ha ha!!I may have subject in my mind or maybe I sit down with note pad and pen and my inner being does the rest as words flow onto paper. You may notice here that I said 'notepad to pen' and not 'fingers to keyboard'. This is a stern habit of days gone by and I doubt I will ever try to change it.

      What would be the point.

      Over the past four years I have grown to understand my inner being and it is as if it lets me know when it is time to write this one or that one.

      I also love music and my camera two of which inspire me further.

      Another gem for sure Billy and say Hi to Bev from me.

      Lots of love from my little corner of Wales.

      Eddy.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Morning Bill,

      What a great read for this morning! Ah, yes, from family stories, the world around us (the good and the bad and the left behind), and music .... yes, love the music. It will inspire me in a second. I remember those great oldies and thanks for taking down memory lane. They just don't make them like that anymore it seems....now I sound so old LOL

      I need to have something handy to jot down my thoughts, so I will not forget for I have so much inspiration coming at me, there should never be any room for writer's block.

      Have a great day this day.

      Up and more and sharing

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I am the same bill, writers block is something that never bothers me. I don't think I could ever run out of ideas as long as I can think and think is about all I do! lol ^ shared

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. As you can see I have not run up against any idea walls (yet). ...tough I am losing control of my fingers.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you, Bill. -

      If I may say, I'm intrigued by Michael-Milec's obvious interest in writing and writers and am somewhat amazed to find he's not published a hub on which I could leave a comment! I see he is followed by and follows some of my favorite fellow hubbers, who all seem eager to read his hubs when he publishes them. At the risk of being 'pushy', Michael, please do! (I'm 81 and though I intend to live to 100, I don't have forever to wait! :-)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      These are great ideas to write stories. Music is a great source of inspiration for me. Thanks for sharing these great ideas.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I had a wonderful Monday but then I always do. Life is a gift and I'm quite appreciative of it...as are you I know.

      love always

      bill

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I am with you line by line on this...we really all have something both to learn and teach to each other...I have to agree with Sha again, convinced we all listened to the same music growing up.

      Hope you had a wonderful Monday. Love, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, something tells me you have a very interesting life with stories that would never end. Hopefully some day I will have a chance to read those stories.

      Thank you for your kindness and friendship.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I wouldn't have a clue how to write that article. LOL Happy Monday to you too, and thank you!

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Good evening billybuc.

      Awesome, just awesome. You went further than " helpingto spread wings." As I was standing at a high cliff of untold ordinary life stories not worth write about , by this Hub, you made a gentle push. No scarcity of writing pads, I'm making notes quite often. . . Than it stops there, except some comments go publicly. My admiration towards all of you who allow my comments. A strange indisposition prevent me to go beyond. It is a big deal to be a writer after all these years, I'm suddenly realizing. . . Realizing. . .( It's very difficult part of life, acceptance of self).

      Let me say again its awesome and very useful.

      God richly bless you.

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Like some of our commenting friends here and you, I have the too many ideas problem. Maybe your next hub should be on how to sift through the myriad of ideas. :) Happy Monday!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blossom, I think we would all be better off if we took a good, long look at those trees. Thank you for the reflection and the visit.

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      At university, a lecturer once told me that I couldn't see the forest for the trees, but there is so much to be seen in those trees and so many ideas hopping in and out, and perhaps hiding.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kathryn! I'm facing a dilemma with so many Hubbers off to Bubblews....it's hard to follow people on two sites, but I respect you so much that I guess I'll have to do it. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Randi, welcome back. I'm so used to seeing you on Words that it didn't dawn on me that you were gone from here. Vacation? Well, I'm glad you are back and thanks.

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      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hey Bill! I'm back and it looks like just in time for great information. Like yo, I am never at a loss for ideas, although I can't always formulate what I want to do with them. I,also, tend to find new topics within the topic I am currently writing about. That is always fun! Thank you for this great advice!

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I enjoy finding writing material of many kinds from things in my life, as well as things that I see around me. This is a very interesting and useful article, Bill. Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a great night.

      ~ Kathryn

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene. The nicest words anyone could say to me is that I inspire them. That tells me I'm on the right track.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks Carol! I love this community and I'm just trying to share that love as it has been shared with me. I know you understand that. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. I don't trust my memory any longer so I have to have a cheat sheet....I have too many partial stories waiting for me to finish...writer's block? What the heck is that? LOL...have a great week my friend.

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      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Bill, you inspire me. I also enjoyed the video. The idea that I use consistently is the idea of always having a notepad handy. I never know when inspiration will strike, so having that pad handy for jotting down notes frees up my mind for processing other things.

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      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      As always great ideas...However, I think my family story would make great fictional writing...Never have tried that. There are so many things to write about as you point out. In my case I never run out of things to paint. Anyway you are an amazing person....which means I am amazed every time I read what you write. The usual pins etc...Even if I forget to mention the sharing..it is generally done.

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      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      You are so right with this one Bill. Every time I think I've run out of ideas I just go through my pictures from vacations and sure enough I have plenty of ideas. I have a little cheat sheet that I write the ideas on just so I won't forget them. There are boundless stories all around us, we just have to take notice. Have a great week.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ginger, thank you! I don't know how many articles I have that I have not finished. They sit there waiting for me to decide on the perfect ending. I think that is pretty common for writers. I have a book that is half-finished that has sat for three years now. One day, right? :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you Sheila! Boring is exciting with a good writer at the controls. :) Thanks as always.

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      ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

      This is such a useful hub! I find that I have great ideas and starts to hubs, but I lack the ability to finish them. Or I end up thinking they are not interesting so they never get published. Oh well.

      I love what you said about kids and their abilities - as I watch mine observe with fascination so many things that I don't even notice anymore - orange road cones, the moon, roly polies, etc.

      As always, your hub is an inspiration. Ginger

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Those are all great ways to get ideas and I've used every one of them at one time or another. And even if someone really does live a boring life, they can always take something boring they've done and add some spice to it.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellieanna I think you said it much more eloquently than I did. Perfect examples of what I'm talking about here. Life is fascinating if you are willing to open up and embrace it....as you do.

      You are a pleasure to know my friend. Thank you!

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      W1totalk, I greatly appreciate that compliment. It's a writing voice that has evolved over time and I am grateful that so many can relate to it.

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      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      Dear Billy. I'm so attuned with this! Even if one does have 'important things' going on, there's always plenty of time to notice the little things: the way a shadow or a highlight falls across the floor or across the ceiling or the lawn, the length of which often announces the change of seasons; the amazing sounds of the day or night; the whiff of an aroma from a flower or a pie or a diesel engine. Anything of which one is really aware and to which one is alert is both profitable to notice and likely to inspire thoughts or ideas beyond themselves, - or simply within themselves. They may even assist that 'important thing' going on as well as inspiring & delighting one's consciousness! Sometimes just wishing to have an idea attracts one in an unsuspected way, if one is alert to the way it comes! People are often so pre-set sometimes, they only recognize what they already know which may have already proved fruitless, though familiar and less frightening! A little poem I wrote touches on many things, but this is one of them:

      Fruitful life

      Goes begging

      While futile life is fed.

      ______© Nellieanna H. Hay

      11-71

      Like you, I've never found it difficult - indeed, I find it impossible to not - have ideas! All around one is like a connected network of interesting images, sounds, aromas, feelings - all beckoning the mind to get involved and take them on somewhere.

      As always, you've presented these thoughts in an interesting and practical way! I hope you never abandon it!! Hugs.

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      W1totalk 3 years ago

      The way you can look at daily life and simple write is pretty amazing. I sometimes write from life but at times feel hesitant because of the nature of certain subject etc. Thank you for inspiration and the great writing billybuc.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I love it when someone says that. How cool that I gave you an idea. Being a writer is awesome, isn't it? :) Thank you Liz!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it Dora! Best wishes on that undertaking, and thank YOU very much.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Lizzy, that is the best comments in weeks. Rest well my dear and feel better soon.

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      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Bill - this was very awesome and gave me some inspiration. I had just began writing a fictional book, sprinkled with some tidbits from my real life in it, so this hub came just in time! Awesome writing, as usual!

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Life through the eyes of a child is a theme I plan to develop. All great ideas, as usual. Thank you very much, Bill.

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thanks for the tip! Now, I'll go write about nausea and napping.