Friday Fun Poll: Where Do You Do Your Best Thinking?


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Earlier this week, I wrote about idea logging and how it can boost your creative practice. I even gave some tips for how to idea log effectively–but the truth is, the best technique for one person won’t work at all for another. That’s because the “right” tool for you will depend on how you think and work best.

Some of us think best by writing longhand, for example, while others prefer to type our prose straight into the computer. (Oh, how I envy you!) Others take a nice creativity nap to come up with ideas, while others are best inspired by long hikes through the wilderness.

Where do you all find creative inspiration? Check out the poll below to cast your vote and see where your fellow writers land!

[poll id=”8″]

If I didn’t include your favorite creativity booster in the answers, please share in the comments–I love to hear from you!

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  1. says

    I like to sit, often with a cup of tea or coffee, and let my mind wander over possibilities. What if this happened, or how about if I have the character do this, or what if this character barges in? Why would my character do what I want them to do? What are the motivations for this kind of action? Would my character do that? If not, what would my character do? What if the worst thing happens? These are just some of the questions I ask myself. And if I’m still stuck, then I call up Hilari and we pick up Starbucks then come back and brainstorm.

  2. says

    How could I possibly forget coffee??? It’s the great creativity generator! It sounds like you like to daydream/visualize, but like you have plenty of helpful questions ready in case they’re needed to get the wheels turning.

    I really love brainstorming plot and characters with others as well. My husband and I usually hash out story problems on Saturday AM hikes!

    Thanks so much for sharing :)

  3. Debby Hanoka says

    Where do I do my best thinking? While surfing the net, writing email, reading the newspaper, watching tv, playing with my editorial cat-sistant, reading… You name it. I’ll be doing something, an idea will come to me, and I’ll have to drop everything (and pry the cat off my lap) to get to my computer or a pen and pad to record it. Thank goodness my cat is understanding. My housemates, not so much.

    • says

      Hi Debby–I love it! It sounds like your story idea generator is percolating nonstop, so you’re likely to get hit with a jolt of inspiration at any moment. I get like that *some* of the time, and love it when I do. So cool–thanks for stopping by!

  4. Jane Bigelow says

    Lots of different locations and activities may help me untangle whatever knot I’m in. I just have to walk away from the computer. It’s amazing (and depressing) how hard it is to remember this when I’m staring grimly at the screen.

    • says

      Ah, yes, I have that problem, too. We call that the “banging-your-head-against-the-wall” approach to problem solving. Maybe it causes actual brain damage, which is why it’s so hard to remember that it doesn’t work!!

  5. says

    I’ve gotten really quick at writing ideas on the notes app on my phone while I walk.

    • says

      That takes skill–don’t run into anything! I’ve actually seen an app that uses the camera to view the path ahead while you type text into your phone, but I didn’t think it helped. The issue isn’t so much that I don’t see what’s going on around me, but that I don’t process it while deep in story mode!

  6. says

    This is an excellent site Cheryl! I get my best ideas when washing and drying up pots in the kitchen (no dishwasher). Great for character scenes and dialogue. Bit impractical to keep jotting notes down with wet hands, but you have to seize the moment.

    • says

      Thank you! I find dishwashing rather meditative as well…although it’s also a prime time to chat with my son, so I do less writing then. I love the vision of you jotting down notes with sudsy fingers :)