Monday, November 18, 2019


By Mary Kennedy                                               
Where do you get ideas?  A popular question for writers. If you missed the first blog on this topic, you can click right here and read it. 
A snippet of a song can lead to a book idea. I was watching The Big Chill (an old movie but a favorite) and heard the famous lyrics from the Rolling Stones:

And, you can't always get what you want You can't always get what you want You can't always get what you want But if you try sometime you might find You get what you need.

Definitely some good book material there! And food for thought. 

Someone once said that writers are like sponges, absorbing sights, sounds, impressions and ideas all day long; a never-ending stream flowing across our brains. Some are good, some are okay, some are terrific. The smell of freshly cut grass, hearing the words from a long-forgotten song, the sound of a screen door banging shut on a hot summer night, the patterns the sunlight makes as it filters through the trees, this is all grist for the mill. We'll tuck it away and it will all turn up in a book sometime. Nothing is wasted.

 Writers are always thinking, recording, taking mental notes about our surroundings. We can't help it. We do it automatically. I think it's in our DNA.

One of my friends said to me, "Are you always thinking about books? Always coming up with ideas for plots and characters and settings?"

Busted! "Yes, I am. Why?"

"Well, it's sort of annoying," she told me. 

"Sorry," I said. "It goes with the territory."

But was I really sorry? Probably not. Where would I be without ideas? No ideas, no books! No books, no readers. So I guess I'll keep on thinking and welcoming those elusive ideas...

Happy holidays everyone. Enjoy the season and keep reading! Mary Kennedy


Teddi1961 said...

Well, as in my opinion, the "friend" who commented the "sort of annoying" way you are always thinking of books, plots, and details, is no REAL friend. I guess she wanted you to think of coloring your nails (hmmm, I need to write that down - sounds like a great detail for an alibi of a suspected killer!) I personally think this culture doesn't think enough. Slow down, feel the heat from the sun on your back while smelling the scent of pine in the air. Look at the various colors of Autumn and how stores are starting to put up Christmas decorations. (Wow, this sounds like the beginning of a book!) As I stated, this is only my opinion. Have a glorious Thanksgiving!

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Hi Teddi, thanks so much for stopping by. I admit, I had to bite my tongue at my friend's comment. I didn't realize I was being annoying. And I'm not sure I can change, anyway. I guess she'll just have to put up with me unless I can change my "writerly" ways. Have a great holiday, mary