Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

I had a big idea on my morning walk.

This idea began a few weeks ago when I attended a meeting, and the speaker talked about virtual reality. His examples have military application. We could put on headsets and find ourselves in the cargo hold of a plane and learn how to exit or move around the plane.

I don’t often need to know how to do things like that, but that’s not the point.

“How was the meeting?” a few people asked.

“It was interesting, but no one has the budget for that,” I said, offering my finely-tuned logic. It’s too soon for wide application. But who knows?

The experience reminded me of those days in the 1990s when I sat through sessions led by a number of speakers who wanted to tell us about the amazing technology called the World Wide Web. These speeches often made me sleepy, because the lights in the room were turned down so attendees could see images on a screen.

That’s why I thought sessions about the Internet were boring. I would get sleepy in dim lighting.

(Do not trust me for prognostication.)

In any case, this morning I was taking a walk, and I came to a dead snake in my path. I jumped high. Then I had an idea for the world.

Gyms and health clubs could create virtual-reality exercise experiences. You’d be much more motivated to get your heart rate up by escaping a snake room than by listening to a podcast on a treadmill.

Maybe someone’s already doing this, I don’t know. But the point, that’s how creative thinking works.

You sit in a meeting that has nothing to do with you, the subject gets in your mental filing cabinet, and one day on a morning walk, you can pull it back out and ask what if? And then, if you’re a writer, you write about that process.

Minnie Lamberth is a marketing copywriter and developer of Story Shaping, a creative encouragement platform.