book giveaway: where do ideas come from?

ALOT OF MY ‘NEW LIFE’ IS SPENT RUMINATING, I admit, though sometimes while doing something else (mowing, driving, weeding, showering—you know how it works). Even if I were merely sitting still and pondering, I’d consider those stretches very productive, since they yield my inspiration. So when the subject of where ideas come from came up on a top blog the other day, I took notice. A great link—and a chance to win an advance copy giveaway of my upcoming book.

For me, author-marketer-entrepreneur-creative thinker Seth Godin hit the nail on the head in his list “Where Do Ideas Come From” last week, when he reached Number 12:

Ideas come from nature.”

So many of mine—ones that guide the way I live or the things I write or do—come from what I have learned in my relationship with the outdoors, and the examples it sets (whether its intricacies of design or its insistent, inescapable cycles). A lot of “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” is about those “aha’s.”

A lot of the other sources Godin cited—that ideas come from trouble, for instance, and sometimes from fear but more often from confidence, also resonated. Read his list of 20 sources of ideas.

Then tell us where your ideas come from (or just say “Count me in.” or, “I want to win the book!” if you’re feeling shy) and on Saturday, December 11, I’ll select a winner at random and send them an advance reading copy of “Peace,” due out in February for real.

  1. Ginger says:

    My good ideas come when I’m reading magazines, books, blogs, or attending seminars, but my BEST ideas come in quite moments such as knitting, sewing, and gardening. Most often it is the mundane, repetitive tasks like weeding that provide the opportunity for the seed of an idea to find fertile brain cells and germinate.

  2. Susan E says:

    Like a couple other like-minded souls, my best ideas and solutions come to me in the shower. I’ve always figured that it was because there are no distractions and my mind is essentially “open” as I go through the routine/doitinmysleep task at hand.

    As I get a wee bit older, :-) I find it very important to write those same ideas and solutions down just as soon as I’m dried off. I do keep a small notebook and pen in a drawer in the bathroom for just such occasions!

  3. Phyllis says:

    Some of my best ideas have come while washing dishes, watering the garden, or taking a shower. Maybe it’s the water. I just sort of zone out and stuff just pops into my brain!!!

    Merry Christmas, Margaret!!!

  4. Naomi Sachs says:

    Ideas come from all sorts of places. Some are wonderful, like nature and love, some are painful, like war and loneliness. The key is to be open, and for me, spending time in nature, and in the garden, helps me to stay in that open place.

  5. Lori Werth says:

    I love to look at magazines, art, nature, other people’s houses, fabric, fashion for ideas. When I’m working or playing, usually ruminating, kismet and my work flow create the magic.

  6. Janie says:

    My ideas come from mistakes. I have learned more from them than anything. My book would be The Mistakes I have Made and What I Learned from Them.

  7. Janel says:

    My best ideas come when I’m just sitting — a pastime sadly neglected. If I can sit and ruminate — that’s when the most productive ideas come forth. Waiting, waiting, waiting for the book to come out!

  8. Alexa @ Invisible Bees says:

    I agree with Seth in #8: ideas come through awareness. I’d go a step further and say, for me, ideas come when I can find quiet, be quiet and make room for observation–including listening to others, to Nature, and to the humming and buzzing within.

    Cheers, Margaret.

  9. Benita says:

    Please, please, consider me for winning this book. I will give it with my 91 year old friend Margie Broyhill, who gardened extravagantly in Alaska, Washington and California for over 75 years before osteoporosis forced her move to a “senior” apartment house. But, she still pampers her houseplants lovingly, and would love a book like this!


    Benita Bowen

  10. Linda R. says:

    I find that I get inspiration direct from natural forms, but ideas on how to use images come at the time when my brain is switched off – like when I’m brushing my teeth, or some other mindless acticity!

  11. Julie says:

    My best ideas come from when I’m exercising or cooking or knitting. I can let my mind wander and then focus on things that I’m too distracted otherwise to think about.

  12. Lisa Berns says:

    Inspiration comes from all of my life experiences; childhood, my garden ; my trees; my love of animals especially my dogs.; all things vintage and how they can be used or repurposed. The time in my garden takes me to a place where I let go of all the day to day stuff and inspiration just seems to appear….

  13. Anna Maiwurm says:

    for me ideas come when just sitting enjoying a glass of wine and listening to some great music……that is when the mind starts to travel…..or when I am into a cleaning spree – boring work makes the mind wander ….. or how about mowing the grass following the lines of the previous mowed row….mind always wanders and whooo what ideas can spring up

  14. Judith says:

    A as I get older, my sleep patterns seem to have changed and I’m often waking up in the middle of the night. Oddly enough, I seem to come up with the best ideas during these times, especially when it comes to my garden! I would love to win your book Margaret, but if I don’t I will certainly be buying it next year.

  15. Cori says:

    I am thedawngardener not just because I often work early in the day, but because most of my ideas, insights, dreams and visions (and sadly, yes, also my worries and fears) come in those underwater moments between sleep and full awakening and just at, or right before, dawn. I have learned to embrace those mid-life periods of wakefulness that plague so many women as the time of the day when my mind is freer than at any other time.

  16. Pat says:

    I seem to collect miscellaneous data constantly, a bit here, a bit there. Those bits jumble together and create associations when I’m driving. It is as though the parts of my brain that are focused on keeping me safe and aware allow those bits of information to freely regroup, configuring new ideas and solutions. It’s pretty fascinating actually.

    Thanks for the question and the opportunity.

  17. michelle says:

    Books, nature, magazines, dreams, life! Though, I don’t know that I have been able to really let my creativity loose. I think I restrict my creativity quite a bit.

  18. jo says:

    I am always amazed at the ideas that arise when I am lying in corpse pose following a great yoga class-they arise out of the stillness when I am not thinking at all!

  19. Mary Converse says:

    Very often my ideas come from quiet moments when I’m sitting still and looking around the backyard. At times I get ideas from looking at beautiful gardens and hearing stories about people and their adventures. Quite frankly I start my day with a cup of coffee and a glance at the yard, then read a Psalm. I know each day is a blessing and if the sparrow doesn’t have to worry then neither do I.

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