Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ideas . . . Where Do They Come From?

Since many students are curious about where I get my ideas from, when they're not assigned to me by editors, I like to show them by sharing these photos. I talk about being observant and how you can find ideas and inspiration from your hobbies and passions to things right in your home or backyard.
Take for example this photo I took of winter leaves in my yard. It reminded me that leaves not only have an important job in the autumn but throughout all the seasons. This inspired me to expand a poem I had written about autumn leaves into a picture book about leaves all year long.
Winter Leaves

This photo is of our pet lizard who turned out to be an interesting character for a magazine story about a missing lizard. I encourage children to write about their pets. I also talk about how I often write a nonfiction piece about a topic and then use that research to create a fun fiction story as well.
Lizzie the Green Anole

This nest of bunnies I found in my flower garden started out as just a fascination for me. I wanted to learn more about them, so I did some research. That led to a nonfiction article which then inspired me to write a fiction picture book about an extra large bunny family. That picture book is now out on submission with publishers.
Baby Bunnies in My Flower Garden

And then there are our hobbies and things we are passionate about. For me that is dance. Nearly all of my fiction stories incorporate some element or mention of dance. If you're passionate about something you will enjoy writing about it. Last year I finally had a chance to complete a picture book manuscript about a dance icon that I've always wanted to write about.
My First Dance Recital

As you can see, I like to keep photos of what inspires me. I'm a very visual person so I enjoy keeping photos on display when I'm working on a particular project. Taking photos is also a great way to help students be more engaged about a topic. You don't need a fancy camera. I use my cell phone or my iPad Mini to take my photos.

Bottom line, choose topics you are passionate about or want to learn more about. Be observant, take photos, jot down notes when you come across something that catches your attention and you'll find you're never at a loss for ideas.


Linda Bozzo has published over 50 nonfiction books for the school and library market. For more information about Linda and her books, you can visit her website.

Copyright 2015 Linda Bozzo