This is Part 1 of a two part article. To read Part 2, click: Where I Get My Ideas – My 7 Sources to Keep the Creative Juices Flowing (Part 2)

One of the most common questions that any writer who has been at a book signing, a writer’s conference or been interviewed gets asked is: “Where do you get your ideas?”

And some writers have clever answers, such as Stephen King: “From a small, bloodthirsty elf who lives in a hole under my desk.”  Or Lawrence Block: “From Viable Fictional Notions, a bureau that provides upwards of a dozen ideas a month to subscribers. If you see one you like, you register it and they take it off the table.”

But I don’t have access to a bloodthirsty elf, so I’ve had to settle for more conventional sources for my ideas. Over the last couple of years I’ve discovered several great sites that I can count on again and again for a kick in the creative ass when it comes to new ideas and thinking, or just plain entertaining reading.

  1. Cracked  — When I was growing up, I remember Cracked as being the ugly blond-headed stepchild of Mad Magazine (Does anyone remember Sylvester P. Smythe?) But it has reincarnated itself into one of the most entertaining curators of pop culture facts, trivia and Creative thinking resource Cracked website logonostalgia. It is the current king of the list post, with esoteric topics such as 8 Plans that Went to Hell Before They Ever Even Got Started, or 40 Myths We Believe Now Due to Tiny Mistakes Years Ago.They explore sociology and life experiences in articles such as the 6 Life Lessons Learned from Working as a Carny or interesting self-improvement articles such as 5 Ways Your Brain Tricks You into Sticking With Bad Habits . The site also features a weekly podcast: The Cracked Podcast where panels of smart, snarky people discuss interesting topics surrounding history, science, entertainment and heated debates about pop-culture and living in the 21st Century.

  2. Brain Pickings  — This site curated by Maria Popova specializes in exploring art, creativity and the individuals who practice these crafts. Ms. Popova distills interesting tidbits out of books and articles on the lives of writers, artists and other great thinkers, shares insights and wisdom Creative thinking resource Brain Pickings website logodirectly from gifted individuals as writing advice, exploring the nature of creativity and so much more. These articles are in-depth explorations of the writing life and the nature of creativity and any writer should have this site bookmarked and return often.

  3. IO9 — This site is a content aggregator that casts a long, wide, net over the Internet and reels in interesting subjects and topics to those with an interest in science fiction, technology, science, history and just weird ephemera such as entertaining photos and viral videos for the individuals who lean toward the cult of utter geekery. These articles run the gamut to covering recent news and rumors on fantasy/sci-fi TV Creative thinking resource io9 website logoand movies (Morning Spoilers), presenting interesting infographics such as A Chart Comparing Publication Dates To When A Story Takes Place  and interesting news and information that you just won’t find anywhere else.

To read Part 2 of this article, click: Where I Get My Ideas – My 7 Sources to Keep the Creative Juices Flowing (Part 2)

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