If the idea well seems a little dry, I know a store most likely in your town (big or small) you can visit and come out full of ideas!
Each time you visit, it’s different; each time you browse and leave, there’s the potential for discovering something new.
Your local antique shop!
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My wife and I like going to antique shops and looking around when we get bored. It’s always fun to see stock changing; it’s always fun to see the things you’d never buy in a million-and-seventeen years, but you’re glad to see exists.
More than killing time, though: If I go into an antique shop with a mind ready to see writing opportunities, I always come out ready to write.
Here are just a few of the things writers can find in an antique shop:
If you open your mind to ideas before stepping inside an antique store, it’s overload city.
We’ve all heard the line, “Every person has a story”? Well, so does every item.
Antique stores are packed full of rare and unique items just waiting to be written about.
What if that goblet tucked away on that shelf with piles of other things turned out to be the Holy Grail?
That old wedding dress immaculate in every way except for the obvious wine stain along the side…what happened, there?
The people you see in old photos: what are their stories?
What kind of evenings and trips did those old cuff links see?
And those really strange finds…what did they mean to the people who owned them; how did they end up in an old antique store instead of being passed on to others?
Get the idea?
My second novel is a paranormal mystery set in Chicago in the late 20s/early 30s. On a recent trip to a couple antique stores, I saw:
- A 1929 World Almanac.
- A collection of department store catalogs from the 20s and 30s.
- A book of Chicago public transportation routes and maps from the time.
- Furniture and other items from the time.
Sure, I can find some of the facts from the almanac online, but being able to browse through the book for inspiration and ideas instead of seeking out specific information is worth the [usually very affordable] price in the store. And being able to see the ads–to see that the $150 typewriter on a shelf in the antique store today cost just $3 in 1929 is invaluable.
Having information like this handy to browse through helps open the mind when you’re needing to write and looking for something new.
Sometimes you see something you really want to buy, but you can’t justify breaking free of your budget to make the purchase.
If that’s not motivation to write an article or two for some money, I don’t know what is!
Because face it: writers like desks!
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If you’re at a loss for ideas this week, get thee to an antique shop!
Blank minds go in–full minds come out!
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One warning about antique shops…
Sometimes you find…
The stuff of nightmares!