Where I Get My Ideas So You Can Too


Of all the parts of the writing process that may mystify non-writers, one seems to stand out above all else: ideas. Specifically, where writers get ideas. It’s the question I get asked the most and, though I should be used to it by now, it still surprises me. This is literally the easiest part of the whole ordeal. I have ideas for days, weeks, years. Notebooks full of them. Much like my reading list, I’m pretty sure they’ll outlive me as well. Could this be my artistic superpower? Perhaps. In any case, I tried to reverse engineer my thought process when brainstorming instead of being annoying and stating it’s a flash of brilliance that comes at me at unexpected times. It certainly feels that way, though my rational explanation is that my subconscious has been percolating these nuggets while I was busy watching The Bachelor or spacing out on Facebook. There are a few strategies I’ve been able to discover and can hopefully help you when you’re stuck.

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What I’m Working On in 2017


I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of resolutions, at least in the strictest sense of the word. But I do believe in setting out a road map of what I hope to accomplish and focus on in the next year. If we’re all still here. And the Great American Experiment hasn’t been burned to a pile of ashes. Whatever the case, and however awful the Trumpocalypse may be, these are the projects I have my eyes on in 2017.

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Year In Review: 2016


Total Books Read: 28 (weak sauce)

% Written by Women: 67% (nice)

% Written by POC: 10% (could be way better)

% Written by International Authors: 21% (also some room for improvement)

Favorite Book of the Year: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel



Total Number of Performances: 15

Favorite Live Lit Piece: It’s a toss-up between my thoughts on avocado toast or a brief overview of my family history.

Favorite XX, Will Travel Blog Post: Coming to America

Favorite BookRiot Post: How Age-Inappropriate Reading Was Appropriate for Me



Albums On Repeat:

Nothing’s Real by Shura


Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen




White Women by Chromeo


Kick by INXS


Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper


Favorite Live Show: LCD Soundsystem at Lollapalooza was worth wading through the masses of alcohol-poisoned teens.



Character I Will Channel as I Fight the Trumpocracy: Furiosa

Quote that Best Describes 2016: “Your 20s are all about like hope, and then your 30s are all about realizing how dumb it was to hope” from the movie Don’t Think Twice

Scene I Will One Day Reenact with a Boyfriend/Lover/Sad Sack Friend: 


TV Show that I Need People to Get On Board With: Lady Dynamite. I don’t understand why this is difficult.

TV Show that Feels Like Homework: Game of Thrones. Just create a collage of Tyrion’s best lines, please. It’s all I care about.



Total Number of Trips: 8

Favorite Destination: Detroit. (You can fight me on this.)

Travel Anecdote for the Ages: That one time I went to Costa Rica and a freaking hurricane chased me.

Favorite XX, Will Travel Episode: Travel Epiphanies with Jessica Kent



Celebrity Death that Finally Brought Me to Tears: Carrie Fischer, mostly because I can’t imagine what Gary, her French Bulldog, is going through.

Alter Ego that Has Come to Light: Turns out I still have my revolutionary political spirit intact. Bring it, Trump.