Where Ideas Come From {Animals Don't Talk on The Moon}

by - March 11, 2016

I recently read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it rocked, rolled and moved my whole world. If you have any desire to live a creative life you simply HAVE to read it—not because it's perfectly written {it's not!} but because it will help you look at your own creative journey in new ways and that's powerful for anyone wanting to move forward.

[you can read my quick Goodreads review here]

One of the things she talks about is IDEAS. And she doesn't talk about them as flighty things, she talks about them as owned things—things you must run with or they will be lost to you.

And that scared the daylights out of me!

where ideas come from, elizabeth gilbert, big magic,

If an idea comes to you and you're not in a place of readiness for it to take root and spout into something of merit, it will flit off and find a more suitable creative to harvest itself in.

https://www.amazon.ca/Big-Magic-Creative-Living-Beyond/dp/1594634718?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=1594634718&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl&tag=alanrusn-20She tells a story of a book she had completely worked out—spent years on plotting and research—but then she got distracted and set it aside AND SOMEONE ELSE WROTE THE SAME STORY.


I feel like this is slightly far-fetched. I don't want to say she wasn't telling the truth but I mean...the very same story?

Still. It scared me. Because I have all these ideas and I don't want to waste them and I certainly don't want someone else to take them. So, whether I believe her story or not, I came away with this: OWN IT, WRITE IT, BE IT.

So. Where do ideas come from?

Everywhere. And nowhere. As long as you're open to them, they will come. And the more you open yourself up the more you are bombarded until you feel positively overwhelmed and torn over where to spend your energy. It's a horrible, awful, wonderful problem.

I found myself torn when it came time to turn my attention to a new project. So many ideas, so little time. Ugh. But also, Yay!

Blackbird, the novel I poured into through NaNoWriMo, sits waiting for me; yet, when I opened it up and began to read, I felt the weight of its content and knew I couldn't focus there. The Church In The Wildwood was heavy and I need a bit of levity in my writing world. I need some just-for-fun.

And so...

It was more than a year ago. I was in the car, navigating the road between home and my husband's work—one of those many commutes to pick him up after his shift away—and I was listening to a mock-news comedy show on CBC. The host was interviewing a 'caller' who was promoting a petition to have every book that contained a talking animal removed from North American libraries. And that was it. That five minute clip tied a fully formed children's story with a bow and a thank-you-very-much and plopped it in my head in a real bossy JUST DO IT manner. It even came with a title. And I was brilliantly excited about it BUT I was eye-balls deep in writing The Church In The Wildwood and couldn't afford to spread my energies elsewhere.

http://www.alannarusnak.com/p/animals-dont-talk-on-moon.htmlSo it sat. In my head. Its bow getting just a little droopy and sad...and then Elizabeth Gilbert told me someone was going to snatch it away and I was like NNNNOOOOOOO! Because I adore this idea and I have to do it.

And so I am.

I began last week and I'm so excited about it. How thrilling to be able to build a world from scratch. And the freedom of writing for children who are willing to suspend their belief without question, who believe in magic and mystery...and talking animals?...ahhhhhh...it feels like a holiday.

If you're curious you can read a fun little snippet of the first bit of writing I've done on this project. I'm only at 2000 words but I have high hopes for a full children's chapter book when I'm done!

You May Also Like


  1. "And the more you open yourself up the more you are bombarded until you feel positively overwhelmed and torn over where to spend your energy. It's a horrible, awful, wonderful problem."

    YES. Since I started blogging regularly for Hush Hush in December, I have had soooo many ideas for blogs and stuff to write about. When I first started, I so clearly remember thinking "Will I run out of stuff to talk about?" and now I don't have enough time to write all of the ideas that come to mind (I have a serious amount of half-finished drafts in my dashboard and a massive list of ideas just waiting for the time to be fleshed out). Not only that, but I now have so many other ideas for all aspects of our little foray into entrepreneurialship that I don't believe I would ever have if I wasn't constantly dreaming about my next blog topic. I firmly believe I could quit my day job and write blogs and record video blogs and craft educational content all day without rest for at least 8-12 months. Blogging as shown me what a knowledge I've accumulated and how eager I am to give it back (especially when it earns me more clients!)

    1. Good for you! What a wonderful problem :) Enough for 8-12 months? That's amazing! Keep that momentum going, my friend!!!! That's so great!

  2. How wonderful it would be to suspend our belief as willingly and easily as children do.


I love comments and I appreciate, consider and read each one. I welcome your thoughts, whether you're in agreement or not; however, this website is a happy place and I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like.

Thanks for visiting!

© Alanna Rusnak