As a writer you should be curating ideas nonstop. That is the essential mindset for exceptional ideas. Your life should be one about observation. Your senses always on.
You should be running your hands over the texture of a strange wall. You should cock your ear to a heated conversation between two German chess players. You should be chewing your arugula and feta slowly, thinking about how and why they work so well together.
This also means you should go on a Netflix TV show binge. Watch ten of the best anti-war movies. You should attend live lectures, listen to podcasts about astronomy, subscribe to a free college course at Yale through iTunes, and watch documentaries.
Whatever your heart desires.
Over four years ago I watched a documentary called It Might Get Loud. There is a scene in which Jack White is talking to the younger Jack White. He tells him, “You must fight the guitar. And you must win.”
I totally knew I needed to use that. Somewhere. Somehow. So I tucked it away, until two years later, when it fit perfectly with the opening of this article.
The mistake you want to avoid, however, is being passive and reactive. Which I’ll explain in the next blog post.