Where do Book Ideas Come From?

Both kids and adults alike often ask me where my ideas for stories come from.

Usually an idea goes through a lots of revisions in my own head before I have a completed first draft. (The only first draft I was able to finish in one sitting was Bismillah Soup).
My stories start from a kernel of an idea, like an image, a phrase, or even a hadith. When I believe I have found a great concept for kids to learn, I build a story that encapsulates this concept or hadith, while still being interesting and fun.
Not all of my ideas have become stories. Sometimes they sit there for years before I can work on them. Some stories I abandon when I realize they're not that interesting after all.
To find your ideas, be an observant person, watch the world, and listen to people speak. Stories are everywhere. When something strikes you as beautiful, different, or intriguing, pay attention.

Sometimes ideas are like songbirds perching on your window. They come suddenly, unexpectedly, and they won’t stay there for long. That’s why you have to take notice and quickly write them down.

Other times, ideas come and sit with you. They visit again and again, even when you're not looking at them carefully. They urge you to write them.

The creative process can be chaotic sometimes. Different methods work at different times. It’s okay to go with the flow and not stick to one thing while being creative. 

But ultimately, inspiration, ideas, and even the ease of writing, comes from Allah, from His blessing and guidance.

Do you have a great idea for a picture book but aren’t sure how to make it happen? Hajera Khaja, Editor at Ruqaya's Bookshelf, and I are co-teaching a webinar for aspiring writers: Picture Perfect: Crafting a Successful Picture Book Manuscript - Last day for registration is November 10. Grab your spot before time runs out!

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