Recently, I went on a two-week trip to Pakistan for a family wedding. While we were there, we took a road trip to visit the Khewra Salt Mine. We got on a small train of cable cars and journeyed into the mountain of salt.
Legend has it that the massive salt deposit was discovered by Alexander the Great...'s horses. When the soldiers noticed their horses licking rocks, they got curious.
This salt mine is the second largest in the world, and is the source of the pink "Himalayan" sea salt that you may have seen in the grocery store or in the form of a salt lamp in a crystal shop. Inside the mine, the walls are smooth and pink, and workers have carved salt into bricks to form mini-buildings, including a small mosque and a real, working infirmary, because it isn't just a tourist attraction; it's still a working mine.
Sometimes, in our own artistic work, we find a vast deposit of beautiful, valuable material. Emotion or ideas that we can spin into vast landscapes. And, like the salt mine, we rarely discover these things intentionally. Instead, as with Alexander the Great's soldiers, we notice something striking, and we get curious.
It's impossible to force yourself to have an idea, but it's easy to get curious. It's our natural human state. So if you're casting around for an idea, try one of our daily writing prompts. Let your curiosity guide you.