No-one knows where good ideas come from. You can go back to the place that you had the last idea in the same frame of mind and order the same coffee and the likelihood is that you will just stare out of the window with a blank sheet of paper.
The harder you try to have a good idea the less likely you are to have one. But then again if you stop trying to have an idea then you probably won’t have one either. I find the best approach is somewhere in between. Put in a bit of half-hearted effort every now and then and try to trick your brain into having a good idea when it is not expecting you to.
Of course not-really-that-funny ideas are ten a penny, or you can get a bumper pack for a pound. I have notebooks full of the things.
I try to save my very best ideas and not use them all up at the same time. I draw a cartoon based on my second best idea hoping that the best idea will keep for a rainy day. Unfortunately a lot of ideas dilute over time. Some of the goodness fades in the sunlight. When you write them down in the notebook they are fresh and alive, but when you open up the notebook the following morning they aren’t quite as funny as they first appeared.
Sometimes an idea will come to you at a point at which it is not socially acceptable to write it down. You have the choice of either (a) Committing it to memory knowing that that will probably be the last you hear of it (b) Break the taboo knowing that the idea was worth the cost of being thrown out of the Society for ideas writing at an inappropriate juncture (c) Make some shifty notes under the table cloth.
In the comments section of this post I propose we have an ideas amnesty. You can write ideas here with no fear that anyone will ridicule you. You can ask for ideas, suggest ideas or harvest ideas. They can be about anything – they don’t have to be cartoon ideas. It doesn’t matter how rubbish they are. Of course, some of the worst ideas are also the best ones. It is just that we are looking at them upside down.