Sentient Ideas

Have you ever thought ideas have an energy and life of their own? That they may, in fact, be sentient?


One of my biggest fears as a writer is that I’ll never have another good idea. But this perspective on ideas blows that fear out of the water!


Think of it: Sentient Ideas…


In Big Magic, one of my favorite books about creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert relays the striking and bizarre story of the transmission of a story (a novel) from her to Ann Patchett through a kiss. Liz had never spoken a word about the novel to Ann.

This was not simply a passing idea. It was a novel plot Liz had researched and labored over until she was sidetracked for two years writing her memoir Committed.


Having been abandoned, the heart and soul of the idea up and left

—and landed in the willing hands of novelist Ann Patchett. When the two authors, (who are friends) discovered Ann’s forthcoming novel about the Amazon had all the bones of Liz Gilbert’s abandoned story, they were gob smacked.

As Liz says, their experience is the artistic equivalent of multiple discoveries in science. Again and again, breakthrough ideas have been “discovered” by scientists in different places at very nearly the same time.


Back to fears about not having good or original ideas…


What if we are chosen by the idea before we choose it? If that’s the case, fretting about whether the idea is good is not useful in the least. Instead, you must pledge your self and all your creative power to bringing that idea to life.

This week I read two new children’s books with remarkable similarities. Both books began with a young witch failing her witch’s assessment—the one that would qualify her as fully trained. They continued with a journey beyond where she had ever been before. By book’s conclusion, both discovered their unanticipated world-saving power

Both books are fine reads. One is The Apprentice Witch, by James Nicol, the other The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones (finished after her death by her sister Ursula).


I don’t suggest one of these authors copied the other. Not in the least.

What I am underlining is the ephemeral and possibly omnipresent nature of ideas. I am suggesting that ideas are indeed sentient.


I’m suggesting we stop worrying and start doing our utmost to bring that sentient idea to life!

Coach’s Challenge:


Prove yourself worthy of sentient ideas. Your grateful action will speak volumes. Are you asking for ideas? Are you showing up every day in a way that’s consistent and dedicated, letting ideas know you can be trusted? Sentient ideas know who’s most likely to give them their due devotion!

Lindy MacLaine of is a Life Purpose Coach whose messages empower and inspire those in the second bloom of life to reclaim their dreams, reignite their passions and rekindle their joy.

She is the author of the fantasy adventure series Piper Pan and Her Merry Band, for those ages 9-109 who loved the Neverland and who long for adventures that matter.