Fantastic Ideas and Where to Find Them

One of the most common questions readers ask authors is where their ideas come from. There are many different answers to this. Some authors refer to places or experiences where they find inspiration. Others name their influences, usually other authors. These answers are humble, and in my opinion, completely untrue. 

Because inspiration and influences are not the same as ideas. Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere, if you look hard enough. Influences are piled up on our bedside table and in our electronic devices. These things exist in the world around us.

Ideas are products of a creative mind.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on

There are people who could sit at a screen, typing, for the rest of their lives and never produce anything someone else would want to read. There are also people with an innate ability to take something that inspires them and turn it into something that inspires others.

The difference is creativity.

Inspiration + Creativity = Ideas

There are all kinds of writing-related skills you can learn, rules you can follow and processes you can use. But only a creative person is ever going to produce a great work of fiction. Creativity can be nurtured but it cannot be learned.

What amazes me is how many ideas there are in books. To come up with not just an idea, but an idea that is different from all the others, is a remarkable thing. But every author is different, so every author’s ideas are different, and that’s what makes books so interesting. 

I’m grateful for a world full of inspiration, and for all the authors I admire, but above all I’m grateful for the creative spark that allows me to contribute something unique.

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2 thoughts on “Fantastic Ideas and Where to Find Them

  1. Oh, dear. I kindly disagree. I believe we are all creative. It’s there in each individual. Yes, it can be nurtured, but I believe it can also be learned. I was the least creative kid ever. Today, I try things I never thought I would because my son is creative, and now my kids think I’m super creative. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can certainly learn skills to create things but coming up with the idea for those things in the first instance requires creativity, which is a quality, rather than a skill.

    It sounds like your son inspires you. Perhaps you always had some level of creativity but the inspiration was missing?


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