As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve been doing a lot of teaching on the idea of ideas lately and among the quotes I came across during my research was “People always want to know: Where do I get my ideas? They're everywhere. I'm inspired by people and things around me” from Gwendolyn Brooks, an American poet.
That is certainly true for me. Ideas can come from a place, a person, a memory, a thought, anything.
Thou Shalt Kill, for example, was inspired by teenage experiences in a church, The Long Dead by a visit to a former POW Camp and A Breach of Trust by a story I covered as a journalist in the 1980s.
But how do you find ideas if you’re looking for a subject for your next piece of work? Well, you don’t. Asked where he got his ideas, Robertson Davies, the Canadian novelist and playwright, said: “My usual, perfectly honest reply is, "I don't get them; they get me.”
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