Wednesday, 28 May 2014

So what gets your juices flowing?

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching on the idea of ideas lately and came across these excellent quotes.
People always want to know: Where do I get my ideas? They're everywhere. I'm inspired by people and things around me. (Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet)
My standard answer is "I don't know where they come from, but I know where they come to, they come to my desk." If I'm not there, they go away again, so you've got to sit and think. (Philip Pullman, English writer)
Ideas come to a writer, a writer does not search for them. "Ideas come to me like birds that I see in the corner of my eye," I say to journalists, "and I may try, or may not, to get a closer fix on those birds." (Patricia Highsmith, American crime writer)
It's very blurred, it's not clear. The plan is something which gradually evolves. Usually, I'll just start with one particular idea or certain image or even just a mood and gradually it'll kind of grow when other things attach themselves to it. (Jane Rogers, British novelist, editor, and teacher)
Anything can set things going--an encounter, a recollection. I think writers are great rememberers. (Gore Vidal, American novelist, playwright, essayist)
You can write about anything, and if you write well enough, even the reader with no intrinsic interest in the subject will become involved.
(Tracy Kidder, literary journalist)
"From you," I say. The crowd laughs. I look at the woman asking the question; she seems innocent enough. I continue. "I get them from looking at the world we live in, from reading the paper, watching the news. It seems as though what I write is often extreme, but in truth it happens every day."
(A. M. Homes, American novelist and short story writer)
My usual, perfectly honest reply is, "I don't get them; they get me."
(Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist, playwright, and critic
So what gets your juices flowing?

We’re debating this on our Facebook page at

John Dean 

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