Why do people ask writers where they get their ideas from so often?

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  1. Kylyssa profile image90
    Kylyssaposted 9 years ago

    Why do people ask writers where they get their ideas from so often?

    I'm not even a famous author but I get asked where I get my ideas from at least once or twice a month and much more frequently when I have a piece go viral online.  Famous authors seem to get that question again and again. Why do people ask it?

    I've never understood it.  The act of living generates ideas, so many ideas it's utterly impossible to do anything about the vast majority of them.  Don't those who ask that question notice the ideas constantly popping up in their own minds?


  2. BruceDPrice profile image72
    BruceDPriceposted 9 years ago

    That question is a little pretentious. In fact, many people have very few ideas pop into their heads. But  even creative people get their ideas in many different ways. Some think you have to wait for inspiration; but others think you have to work a certain number of hours every day or you are a lazy bum. Finally, an artist may have good ideas for a month but suddenly have no ideas for a long time. If that person knew how to make it happen, you can be very sure they would. In fact, all those people asking you this question may be other artists hitting a dry spell!

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      What's pretentious about thinking absolutely everyone has ideas? I'm nothing special and I always have ideas except under intense stress. I didn't say great ideas or specific ones, just ideas. Most of mine are lousy but I'm always having them.

    2. Twilight Lawns profile image72
      Twilight Lawnsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, BruceDPrice, your use of the word "pretentious" in your comment seemed to have a rather pejorative flavour to it, and, not wishing to offend, I could just as roughly describe your answer as pretentious itself.

  3. Express10 profile image86
    Express10posted 9 years ago

    I've noticed that some people are not very creative unless it is required by their job. I could be wrong and maybe they just keep their ideas to themselves? Others may ask you because they believe (whether correct or not) that they could not come up with enough ideas to write about.

    I have to agree with BruceDPrice in that it doesn't seem that a fair number of people have many ideas and those asking might be in that camp or people who have a dry spell going on. Just ask to find out. But I must note that there are others who don't see value in thinking or being creative unless it's directly school or work related.

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I wonder if people have just encountered too many people like those in your last sentence to value their ideas enough to even recognize them? Thanks for the insight.

  4. Kylyssa profile image90
    Kylyssaposted 9 years ago

    This is not an answer; it's additional information about the question.

    I'm just referring to ideas rather than specific ideas in the question. They don't need to be great ideas, just ideas. It seems to me if you recognize your own ideas you'll have a pretty good general idea of where ideas come from. 

    I've seen a lot of evidence that everyone I've ever met has ideas, if not constantly, at least many times daily. They behave as individuals, they do things in their own unique ways, they decide to do things no one has suggested to them, they get into trouble doing things that aren't routine, they do creative things they don't always seem to notice, and they solve their own problems.  All of those things require ideas.  To me, ideas seem like the natural consequence of thinking and doing things.

    The thing that I'm trying to figure out is why some people don't seem to think they have ideas or who seem to think every idea has to have a clear inspiration rather than being the product of thinking and wondering. My purpose in seeking the answers is to try to help people recognize and value their own ideas once I figure out why many don't seem aware that they even have ideas.

    I don't know what it means but when I taught craft classes to developmentally disabled adults, the majority of them seemed to be bursting with ideas. It was the same with children. Mind you, some of them were absolutely terrible ideas, but the supply seemed endless. But the weird thing I noticed was that most average adults in my craft classes came to me or to other students who seemed to be willing to run with their own ideas to get ideas. I think those are pieces in this puzzle;  I just don't understand where any of them fit.

  5. SilentMagenta profile image76
    SilentMagentaposted 9 years ago

    That happens with my poems all the time. I guess its because they are curious to find out if it has a deeper meaning.

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      That's a really good reason and a perceptive answer.  I'd rather have people ask rather than lay some interpretation on my poetry that has nothing to do with what drove its creation.

  6. chaitanyasaivb profile image67
    chaitanyasaivbposted 9 years ago

    Every one will have some ideas in their own minds. But, Sometimes, they were unable to decide which idea they have to use, at that time. So, They keeps on asking other people. But, Our minds are idea generators, they will pop up some idea, if we ask it.

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It's beginning to sound like uncertainty plays a role in it. Thank you.

  7. dashingscorpio profile image80
    dashingscorpioposted 9 years ago

    More often than not I believe that question is meant to sincerely  compliment or possibly stroke one's ego.
    There are some people who find it amazing that some people can come up with ideas, inventions, artistic combinations, or solutions to problems that they themselves could never imagine doing.
    When someone asks you: "How do you do it?" It's the same as them asking you: "What's your secret?" They admire what you've done.

    1. Rod Marsden profile image68
      Rod Marsdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Most writers, most people like to have their egos stroked.

  8. Rod Marsden profile image68
    Rod Marsdenposted 9 years ago

    It is a bit of a cliche. There is part of the answer. It is something they are expected to say to an author...sometimes to break the ice for more profound questions.

    Also where do you get your ideas from is a question a lot of authors seem to like being asked. It allows them to explore various avenues of their work.

    Yes. Ideas are being generated inside everyone's brain all the time. But it is the ideas that have sticking power that count. If an idea decides to follow you around until you decide to put it on computer or down on paper it usually has merit. It is those ideas readers want to discuss with authors. My thoughts at any rate.

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you.

  9. pencil profile image34
    pencilposted 9 years ago

    I am a village local author  and i get my ideas from my child hood past and sometimes memories spent with grandma .

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I think all writers and people in general get ideas from their experiences and it's often quite obvious from their writing.  You've made me curious, so now I'm off to your profile to see what books you've written!

  10. Besarien profile image74
    Besarienposted 9 years ago

    I get my ideas from the Idea Store. They are having a big sale on bad ones at the moment.

    Seriously, I think part of it might be that people get a little overwhelmed when they meet someone famous or whose work they admire. I'll ask just about anyone I'm interested in talking to a stupid question just to start a conversation with them.

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I tend to take what people say at face value so this did not occur to me. Thank you.

  11. M. T. Dremer profile image84
    M. T. Dremerposted 9 years ago

    I'm not sure anyone has ever asked me that question. The most common question I get relates to how well my book is selling. Which is kind of irritating because it prompts a more depressing answer than "what are you writing now?"

    As for the question about ideas, I would say it's because most people aren't able to capitalize on ideas. We all have them, but recognizing them and implementing them is actually a lot of work. So it's almost like the question is 'how do you do it' more so than 'where does it come from'.

  12. profile image0
    Nadia Ribaduposted 9 years ago

    I think people ask because many believe there's a writer in them somewhere, and they'd like to find a source of ideas to perhaps launch THEIR writing careers.

    1. Rod Marsden profile image68
      Rod Marsdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, well, a lot of people talk about writing the great novel but never go beyond talk. Therefore they are fascinated by those who do.

    2. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      This is a good point. Thank you.

  13. daydreamer13 profile image60
    daydreamer13posted 9 years ago

    That's an easy one. Writers, all writers, are geniuses and everyone wants inside the mind of a genius!

    1. Rod Marsden profile image68
      Rod Marsdenposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Ha! I like that!

    2. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Geez! There's barely enough room in my head for me! Seriously, though, thank you for a different angle on the topic. I wish they could see their own genius.

  14. Joel Diffendarfer profile image88
    Joel Diffendarferposted 9 years ago

    I enjoy being asked. I've found that almost every time I get asked, where the ideas come from, it opens another door to more ideas...

    You see, I choose to believe that the motivation behind the question is usually driven by the desire to be interviewed, and so, I oblige.

    "Oh, that's easy," I will open with, "by talking to you, you know so many things that are interesting."

    With that, I begin the interview...I don't come up with ideas...people give them to me.

  15. lone77star profile image72
    lone77starposted 9 years ago

    Not everyone can connect the dots so easily. We all have the ability, but most do not have the training, the mindset or experience. Many likely don't see any ideas, because they're closed off from noticing inspiration.

    But like any muscle, it can be trained and exercised.

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for adding pieces to the puzzle. I hope to figure out how to help people see their own ideas.

  16. erorantes profile image51
    erorantesposted 9 years ago

    Some people think that writers take the ideas from other people. Others think, there are books about ideas.   A few people  are curious about how writers come  up with great ideas. Some are writers, and they want some ideas, or people just want to talk about anything

    1. Kylyssa profile image90
      Kylyssaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      These are helpful observations. Thank you!


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