The first time I heard someone ask, “Where do you get your ideas?” I was baffled. The concept behind the question confused me. What do you mean where do I get them? Ideas are everywhere! I get them at the grocery when I see someone trying to climb the shelves, I get them in traffic when I catch a glimpse of a sign, I get them at work or out or in class because someone says something funny – life is full of ideas.
Apparently, not everyone looks at the world that way. To many people, the very thought of having so many ideas is impressive and strange (and that itself is strange to me).
I’ve come to believe that idea generation is a way of thinking: looking for possibilities in what is (or what isn’t). I don’t know if some people have a natural tendency to think that way. I do know that it can be learned or at least made stronger by consciously seeking out those possibilities. However you get it, I think it is an essential skill for being a writer (or an artist of any kind). How could you make something without seeing the possibility of what it could be?