Inspiration and Ideas, Part 1

“Inspiration is more like food poisoning: it sprays out uncontrollably when you need it the least.”
-“Some Thoughts and Musings About Making Things for the Web,The Oatmeal

This past week, Patty did a post at Sources of Inspiration about noticing things, and she asked her readers where they find their ideas. A coworker forwarded the post and asked where I get my ideas, so I answered her via email. Then I went to Patty’s blog and wrote a little more about where I get some of the things I come up with. Meanwhile, I ran into this post on The Oatmeal that talks about ideas and process, and while Matthew Inman’s process is different than mine, a lot of what he says is familiar. So is much of what Laini Taylor says in “MY BRAIN IS A JERK” over on her blog.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about ideas and how to deal with them.

A few weeks ago, Jules over at 7-Imp sent me a quote from this interview with Paul Schmid. Jules ends her interviews with the Pivot Questionnaire, and when she asked Paul what turns him on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally, he answered, “Quite a lot. I’m lucky that way.”

I’m lucky that way, too, it seems. (Although, for the record, when Jules gave me the Pivot Questionnaire back in the day, I responded, “Things that make me think and laugh at the same time.” That is still so true. I seek this out constantly, and if you make me think and laugh, I probably love you.) Part of this is just the way I’m made. I’m kind of hypervigilant (people who know me are like, Kind of?), and the ability to take that energy and channel it into analyzing the world around me in a productive way instead of running around anxious all the time is the cornerstone of my (alleged) sanity.

Yes, what I just said is that finding ideas helps me not be crazy. Or it helps make my crazy functional. Hard to know where that line is.

So, anyway, since inspiration has been in the air and on my mind, I thought I’d write about it a little. Here’s some. In a day or two, I’ll share some of the places I’ve been finding ideas and inspiration lately.

4 thoughts on “Inspiration and Ideas, Part 1

  1. Thanks! My job is so focused on generating and executing ideas right now. I really love that part of it–trying to come up with ways to solve problems and new ways to provide better service and that kind of thing. For me, being a library director has been a very creative thing.

  2. I often ponder how creativity works, because that’s the first thing kids ask authors – every time – about ideas, and where they come from.

    Terry Pratchett surmised that they come sleeting through the universe, and some of them hit heads off of which they bounce… and some others land on fertile brains, like Leonardo da Vinci, or, Leonard da Quirm, his Discworld counterpart, and indeed come spraying out when least expected or helpful…

    They always come spraying out when I’m revising something, trying to finish something, or doing detail work – that’s not the time to start something new, and yet…

  3. I am kind of obsessed with the creative process because it rules my life, but I also don’t really understand it. I know there are situations and circumstances in my life that make it more likely that I will work on my ideas in a productive way, but the ideas themselves come whether I want them to or not. Sometimes I worry that they’ll just stop.

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