Where do creative ideas come from?

Pool of inspiration

My dear friend Natania Barron and I have often talked about how creative folk draw from the same pool of inspiration. Some us call it the muse. Few of us can figure out how we travel to that magical source–frequently in dreams or arriving clear out of nowhere while we’re doing the dishes–but we’re grateful whenever it happens. We’re always reaching for it, muttering to it, and hoping it grants us yet another fantastic idea to add to our notebooks.

I’ve wondered lately whether we collectively add to this pool, and if it’s not really a source that has ideas waiting, but instead a place where our ideas gather, especially those ideas we obsess over, whether we use the ideas or not. For instance, I can spend months considering a concept, on and off, and then ultimately dismiss it, deciding instead on another direction. Then–bam!–that very concept appears in an article about some film or other project in development. I don’t mind; in fact, I’m pleased that, although I didn’t continue with the idea, it will come about all the same.

Could it be that I was merely helping this idea form?

Is it possible that we’re far more networked than we ever guessed–not alone in our craft at all?

So much for my professional hermit persona!

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Filed under Art, Beliefs, Friendship, Ideas, The Unknown, Writing

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