Where We Get Our Ideas

By Eilis Flynn

In honor of April Fools’ Day, let’s look at that question each and every one of us has heard and some of us dread, and some of us like to make jokes about: “Where do you get your ideas?”

Where indeed. From novelist Neil Gaiman is an essay on this very topic, calling the question one of the pitfalls of the profession. Tired of the less than amusing answers, Gaiman now tells the truth, which may be more far-fetched than any answer you may come up with (this IS Neil Gaiman, after all):


Of course, when we’re stumped, we search around for new ways of coming up with new ideas. New ideas for new ideas, if you will. At this website, we are told that when we focus on a task like writing, we forget to do some things, like breathe. Without sufficient oxygen to the brain, we come up with all sorts of ideas, whether they’re rational or not:


Then there’s marketing, a profession known for taking an idea (most likely not original) and giving it a twist. Here, it’s all about ideas and how to execute them. And making them pay, of course. Music. Radio. Desperation. They all work for somebody:


And then there’s the old-fashioned way of getting a new idea, by staring off into space:


Copyright 2007 Eilis Flynn