Writing, Among Other Things

Where do ideas come from?

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1078436_word_idea_on_the_dicesIdeas are strange beings, and usually with a life of their own.

Sometimes, an idea will take control of you completely until you are forced to act on it, and at other times an idea will flit across your mind so quickly that you won’t be able to understand what it was.

I have always wondered about the origin of ideas. I also feel that no idea is original. Every idea that we have has its origin in something we have read, heard, seen or felt at sometime or the other in our life.

Even the best of us cannot create anything, not even ideas, out of thin air. There has to be something to work with and work upon. In the case of ideas, the tool that we are working with is our brain and to generate great ideas we need to provide the tool with great raw material.

The raw material for ideas is the lives we lead.

The books we read, the stuff we watch on TV, the things we do with our friends, the things we do when no one is watching us – all these things define the direction our thoughts take, and ultimately determine the ideas that come to our minds.

In order to ensure that we have great ideas, or even the right ones, it is a prerequisite that we lead great lives, or at least a life where we expose ourselves to as many new and novel experiences that we can. It is also important that we lead a life where we do more right than wrong, and where the people we are surrounded with, real or virtual,  do the same.

I guess if we do that we should be able to generate quite a few ideas and some of them will be good too.

 What do you think?

(Image courtesy: hisks from

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  1. In an article on my blog, I have gone to the extent of arguing that like ‘Law of Conservation of Energy’ says that Energy cannot be created, it can only be converted from one form to the other, such as heat Energy into Light Energy and so on; similarly, ideas too can only be converted to another form. There is nothing like an original idea.

    Please read:

  2. If you read Julia Cameron you might believe you are a conduit of ideas from a divine source. I happen to believe that this is true, as well as living a life that feeds our creativity– all the things that you mentioned. Sometimes I think we also need to be willing to be still and quiet enough to listen and hear.

  3. @sunbyanyname I think I would have to agree with you on that one. Read your blog post, and liked it quite a bit.

    @Julie I haven’t read Julia Cameron, but now that you have mentioned her, I will check out some of her work. I do, however, find it easy to believe that a divine source could be the inspiration behind our ideas.

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