When people ask, “Where do you get your ideas?” the answer is as simple as “Everywhere!” — and too complex to explain without boring you out of your head.
To get ideas, you need to open yourself to the world, give yourself permission to follow your obsessions wherever they might lead you, no matter how strange or how trivial they seem at the time.
I went through a fascination with Britney Spears. I tend not to buy or read tabloids…except if Britney is on the cover. I am not proud of this. I was uneasily aware of contributing to something dark in Britney’s downward spiral. But I also knew that the stuff I was feeding my mind would surface in my fiction.
From my current standpoint of the two interrelated novels about LA that I’m writing, I can see how my fascination with Britney evolved into themes of narcissism in the culture as well as the individual and how it expresses itself. When someone asks me what one novel is about, I like to say, “It’s about narcissism and the New Hollywood” and that sounds respectable enough.
But it started with Britney.
So much of the creative process is about faith, and sometimes it feels like blind faith: that this path will lead somewhere interesting, that it will make the journey – including all those ends of nowhere – worthwhile. Not knowing where you’re headed or how you’ll get there is enough to make a strong woman procrastinate like hell.
And yet the discovery process – of connections and insights you didn’t know you were able to make, seeing how it all comes together – is one of the most remarkable aspects of writing.
Where do you get your ideas?