“Reality is superior to ideas.” – Pope Francis closing his address to the crowds at UST, Manila. 18 January 2015
In 2007, renowned fantasy author Neil Gaiman posted an essay titled Where Do You Get Your Ideas? on his blog. There, he talks about how people don’t believe him whenever he tells them that all of the ideas pop right out of his head. I believe him but, at the same time, I believe that what he said is only partly true.
From where I stand, experience remains my primary source of writing material. Sure, there are ideas that just pop out at random from my head, but the use of personal experiences – though probably not too personal – is where I get the bulk of my concepts. It adds a cachet of realism to whatever it is I’m writing, possibly a way to draw in readers, telling them that I know how they feel, that I’ve been where they are.
It isn’t something that works for everyone, of course; but it works for me.