This is a common question creative people get asked. I’m taking a writer’s perspective here, but I believe this question applies to all creative efforts. People simply like to hear how other people come up with ideas, and the answers are as varied as the creators themselves and the whatever it is they’ve created. Inspiration can come from sources ranging from a fleeting observation to a lifetime of hard-earned experience.
Since my own creative juices focus on science fiction, keeping abreast of new discoveries is a high priority. Science related magazines and articles provide me with a reliable source of inspiration.
I find it fascinating to read about research underway that might change how we perceive and interact with the world around us. Sadly, I can only absorb a limited amount so keeping up with everything coming out of the scientific community is an impossible challenge. The rate of incoming new information seems to be accelerating at ever increasing rate, so I have to pick and choose carefully from a cornucopia of scientific pursuits and focus on the ones that interest me most.
There was a time when people hoped the physical world could be explained with a set number of rules wrapped in a nice neat little package, but time and experience has proven otherwise. One question just leads to another and another and …. well, you get my point. The unending openness of scientific inquiry can be disconcerting. Safety seems to lie in what is known, while danger in what is not.
I agree, a nice neat package would be comforting, (which explains the appeal of a religion that provides set answers based on unquestioning faith), but the price of accepting a wrapped package without examining the contents, means closing one’s mind and ending the pursuit of knowledge.
Personally, it’s the uncertainty that keeps me awake and alive, ready to get up each morning to see what we might learn next, and what gets me thinking about how those discoveries might change the human experience in the future. And that’s when I start to write.