quinta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2010


One of the questions people ask me more frequently when they find out I write (aside from "Oh, really?!") is where I get ideas from. My usual answer is that ideas come from everywhere, from all I see, from all I read, from whatever new things I learn.

It's a good answer, but I realised today that it's not the right one, or at least not the whole answer.

The bank of data that I've been collecting certainly has an important part in the creation of ideas and in the writing process itself. After all, nothing comes from nothing and I think all of those who like to read know that author with little diversified knowledge tend to produice hollow and repetitive books.

However, there has to be something other to trigger the process, something that binds notions and pieces of information hitherto distinct to form what may be the seed of a story.

In my case, I am now firmly convinced, that thing is boredom. Which explains why so many of the ideas I've had over the years have come to me in waiting rooms, or during long trips or dull classes...

The brain becomes bored and starts playing with what it's storing, overlapping things, cutting them and shuflling them. Many times, the result is nonsense, but there are useful things coming from these moments: the resolution to a flaw in our current project, a detail that will add another dimension to the story, a turn of phrase that charms us.

And, on occasion, that idea comes: the one that excites us and makes us want to drop whatever we're doing and write until we're forced to stop.

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