Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Ideas Mill

This is what Malcolm Gladwell, staff writer at the The New Yorker, thinks about ideas for writing:

The trick to finding ideas is to convince yourself that everyone and everything has a story to tell. I say trick but what I really mean is challenge, because it's a very hard thing to do. Our instinct as humans, after all, is to assume that most things are not interesting...We filter and rank and judge. We have to. There's just so much out there. But if you want to be a writer, you have to fight that instinct every day.

Perhaps another challenge is to remind yourself that, contrary to rule #1 and the dominant prejudice of the profession, the writer himself is not necessarily all that interesting.

The book: Malcolm Gladwell, 'Preface.' What The Dog Saw. Allen Lane, 2009. xiii.