I love to watch people and have enjoyed doing this for as long as I can remember. Some of my ideas come from things I see people do or simply just from a person I see. Sometimes as I am people watching, I catch bits and pieces of conversations, not because I am deliberately eavesdropping, but just because of the close proximity, and some of my ideas come from overheard pieces of conversation.
Sometimes I get ideas from songs I hear, books I read (no, I don’t plagiarize), but I can get an idea from something I have read. Sometimes I get an idea from a movie I see or a character I like or from what I hear or read about someone famous.
Sometimes I get ideas from conversations I have with people. Many ideas come from people around me, the area I live in, and my life experiences. Ideas are all around me.
Inspiration is a bit more difficult, and no, I don’t think that ideas and inspiration are the same thing. Ideas are quick, simple and can be found anywhere, whereas, inspiration is something that stimulates my thinking or makes me feel something or sparks my creativity. Inspiration is stronger and harder to find than an idea, and though an idea can start me writing, inspiration compels me to write. Inspiration comes from something or someone who sparks a passion in me.
A good story can be written from either an idea or inspiration, but I believe that it is easier to write a good story from inspiration. I also believe the story will flow, keep me writing and be finished faster than a story that starts from an idea because something I am passionate about holds my attention longer than a mere idea.
Writing from either an idea or inspiration is still hard work. It requires time, commitment and dedication. It requires re-reading and re-writing to get to my best possible finished story.