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Dr. Rev. Ed Hird recently asked me these questions. The following is my reply:

I could say that ideas just pop into my head, and I suppose some do. That sort of experience is probably not coming from thin air though. Linking thinking is what I would pare it down to. Something I hear or see (written or an image) will trigger a link to what I already know and I say to myself, “I could write something about that.” The link or idea may not occur immediately and that probably explains the ‘popped into…’ experience. Another aspect of creative ideas is that they don’t necessarily come from an obvious link. Creative ideas come from unrelated notions. True creativity comes from breaking the path of links and making a leap to something entirely new.

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