“Easily the most frequently asked question put to any writer of science fiction stories is, ‘Where do you get your ideas?’”
I imagine the person who asks the question is sure that there is some mysterious kind of inspiration that can only be produced by odd and possibly illicit means, or that the writer goes through an eldritch ritual that may even involve calling up the devil.
But the answer is only, ‘You can get an idea from anything if you are willing to think hard enough and long enough.’
That long-and-hard bit seems to disillusion people. Their admiration for you drops precipitously and you get the feeling you have exposed yourself as an imposter. After all, if long-and-hard is all it takes, ANYONE can do it.
Strange, then, that so few do.
— ISAAC ASIMOV