Inspiration By Free Association

11 Sep

Isaac Asimov Quote

Isaac Asimov Quote (Photo credit: Psychology Pictures)

Isaac Asimov is widely regarded as one of the fathers of science fiction, and as one of the better writers in recent history. He was also one of the most prolific authors ever. He wrote hundreds upon hundreds of short stories, dozens of novels… I could go on. A lot, basically. One of his most recognized accomplishments was without a doubt the Foundation series. If you haven’t read that, then A, what have you been doing all your life, and B, go read it now. Seriously. Right now.
Besides being a generally brilliant author and fount of creativity, Asimov also had a useful tool which he used often. Inspiration by free association. He once said that he would open a book in two or three places, choose a few words at random, and build a plot based on those words.
There’s method to Asimov’s madness. Being stuck usually means that you have absolutely no idea where to start, but the actual starting point is not necessarily important in itself. So free association can often get you kick-started in a direction you would never have thought of.
Next time you want to write something but haven’t the faintest clue where to begin, try Asimov’s trick. Open a book and choose some words. Inspiration by free association. It even rhymes – what more can you ask for?

7 Responses to “Inspiration By Free Association”

  1. HelloWorldMagazine December 9, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    This is an interesting post, and I will wait your new post :),please visit

  2. Caitlin May 4, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    (And by entertaining… I mean making me go write. :P)

  3. Caitlin May 4, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    This shit is magic! Keep entertaining me! 😛

  4. Scott Oglesby April 25, 2014 at 4:32 am #

    I adore you for this post! I’ve often done similar things, now I’ll try this.

    And if you’re stuck on something… Today I was in need of an idea for my new book and went to float around in the Gulf of Mexico. Water ALWAYS frees my brain to find the solution.

  5. Rowan November 3, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Hello! This is an interesting post. XD Nesherehrman, would you mind checking out the drafts section in our posts? Thanks.

  6. lnahay September 11, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Very cool! I haven’t read him in decades. Reblogged 🙂

  7. lnahay September 11, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Reblogged this on Of Words and Writing and commented:
    The quote hooked me, but the insight into Isaac Asimov- whom I haven’t read since grade school- was…..insightful! What an interesting way to start a story……

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