Attention Writers/Authors/Poets! Where do you find your stories?

I have read about writers getting a story idea while dining put and jotting it down on a napkin. I have read some authors wake up from a dream and write down what they wish to remember for their next story. I know many who write notes constantly and save scraps of ideas, conversations overheard and even names to use in their next writing endeavor. Do all authors do this?

I tried the recording dream notes years ago in the middle of the night after being wakened by something. When I checked it the next day though, I thought maybe it was an early sign of mental illness as it really made little sense. Has anyone done this successfully?

I have personally carried a notebook and jotted everything down for quite some time that I thought might be useful. I imagine if I searched through all my materials, I would find all those notes again and still not be sure how to use them. Does this help for your next writing project?

Once I got an idea while bathing in the tub, and ran dripping wet from the bathroom to preserve those thoughts for eternity. I started, but nothing came of the few lines I wrote so where is the real answer to finding those gems?

There have been some really great snatches of conversation I overheard, but not sure where that will ever take me. One of my first was in Texas as I sat in a booth while dining and overheard a woman behind me. It concerned how her oil well just came in, but is there much in that other than the obvious overdone story?

It has been said that even when writers are not furiously typing or scribbling on paper they can be writing. Gives us all a great excuse to sit in a comfortable chair and daydream, but does that produce ideas that are fodder for the creative animal inside a writer?

I was once guilty of clipping bizarre or merely interesting news stories, but those ideas never seemed to materialize. Do you use newspapers to spark ideas?

To me it seems if all those things work for others, at least some should work for me. I have been told I am imaginative. I have been called creative in other areas of my life. So where do I go wrong?

Please, those fiction authors who have produced many books or short story writers that have become famous for their story telling how can I start to write fiction? I question myself every time an idea does show itself because I am sure lots of people have already done that and so much better than a newbie could do. Can you offer advice to a would – be fiction author?

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