Buckell Interviews David Barr Kirtley
Don't know if Toby posts these things anywhere but in his newsletter, but Kirtley has some great responses (takes Zelazny's Books of Amber with him on a desert island, time-travels to kill Orson Scott Card to steal Ender's Game), but especially this:
Buckell: What's the most challenging aspect of writing?
Kirtley: For me, by far, it's coming up with good ideas. I know that most writers will tell you that ideas are easy, they're everywhere, all around you. I think this is just a natural reaction to the constant stream of bozos assaulting them with, "Hey man, I've got this great idea for a story. I'll sell it to you for $50,000." After a while, you're just conditioned to snap, "Look, ideas aren't that important." But if good ideas are so easy, then why does it seem that most stories I read are well-executed but ultimately forgettable because they're built around a nothing idea?