The link to Alan and Marilyn Bergman on Songwriting is a good read, and you may have missed it in that long winded windmill post.
What are your main sources of inspiration?
AB: You have to be a reader in order to be a writer, and we read a lot.
MB: When I'm really stuck and feeling stupid, and feel that there are no more words anymore, and everything has been said, and everything has been said better -- I'll read.
AB: There's wonderful story about writing. Richard Brooks is a wonderful director/writer who wrote and directed Elmer Gantry, The Professionals, In Cold Blood. We worked with him on a picture called The Happy Ending -- we wrote "What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life" for that picture. He was a product of the Depression, and when he was 15 or 16 years old, he went on the rails from city to city, and he'd get off and try to write a story for the local newspaper for five dollars, and then go on. And one night he was in a typical hobo camp, sitting around with a can of soup, and a man said, "Hey kid, what do you do?" He said, "I'm a writer." The man said, "Have you ever read Dostoyevsky? Tolstoy? Nietzsche? Let me tell you something: for every word you write, read a thousand." So we read a lot: it stimulates writing... (part 2)
Just adding a twist of Dostoyevesky to the 2nd sergio martini scenario now...