I've decided to do a post about inspiration, or really to re-post a post I wrote for my Critique Group's blog, about inspiration. I just found it the other day when I was rereading all our old posts and thought it would fit nicely.
What inspires me…I don’t really know my compulsion to write is just that--a compulsion. I don’t know how not to. I find that this sentence rings true for a lot of writers out there, they just can't not write.
I have to stress that point, the thing of it is that I am not able to completely pin down what triggers my--I dunno what you call it “idea button” or something—creativity I think will fit the bill for now. In fact just the other day, (I don’t remember what I was doing) someone said something that I immediately scribbled down onto my hand, then into my notebook, and then texted myself. About seven simple words that have since spurred my latest story idea, no I will not share them with you for fear you may have the same brilliant idea and beat me to the punch. Kidding, I’m not going to share because it’s personal and I haven’t decided in what direction I want to take my story. Maybe then I’ll share.
I have an amazing family, who’ve not only supported me in all my choices but who also are just inspiring human beings. I’ve been lucky enough to have two aunts whom have both had serious forms of advanced stage four cancer and defied the odds, only one is still with us now but the way they’ve dealt with it was just mind boggling, I admire them for it every single day.
Of course then there is the media. (No not moronic newscasters, I avoid them—they are a pet peeve of mine). Music, sometimes you’ll be in a writing funk and a song you’ve never heard before pops onto the radio and BAM! An idea is there. Or you’re watching TV and an interaction between two characters has your heart racing and all of the sudden you can’t breath and BAM! You’ve figured out this scene that has been bothering you. And my favorite, by far, you are reading a book and you are so taken with the eloquence of the writing you feel the need to go back and rewrite entire scenes in your novel (not to mimic the other authors eloquence or style, no). To try to condense as best you can and prefect your voice, the flow of your story, to give someone reading your story the sense of elation.
That is the kind of inspiration I long for, the kind that drops out into your lap and just takes your breath away. It happens--it does, not always often (though sometimes it’s just like BAM! BAM! BAM! And you can’t stop the inspiration flow.) But it happens and those are the moments that matter the ones you have to hold close to your heart and nurture.
But inspiration isn’t just that “ah-ha” moment when the seed of an idea is planted, it has to do with the support and nourishment for that idea too. And that support can be found in all sorts of places. From your family, your friends, and I am lucky enough to have the strongest support system in the world. To find your true inspiration and help it grow, you have to surround yourself with people who care, who are honest and will tell it to you as it is—like a bangin’ critique group, a best friend, a mouthy baby sister or two. Those are the people who matter and they are there for the inspiration, whither they are doing the inspiring or nurturing, they are the ones to hold close and cherish.