Wednesday, October 13, 2010


As I writer, I am often asked: "Where do you get your inspiration?" Though the question is more or less routine, the answer can often be thought provoking.
I suppose the inspiration for most writers comes from within. That is, an inner drive that motivates you to write about something that interests you. Or to develop a thought or image that captures your fancy into a short story or book length fiction.

But for me, inspiration as a novelist goes well beyond self creation, per se. I find that much of my inspiration comes from everyday life and the many ordinary things that shape our world and keep it moving.

For example, when I take a long walk through the park or ride the MAX train, I get inspiration from watching a couple being romantic or arguing, children at play or fighting with impatient parents, or perhaps watching the rain fall and thinking to myself: What a great opening to my next novel to see the rain coming down hard through the window and my protagonist entering the house soaking wet, only to be greeted by her husband with a rose and kiss, so that she all but forgets that her clothes are clinging to her and hair matted.

In another example, last month I attended a State Fair and found all types of inspiration from the people and animals observed, the overall atmosphere, and even the music. As a romantic novelist, it struck me as the perfect place to have my hero and heroine connect en route to romance, love, and happiness.

There are countless everyday things in which I gain inspiration in my writings, including television scripted and non scripted shows and news programs; going to restaurants, nightclubs, grocery stores, shopping malls, or college campuses.

Traveling far from home is one of my greatest sources of pleasure and inspiration as a novelist, as there are always so many things to do, places to go, people to meet, and scenery to take in.

The Internet is also a great source of inspiration though social networks, the wealth of information at your disposal, interesting articles or anecdotes one may come across, or blogs, having done my fair share of blogging and enjoyed the humor or diversity of other so as to inspire ideas for future plots or subplots.

As such, I never lose any sleep trying to get inspired to write. Not when inspiration is everywhere I look, waiting to catch my attention and give me something to think about.

What inspires your creative juices as a novelist or short story writer? Do you gain inspiration more from personal experiences? Things you see or hear about? Or simply the everyday things in life that knows no boundaries?


Charles Gramlich said...

Most of my inspiration comes from the outer world of nature. Animals and plants. Or from my own inner world of imagination. Of course, that imagination is fed off other things but those are generally well digested first.

Phyllis Bourne said...

I get a lot of inspiration from reading the newspaper and asking myself, "what if?"

G said...

I've gotten a chunk of my ispiration simply by listening to music. Certain songs resonate rather strongly and I couple those with my personal experiences and the people that I've met in my lifetime.

The remainding chunk has come from nature and the state that I live in.

Shauna Roberts said...

One of my major inspirations is announcements of anthologies. Really. Being given a theme or topic and a word count sparks lots of ideas in my head, and the deadline keeps me working on the story so I can turn it in on time.