In Search Of Inspiration

Inspiration.  It’s a funny thing when you think about it.  When you’re a writer, Little Miss Inspiration likes to play games with you.  She can strike at the most inopportune times.  Like when you’re in the shower.  There you are lathering yourself up, suddenly an idea comes to mind.  But what can you do?  You can hardly grab a pen and paper with soaking wet hands.  Who wants to get out of the shower and shiver while you jot your idea down, anyway?  All you can do is finish the shower as fast as you can, all the while desperately keeping the idea in your mind until you can get it down on paper.

Another time inspiration comes to me, is when I’m out walking.  There must be something about those moments.  Maybe in the shower, it’s that rush of water hitting your head that sparks your creativity.   Maybe it’s the fresh air when you’re out walking.  But when you’re actually sitting down, with a pen and paper, or when you’re at your computer, ready for that spark of inspiration to strike….nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Your mind becomes as blank as that piece of paper.  Or that monitor screen. 

So what happens?  More importantly, what can you do about it?  In the shower, not much.  But I like to bring a small pad and a pen when I go for a walk.  At least then, I can write the idea down as soon as it comes to me.  It might be an idea for a new story, or a scene in the story you’re currently working on.  Or it might be a bit of dialogue that pops unbidden into your head.  Those can be the most frustrating as they seem the easiest to forget.  In the shower you could keep a small recorder handy.  Then you just reach out from the shower, dry your hands and reach for the recorder.  There’s nothing more frustrating than having a good idea but forgetting it before you get to make notes.  I’ve had that happen several times.  It’s enough to make you want to scream.

But what can you do when you’re sitting ready to write and nothing comes to mind.  Well, if what I’ve written above is any indication, take a shower!  Or go for a walk.  Do something to distract your mind from trying so hard.  It’s usually enough to get those creative juices flowing.

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4 thoughts on “In Search Of Inspiration

  1. Sometimes I find inspiration in the horrors of life. I think people forget that bad things can inspire them to write. When I’m depressed, I write depressing scenes. Angry, angry scenes

    I wish I wasn’t talking about my memoirs 🙂

    • Wayne, I know inspiration can come from our darkest emotions too. I know I kept my blog kind of light and fluffy, but that’s just who I am. My wife has been through tough times and she used poetry to get through and make sense of those times. Inspiration can come from the most surprising places sometimes.

  2. I find a lot of inspiration just from living – if I want to learn how to cook something new, take better care of my kids, try a new art project, become a politician – it’s all fodder for writing in one way or another. A couple of years ago, I grew my first raised bed garden . . . there was a lot of garden themed writing in the novel I’m working on, as well as how-to non-fiction articles springing up alongside my tomatoes and green beans. 😀

    Like you, I keep paper and pen (or crayons and napkins) with me to keep ideas flowing no matter where I am. I was writing on the back of my grocery list in line today because a conversation next to me was so interesting – who knows, a variation of it may end up in my book! tee hee

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