Ideas are tricky.
Sometimes they flow like water, other times it’s a clogged drain. And what an amazing feeling it is for them to flow. Causing you to sit up in the middle of the night to take note, or unleash your spouse’s hand during a walk to record what has crossed your mind, or stare into space in the middle of the club with the champagne bottle still cold in your hand. Then make you squeeze the bridge of your nose the next day when the thought that pulled you out of the VIP section, delivered you elsewhere and returned you filled with exhilaration for what has come upon you has just vanished.
Gone. Leaving you with nothing but the strongest strand of hope that it will choose to come back to you.
But even when ideas flow, there can be one or two or seven that you deem as trash. And even when they come before you far and few, those few can be considered instant classics.
It only takes one.
Let’s talk inspiration. How do ideas for writing make themselves known to me and what I do to stay inspired.
Inspiration: Defined & Where I Find It
1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
2. a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea.
Not to be confused by motivation. I know you all know this already, just wanted an excuse to mention how I’m also going to make a post on what motivates me to write. 🙂
I find myself inspired by things that seem the most miniscule, and also by the most pivotal moments I bear witness to. Just to be upfront about what this post is ultimately going to say: Inspiration can be found in anything. Literally, anything.
I’ve found myself staring at curtains as they blow gently from the breeze entering through the window. The curtains made me think of Ikea, which has made me think of assembling furniture, which led to thoughts of moving into a new place. Then a faceless character comes to frame in the pits of my mind. They just moved to a new city and don’t know anyone. They’re ready for a new beginning and to leave a troubled past behind them. And once they start getting used to the new life they’re creating for themselves, they are kidnapped. And the past they thought could be left behind is all they can depend on in saving them from the present they’ve stumbled into.
It’s a terrible example, created right on the spot just for you. But you catch my drift.
I don’t often come across inspiration sitting on my butt doing nothing, waiting for it to come to me. It’s super rare but it happens. And oftentimes when it does, it doesn’t come equipped with my favorite ideas.
My best work is born from new and/or my wildest experiences. Changing the environment. Injecting myself and being engulfed somewhere my senses haven’t been in contact with before. Being brought out of my comfort zone and forced to become more cognizant of my surroundings. Taking in the sights and smells and sounds and becoming one with it all. It almost sounds more powerful and spiritual than it really is. It can be monumental, but it can also not really be all that deep.
New experiences really get my wheels turning through the heightening of my senses and being more in touch with how I’m feeling due to facing something I’ve never faced before.
And when I notice my heart beating faster or slower, or notice the way my blinks feel in humid air, or feel the shock from a much-anticipated touch, I feel compelled to take note of it and try to do so 90% of the time. Because I see what I’m experiencing as a good story premise or even as a passionate moment to help move a greater tale forward. But also because unfolding the experience in my writing later affords me the opportunity to relive it again. And if I’m taking note to include it in a piece I intend to share, it affords me the opportunity to make readers live through it too.
To make readers feel the peace that was there or feel the uncertainty. Or make them hold their breath as they read through the suffocating fear, or perhaps recognize the pain. Inspiration blooms when I feel anything on either end of the spectrum, negative or positive. I used to only find it in negativity. And I had to train myself to go out and see beyond what my eyes visibly see so ideas could derive from something other than pain. It takes a lot of awareness, internally and externally, but it’s possible and once it’s unlocked it truly becomes second nature.
To wrap this up, it appears inspiration for my writing ultimately derives from one or both of the following:
1. Evoked emotions
2. The desire to relive an experience
And one of the things that motivates me to write is the desire to connect with readers by sharing emotions and experiences.
I hope this makes sense. But if it doesn’t, feel free to exit this page then revisit and read the post again (give my blog more views, pls and thank you). And/or shoot me a message and let’s discuss further! I would love to hear where you discover inspiration to do what you love to do.
What inspires your best work or heightens your creativity?