What inspires you?

By Carol / March 21, 2012 /

Where do you find your writing inspiration? When a reader asked that recently, I had to think, and the more I thought, the more multi-faceted the answer became. Here are a few sources I rely on.

Stories to Tell – If an idea keeps hanging around, whether it’s in my face or hiding in the weeds, of it keeps making itself known, that’s inspiration. The idea for the novel I’m writing now (historical fiction roughly based on my grandparents, circa 1914) has been with me for a good 50 years. I couldn’t ignore the story anymore.

Butt Glue – “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”– Peter De Vries, American editor and novelist.   What I’ve learned is that if I sit down to write–and stay there, regardless–I WILL write. Someone referred to this source of inspiration as ‘butt glue.’ I buy it by the barrel.

Deadlines – Every two weeks, I meet with my writing buddy. We’ve each committed to having copy for the other to critique for every meeting. My years as a public relations counselor serve me well. If there’s a deadline, I meet it.

Mighty ForcesBarbara Robinette Moss, author of Change Me Into Zeus’s Daughter, signed my copy of her book, “Be brave, and mighty forces will come to your aid.” I didn’t know at the time what those mighty forces might be, but there have been many. My mother, for one, kept telling me I could write our family stories. She believed in me and kept telling me that until my memoir was finally published. Along side my mother were writing teachers, writing buddies, readers, family, friends. All, mighty forces.

Nature – The beauty of the outdoors always inspires. Bursts of spring flowers. Gale-force winds. Snow drifts blanketing the landscape. Steams trickling and floods raging. That’s why you see me blogging so often about my prairie, which is both teacher and inspiration.

On any given day, one of these–or several–may come into play at just the right moment. And isn’t that the way of inspiration?

There are more sources that inspire me. In fact, I’m already thinking of several. I could go on. But these are a good start.

And now I ask, What inspires you?

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