What Inspires You?

Inspiration is one of my favorite topics to think about (which is itself a rather lengthy list). Where does it come from? How does it strike? Where do these warped ideas for worlds that don’t exist even come from- to say nothing of the misfits that populate them?

For me, there are two (what I would term) traditional sources. Visual artwork always inspires me in one way or another. Since my art is exclusively written, the ability to have a strong visual of what I am describing is always important to me.  I love i09’s writing prompt’s. While I have never looked at one of those (or any other) images and thought “OMG PERFECT STORY”, they kind of go into a file of elements that work. Or one part of an image will strike me, some perspective or idea I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

Years ago, I went to an exhibit at the Tacoma Museum of Glass and one of the pieces was a very violent, very cratered… something. It was glass over an image of craters, done all artsy (or whatever). That’s not really what stood out. What stood out was the artists description. That image, the one of the craters, was something he had spotted in a newspaper that was being thrown away and loved the pattern of the circles. He cut it out and tacked it up in his studio, but never read the caption. Years went by and the paper yellowed and curled, so he decided to throw it away. As he did, he read the caption.

The circles he found so beautiful were bomb craters, of a village in the middle east that had been bombed out of existence. The image was from a satellite. Certainly not the revelation about an inspirational image he was expecting- but emphasizes inspiration can come from anywhere.

I listen to a lot of music, pretty much anything (except ‘country’, which is not, in fact, music). In the same way visual art will put an image in my mind, music will inject an emotion. I love listening to a song (or album, or concert) and thinking “I want to put that into words”.

And then there are the non-traditional things. By which I mean I am driving down the freeway and think “what would happen if a giant robot dropped out of the sky and just started wrecking everything especially that jerk in the Honda?”. The most random things will inspire a story- a conversation, a misheard phrase, something I see, or even just a feeling I get in a certain place. It’s totally random, impossible to predict or stage. All I can do is hope my notebook is nearby.

What about you? What inspires you?


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