The great thing about being a writer is that we can be inspired by anything and everything. When the words aren’t flowing (as frustrating and horrid as that can be), we can be sure that there will be a new source of inspiration waiting for us on the horizon. It might be days away, a week, maybe even a month, but we can be sure that it’s there, and that it will come.
Over the years of what I call my “serious” writing – writing with the passion and the hope of publication – my words have been inspired by so many things: other writers, classic poetry, a moment between two strangers in a shopping mall, the lyrics of a simple song, cinema, my own life.
Lately I’ve found films are inspiring me more and more. They’re planting a seed in my mind, an idea that quickly blossoms into something I know I’ll explore one day. Cinema is another passion of mine, so it’s lovely to know that the few hours I invest in a film isn’t necessarily wasted time. More often than not I’ll come away from a movie session, my mind brimming with new and wonderful ideas. And the funny thing is, most of the time the ideas I get really have nothing to do with the film I’ve just watched – they’ll have some little thing in common, like an essence, an attitude, a setting.
For example, my most recent plot idea (and one I will be exploring right after I finish the draft for “Times of Bright”) came to me while watching the final scene in “Bright Star.” If you haven’t seen the film, the scene has Abbie Cornish’s character, Fanny, walking through a wintry wood reciting the poem Keats wrote for her. My mind took the winter of the woods and before her beautiful and poignant voice had reached the end of the poem I had a whole new world erected in my mind, and characters that I was already half in love with.
I think the key to this inspiration thing is finding passion – not the kind of passion you can touch, but the kind you feel deep inside yourself, the kind you get from writing, and with the same level of intensity. And when you find your passion – whether it be from a movie or a song on the radio or the words of a best friend written on pastel paper from the fourth grade, the inspiration will come, and it won’t stop.
What kinds of things inspire you in your writing?