Friday, August 7, 2009

Forcing Inspiration

As writers Thomas and I are often asked about how we are inspired. When asked I honestly try to keep my chuckle to a minimum. There is so much focus in the artistic community on such a simple thing. Allowing yourself to get bogged down because "the inspiration" isn't coming is silly. Running off to search for it in the hills of your favorite retreat although fun can also lead to just the makings of a good vacation. In other words don't be disappointed when the usual things don't work. Rather you are feeling the mojo or not you still need to hone your craft. Writers write, painters paint, and photographers take pictures. So while you are waiting for the next project to announce itself to your brain make sure you are practicing your skill.

Now as hypocritical as it may sound I am also a person that thrives on inspiration. Around my work station I have tons of pictures, sayings, and collectors items that help my area feel like a place I belong. It is my space, my zone and anyone who would trapse down our stairs to the basement would immediately see it. While working on a project it is not uncommon that I listen to the exact same music throughout the whole thing. I even did this while editing Thomas' novel this year. I'm guilty of dragging my laptop to the lake while everyone fishes just so I can feel it. When it comes down to it we all have those niches. The things that we do that often times work to pump out that next idea.

We also have those unique moments when it shows up and we are in the midst of doing something else. Last week at lunch my mother in law chuckled at me when I grabbed a napkin, jotted a few notes down and than shoved it in my pocket. A playwright friend of mine who often teaches at conferences always suggests to young writers that they put washable crayons in the shower. Case in point, today while spending time at the hockey rink with my son I was able to clear my head and vividly see a journey on which one of my characters would soon embark.

What answer do I give after my chuckle to that poor newbie writer. Inspiration can come from something as simple as a traffic light turning from yellow to green. The question shouldn't be where to find it, but rather when you do what do you do with it?

No comments:

Post a Comment