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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thank-You Thursday: Inspiration Is EVERYWHERE

Why this photo? Because it sparks the imagination.
If you're just tuning in (as most people are), you'll not realize that I've been overflowing with gratitude about the writing life all month. (Check out the other Thank-You Thursday posts here.) This week, I'm grateful that as writers our inspiration is all around us.

If I were a stockbroker trying to make creative investment decisions, I wouldn't know where to turn for inspiration. (And, yeah, you wouldn't want me touching your money anyway.) Cooking? I can stare at a cupboard full of food and see nothing to eat.

But writing is different. The great ideas are just waiting for us! An overheard conversation (oh yes--I do eavesdrop), a moment of déjà vu, the shape of a cloud on a stormy day--all of these things are fodder for a story. And that's just the fountain of ideas. For excellence, we can turn to those masters who make it look so easy, but who work so hard. 

Here are some of my favorite inspirations:
  • C.S. Lewis
  • E.B. White
  • Russell T. Davies
  • Madeleine L'Engle
  • Joss Whedon
  • Stephen King
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Harper Lee
  • Steven Moffatt
  • Roald Dahl
... and that's the short list. As writers, we're free to pick apart the masters' material and see how it works, why it works, and what we can do to make our own stuff better. We can also glean inspiration from symphonies, pop songs, architecture, vast landscapes, city streets ... the list never ends. 

Don't ever tell me you don't have any ideas. What you have is an overabundance of ideas. You just have to narrow it down to a single, really good one.

So thank you, creativity goddess, for all the great stuff to draw from. And also, thanks for making me so bad at math that no one will ever hire me as a stockbroker.

And how about you? Where do you draw inspiration from?

image: The Prague astronomical clock (in Old Town Square) was installed in 1410 by clock-makers Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, and is the oldest functioning astronomical clock in the world.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Photo by Godot13 and is free to share and reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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