What Inspires You to Write?

Every week we’ll ask the Confabulators a question that may further illuminate the blog question or give you some further insight into our working minds. This week’s question is akin to the one that our bloggers pondered: Where Do You Get Your Ideas? People who are learning to be creative, or who want to know what makes creative people tick, ask these two questions most often. Believe it or not, Inspiration doesn’t necessarily come from Ideas. They’re separate things. Ask anyone. Or read on.

Nancy Cayton Myers:

When an author or a poet is able to capture an emotion and translate it so perfectly that I have to shut the book, close my eyes, and sigh.  This reminds me of the power of writing and how much I want to be a part of something like that.

Jack Campbell, Jr.:

Everything inspires me.  I carry several journals.  I never know what is going to trigger the next idea.  I always try to be ready to catch inspiration before it flies away.

R.L. Naquin:

Long car rides alone. I turn off the radio and let the hum of tires on pavement quiet my left brain into unconsciousness. Once it’s out cold, my right brain starts chattering like a chipmunk on Pixy Stix. And that’s where the magic begins. Or, you know, when the Bad Idea Bears come out to play. Either way, the solitude and quiet make the stories bubble to the surface causing me to wave my arms around and talk to myself. The weird looks I get from other drivers are fodder for more stories later.

Paul Swearingen:

Everything around me inspires me. In fact, I have to engage a sensory filter to avoid being overwhelmed by inspiration when I’m choosing what elements to include in my writing. In short, I’ll never run out of inspiration.

Muriel Green:

Time to think. I seem to find the time to be creative no matter how busy I am but on days when I have absolutely no obligations and I can just take as long as I want doing my thing, those are the days when I get really exciting ideas for creative projects.

Jason Arnett:

A story (TV, film or reading something) or music or the laughter of friends or family is what inspires me to write. The Energy from those things is shot into the Large Hadron Collider in my head to smash into something else that’s already whirling around in there and that’s what becomes inspiration: two ideas colliding headlong and releasing the Energy to write.

Sara Lundberg:

What inspires me to write a story? A good glass of red wine. My indomitable writing friends. A long walk outdoors. The steam from a relaxing shower. A long, mindless drive. An intense movie score. Bits of an overheard conversation. Snippets of half-remembered dreams. The vanity of wanting people to read what I’ve written. And that thrill of excitement that makes my fingers itch when I get new idea I can’t wait to write down.

Kevin Wohler:

Writing can be a challenging career choice. And at times, it can be overwhelming to hear about how hard it is to get published. When the “Whatifs” start whispering in my ear — “What if you’re no good? What if your idea isn’t original?” — I get inspired by seeing the metric crap-ton of books and movies that are positively awful. If Megashark vs. Giant Octopus can get made into a movie, readers are going to love my novel!

Ted Boone:

I am inspired by story moments that seem perfectly plausible and logical when first experienced, even though upon reflection they’re impossible and absurd. Moments in stories that make me smile, or pump my fist in the air, or utter the word, “Whoa!” in my best Keanu Reeves impression. And on occasion, albeit rarely, I’m delighted to discover that the story I’m “whoa”-ing over is one of my own. Then I’m inspired all over again.

Aspen Junge:

Good stories inspire me.

Stories in which the language unexpectedly smacks me upside the frontal lobe with its beauty. Rudyard Kipling or Neal Stephenson.

Stories in which the hero completes wonderful deeds by floundering into their own way until whacked soundly into line by the Clue-by-four of Fate. Terry Pratchett or Lois McMaster Bujold.

Stories set to music, sung in my car at the end of a Day until all is right with the world. Leslie Fish or Charlie Daniels or Gilbert and Sullivan or Ceann or The Elders or Great Big Sea or Jethro Tull.

Stories on the little screen where the backstory is as vivid as the front, and the bit characters as wise as the leads. Firefly or Farscape or Babylon 5.

I want to enter these stories, roll around in them like a dog encountering something rancid and smelly, embrace them and be embraced and make them mine as well.

Larry Jenkins:

Truth really does it for me.

I love those moments in fiction that so accurately reflect the human experience they ring that little bell that’s buried deep inside my soul.  When I recognize myself in a character’s flaws or a writer shows me he or she really understands the dynamics of human relationships (both the beautiful and the ugly parts), and the story is presented in a way that is both honest and fearless, it makes me feel like I’ve found a fellow traveler.  Someone I hope to hang out with one day, and be worthy of their company.

And then I know it’s time to get back to writing.

Christie Holland:

The simplest answer is:  Everything.  I can be inspired by anything and everything if I think about it enough.  Let me explain.

Think of any ordinary object that you own.  Now keep thinking about it.  Are you still thinking about it?  Don’t think about what it is or what you use it for.  Think about what it does for you.  Why do you have it?  How did it get there?  How does it make you feel?  How could it be used to do something amazing?  What would make it extraordinary?

I have written entire stories just by digging deeper.  I love to grab a hold of ideas and themes and run with them until I’m completely spent.  I’ve found that the best stories come out of ideas, objects, themes, and people that everyone knows, but you never really think about.

Cafe Management is run by the administration of The Confabulator Cafe. We keep things running smoothly, post stories by guest authors, and manage other boring back-end tasks.

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