Friday, June 11, 2010

Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration...

6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple... - Mr. Willy Wonka

A friend of mine was recently inspired by a vase her husband gave her for her birthday. I mean, within a day she had a whole synopsis worked out.  From the way her vase looked!  I asked her what I had to do to get the "writing fairy" to visit me.  Knock one of my teeth out and put it under my pillow?   Put my laptop under my pillow?!

I've got two WIPs but besides 6 chapters of one and 2 chapters of the other, I'm not making much progress.  I don't know if it's because I don't have time, or if I'm lacking inspiration.  Maybe it's both.  But I sort of feel like if I had inspiration, I'd make time.  Right?

What sort of things have you been influenced by?  Is it usually inanimate objects?  An overheard conversation?  Something that just popped into your head for seemingly no reason?


  1. Usually the last one...the popping into the head. Though my husband and I often post ridiculous "what if" questions to each other that sometimes spark an idea. The next project I'm planning came from one of those.

    I often find that I can't juggle too many creative outlets at once. Maybe your photography is temporarily blanketing your writing?

  2. Couple of thoughts...

    Music usually inspires me. Some people can write to music, others can't. I can, but even if not writing, just listening to a great album can "put me in the mood."

    Just put pen to paper and start writing. Even if it's not for a current WIP, getting the juices flowing will definitely help. You might even be able to inspire yourself by doing so.

    Besides music and "just writing," people watching often inspires me. Going to a local place with a lot of foot traffic, finding a spot to sit and just observing has given me lots of inspiration.

    I hope you get your groove back, whatever it takes!! :)

  3. Reading often does it for me, but usually it's random stuff. My latest WIP was inspired by a combination of a notebook and a writing exercise I did with a friend for fun two years ago (we had to write pieces that opened with the line 'He was a dark and stormy knight.')

    How was the notebook involved? I thought it was beautiful and bought it as a new-job treat for myself, and then I thought 'I know exactly the kind of story that needs to be written in this!'

  4. Sometimes inspiration comes from a dream, but I can't say I've actually followed through on any of the dream-inspirations yet. For Wavecrossed, I brainstormed, asking myself 'what is a story I want to read?' and 'what elements of a story make it un-putdownable for me?' and then as the plot came together inspiration came with it.

    For my WIP ... actually I have no idea how I got that idea. But if all else fails, have a brainstorming session and start writing down ideas no matter how dumb they seem. Once you've got a dozen or so you can inspect them to see if they'll hold up. Rinse and repeat as necessary :)

  5. Lots of times it's reading an article or hearing something on the radio or being out in nature.

    Many times something will pop into my head late at night, but I'm too groggy to write it down!

  6. Lots of things inspire me, usually music but sometimes just hearing a phrase will spark an idea. Oh and dreams. :)

  7. Some times it is very hard to fit everything in, the balancing act is very far from centred. I find it hard to write if I'm feeling guilty about something I should be doing. I think you have to write what ever inspires you. Just write: what ever you can; when ever you can. :)

  8. Summer- I'm sure I do try to do too many things at once, but I hate to feel like I'm losing momentum on any one thing. I guess I just have to learn to go with the flow.

    JM- I love writing to music, mostly movie scores. I just bought a new one a couple days ago - maybe I should give it a whirl.

    Ellen - He was a dark and stormy knight. LOVE IT!!!! I just went to Target today and lusted after all of their pretty notebooks. There is something about them, isn't there???

    Lynn - those are good questions for a writer to ask. Thanks! :) And I certainly write down my share of dumb ideas...

    Kristin - I get ideas at night too! And then have trouble remembering its entire awesomeness the next day...

    Lindsay/Isabella - Music is certainly powerful. Too often though it inspires me to write music... and not a novel. LOL.

  9. Elaine - TOTALLY get the guilt thing. I seem to get that no matter what I'm doing though... there's always something else fighting for my attention.

  10. I'm afraid I've snagged the writing fairy, and I'm holding her captive. I'll be sure to send her your way when I'm done with her. :)

  11. Kim - how much do you want for her? ;)