Tuesday, September 27

Q: What inspires you?

It is strange to say that I'm feeling inspired to talk about inspiration?

I do have a sensible explanation as to why this thought is crossing my mind.  Really, I swear.

A routine class exercise is what provoked this whole ordeal.  I was sitting (very obediently) in my advertising class, listening to some examples of effective radio ads.  They were unique, entertaining and had some out-of-the-box ideas that just seemed to work.  I was thoroughly impressed.  But what I couldn't understand was how the heck these people came up with these concepts!

The question of creativity is lingering on my mind, and I just can't seem to shake it.  As both a writer and an artist, I find rare instances where I'm unexpectedly boinked by creative genius on the head.  However, 99.9% of the remaining time leaves me looking for sources of inspiration.

So my question is: where exactly do you draw your inspiration from?

Last week, I remember Lynn Coady mentioning that her fiction "comes from life", which is most definitely a vivid source to draw from.  She mentioned that her characters are often loosely based on people that she knows.  Hmm.

I often relay traits of my conjured up characters back to people that I know and have met in the past.  Sometimes this method works, but other times I feel like there is a missing dimension to the depth of my characters.

I do, however, appreciate lending life experiences to inspiration.  Each of us have gone through such private and intimate events at various capacities.  Whether it's an eating disorder or simply the order of how we eat, we each orchestrate our daily lives in a completely different way.

What I find difficult is how people get their thoughts and experiences to sound interesting.  Not just interesting, actually, but gripping - to write from life and create a piece that has people hanging onto every last word of it.  Now that is a talent that surely all of us would like to emulate.

There are times when I feel like some ideas are just so farfetched - but they end up becoming literary or artistic gold.  Take 'The Scream' by Edvard Munch, for example.

I feel like I'm beginning to scratch the surface of where creativity can be drawn, but I have a long way to go.  Whether it's a person, past experiences or even someone's writing that inspires you, I think that it's a good place to start - but where do you go from here?

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