How Inspiring!

As I stand on the precipice of the great cliff of my handful of upcoming writing challenges, I’ve been thinking an awful lot about inspiration lately. Mostly on how I haven’t got much of it (at the moment) and how I know that often changes, but what exactly changes that? What happens to cause inspiration to flare up in our brains like a great beacon of light, leading us through the tumultuous waters of our imaginations and into the safe harbour of a developed work? What is it about this morning that has me feeling particularly lyrical, for example?

Well, that last one has an easy answer; I’m being influenced by the poetical language of the book I’m currently reading. And it’s usually the things around me that inspire my work, outside of my Aryneth series, which have been outlined and planned and plotted since I was in sixth grade. Relationships and events of my own world seem to colour any of my traditional, non-genre works; video games, music, and other books tend to sway my more genre-savvy pieces. But as October approaches, I realize I might be needed a little more. There’s an inherent problem in me taking on a challenge to write 70 stories by the end of the year: I don’t have 70 ideas to make into stories right now. I know that I’m going to work on finishing Serpent in a Cage for RoW80, but what about Sue’s Novel in 6 Months challenge? What in the world is that book going to be about? And I know there’s a month to think about it, but I’m still clueless about what to write for NaNoWriMo…

From Natalie Dee, always inspired and inspiring.

So…What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from? When you know you’ve got to think of something, what do you do? Do you have any particular rituals or places or activities that help you get your creative juices flowing?

I’m curious to see how other writers get their imaginations started and running when it seems to be stalled on a few other projects. Granted, maybe that’s my brain telling me that I should just focus on the projects I have going on right now, but my brain should know by now that I have no attention span for that sort of nonsense. I love being surrounded by all sorts of different ideas.

Though, really I imagine that, like everything else in life, Inspiration will decide to strike when I least expect it, and that’s probably the better way to go.



  1. Ideas just pop into my head. And it’s scary because when a writing challenge is coming up, I wonder how in the world I can think of something. Then an idea always comes around. So far. But I’m always scared it won’t happen the next time.

  2. I think the difference between a writer and a “normal person” is that writers tend to recognise ideas, and then ask enough “what if” questions to do something with them.

    I needed to come up with an idea for a flash fiction story prompt a couple of days ago. The prompt was “The best money I ever spent”, and I had absolutely no ideas. The thing that was making it really difficult was that I’d woken up with the worst headache I’d had in years, and that headache quickly progressed to migraine territory. While I would have liked to lock myself in a dark room, I have 2 children under 5 to look after, so that wasn’t going to happen.

    Instead, I sat down and wrote the first line of my flash fiction:
    I wake up with a bad headache and I know the leprechauns are back.

    I came up with the rest of the story as I wrote it, and had a great time coming up with a way for my protag to get rid of *her* headache, the way I would have liked to get rid of mine. Check it out if you’re interested.

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