Where Do You Find Creative Inspiration?

"Inspiration," by Daniela from Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

“Inspiration,” by Daniela from Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Yesterday I asked readers if they had any questions for me. Beginning today I will be answering them but it’s not too late to add to the queue  – just use the contact form or leave a comment with your questions.

1. Wild Dreams. I always leave a notebook by the side of my bed to use for jotting down ideas when I’m startled out of sleep by a weird dream. Great ideas also pop up when I’m in the process of falling asleep or waking up.

2. Social Irritants. Everyone has a list of people, places and experiences that makes them twitchy. Longterm readers know I get quite annoyed with proselytizers (religious, political, or otherwise!) and people who apply too much perfume or cologne right before getting on the elevator. The upside to tasting someone’s scent of choice, spending time with someone who rubs me the wrong way or being bombarded with the One True Way ™ is that these things are great fodder for blog posts and short stories.

3. Other Writers. Twitter, Google+ and a diverse RSS feed pump new ideas into my head every day. I make a point of following some blogs and individuals who do not agree with my worldview because I’ve learned more from people on the other side of many “fences” than I would from an army of folks who already agree with me. All I ask is that their essays, poems or posts are well-written, thoughtful and don’t bash anyone.

4. Unforgettable Characters. Have you ever read a book or watched a movie whose main character was so amazing you found yourself growing a little obsessed with him or her? Occasionally I’ll meet a character – my own or someone else’s – so interesting that I find myself walking down the street wondering how they would react to dangerous or unexpected situations. Vestal Jenkins in the book The Kind of Girl I Am and Kaylee from the TV show Firefly are two fantastic examples of this.

5. Anxious Ideas. Occasionally when I’ve had too much caffeine or have been under a ton of stress my thoughts run away from me. Rather than taking them seriously, though, I push them into silly extremes.

Mind: That was a loud noise! What if the ceiling collapses while we’re sleeping?

Me: Well, then someone else will have to clean up the mess. That’s the beauty of renting an apartment. 😉

Mind: But wouldn’t it crush us?

Me: Maybe, but we have government-sponsored healthcare so any treatments would be free.

Mind: Oh, but what if it collapses and kills us?

Me: Then we will come back as a ghost who realizes she’s dead and has no interest in following the light. Once a new apartment building is built we will only frighten tenants who are noisy at night or wear too much cologne in the elevator. Now go to sleep!


Where do you find inspiration?

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0 Responses to Where Do You Find Creative Inspiration?

  1. tammy

    Great conversation with yourself. cognitive therapy. 😉

  2. VampireNomad

    Thank you for sharing, Lydia! 🙂 I love knowing what things spark other writers into creating.

  3. I find inspiration in the situations I find myself in and those of my friends and family. And other times, crazy ideas pop in my head and I think to myself, I should write a story about that. So I write the crazy idea down and revisit it later to see if it really was a good story idea.

    • We’re quite similar, Kristen. 🙂 To what extent do you change the details of what actually happened? Have you ever had a friend or family member realize that they’re the subject of your story?

      • I try to combine traits of people or situations into different characters so it’s not putting a real life person onto the page. But I’m sure whenever some of my friends and family read the novel I am working on they will know certain characters are modeled after certain people.

  4. Cool snapshot. Thanx.
    Inspiration — damn, I see it everywhere (’tis my curse and blessing)

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