Before becoming a writer, if faced with a life or death situation where only creativity would save me, I’d be a goner. I marveled at the author creativity in books I read. And then one day, I had an idea. And the idea grew into a scene, and the scene into a chapter, and the chapter into a book. Ideas flowed like a waterfall around me, and for the first time in my life, I tapped into Creativity.
After nearly three years of non-stop writing, I think I’ve got it dialed in. I will list the seven places where I find my writing inspiration.
I head out on the road (or the treadmill in my garage), crank up the ole’ itunes, and, if my kids don’t interrupt me, I let the music surround me and immerse myself into a scene. Often the music is my muse, not necessarily the jogging (although pushing yourself while listening to music is a magical concoction). Most action scenes were born from exercise.
6. My Kids
Kids have a way of opening my brain to strange and fantastical ideas. My are kids are so goofy, but so inventive and creative. They role model what real creativity looks like.
If you can remember them after you wake up, these can be propane for your writing fire. I can think of at least four places in my novels where the idea came straight from a dream.
4. My Bathroom
Particularly, my shower. Apparently the monotony of shampooing has its merits.
3. Other Books
There’s a seed of plot design that can easily be manipulated to fit your work.
2. Pain and Grief
This was a big one for me. At the time I first began writing Emerald of Viridian, I was undergoing some serious grief (something I plan to blog about one day. But dang. That’s going to be tough.) Every time I felt anger, bitterness, or crushing depression, I would literally sit down, flip open my laptop, and write the offender right into the pages of my story. I actually have a real-life character in my books who embodies all the things that hurt me in real life. And writing about it really helped me heal. (I swear, singers actually like getting into relationships and then breaking up just because it adds fuel to their creativity.)
1. Real-life Experiences
The world around you is a cluster of millions of little untold stories. Have you ever been doing some mundane task and let your mind wander about something completely unrelated to what you’re doing? Like what if you had so much laundry, that it filled your bedroom and you were drowning in it? Or what if you could wave a magic wand and make your laundry go away? What if you figured out you could snap, and all your laundry would magically fold itself? What if snapping made your clothes disappear? What if you snapped, and you could make anything disappear? Then you had to go to the pit of hell to retrieve it. Would you do it for your laundry? Probably not. But what if you snapped at your kid, and then they landed in a pit of hell, and crap, now you’re stuck going to the pit of hell to get your kid that you really love, and you didn’t mean to snap at him. And there’s a moral in that. Don’t snap at your kids… Or maybe don’t fold so much laundry.
Anyway, there’s other take-aways from real-life too. At the time of writing this blog, Oregon is inundated with wildfires. All the smoke from the fires have drifted into our valley and settled, and let me tell you, I’ve never seen anything like it. Yesterday I saw someone post that we have the “worst air-quality in the world.” The weather channel labeled our air quality as “hazardous.” I’m not even allowing my kids to open the doors because smoke billows in. My husband came home from work (He works at Intel.) and smelled like campfire… from being IN the building. If there’s not a story there, then call me Buster. (Don’t actually call me Buster, okay?)
If you’ve got creativity, tap into it. The world wants a piece. I know I do. 😊