What Inspires You?

Have you ever wondered while reading your favorite books how the authors were inspired to write them?

Even those who aren’t authors as a full-time profession has a book within their souls; it just takes telling the right story at the right time. Yet where can such inspiration to tell those stories be found?

It doesn’t take being a writer to know that books don’t happen overnight. It’s one thing to be able to read at least one book a week; actually writing one is another story (no pun intended) altogether.

Inspiration can come at any time and anywhere. Perhaps plot ideas appear in dreams as we sleep at night, based on an experience during a family vacation, or even writing a book inspired by one’s own expertise in a specific field.

Developing a character or characters can be inspired by real-life people (only the names are changed), and memoirs written inspired by the desire to share one’s own experiences with the goal of reaching out to help others who read their story.

Humorous or unexpected moments have also sparked good writing ideas. A remember a fellow writer telling me once he’d gotten an idea for a short story while using the commode (TMI, I know, but it’s a true account). Another wrote a poem for a contest after viewing an amusing television commercial. Even something simple as sitting on a park bench viewing other people and things can inspire a story. The possibilities are endless.

Inspiration, however, doesn’t happen “on demand.” It’s usually random, when we least expect it. It makes our writings of choice more exciting, particularly short stories and novels. Non-fiction can be more tricky to write, as considerable research is usually required, but that doesn’t mean a degree of inspiration doesn’t play a role in developing such work.

How do you go from the initial stage of being inspired to actually putting down words? I’ve found that some writers have done the following when an idea popped into their minds:

* Kept a notebook or note pad on their desks, bedside tables, or other places within reach.

* Recorded their ideas on tape to review later.

* Texted notes to self on smart phones while traveling.

* Made a separate page of notes on their word processing programs for future reference.

These are just a few general ideas that can evolve from random moments of inspiration. The next time you read a new book, while enjoying the character development, plot line, and even the book’s writing in general, another factor to consider is how that book came to exist in the first place.

What will inspire you to write your next successful project?