inspiration - that question

That Question

Gracious! It’s been far too long since I posted last. Before I dive into this post, let me just update everyone on the current book in progress. Mystery of the Golden Shells is now in the professional editor’s hands!

Now onto the regularly scheduled post 🙂

“Where do you get your inspiration?”

This is probably one of the top five questions I get asked anytime someone finds out I’m a writer. And in talking with other authors, I know I’m not the only one who gets asked it a lot.

The authors who write all the time seem to find this question strange. The ones who struggle to even sit down and don’t know where to start seem to crave an answer.

I think the difference is in that distinction. Let me explain.

Recently, my dad was getting rid of one of his old cameras and offered it to me before he gave it away. (Bear with me, I promise this will all connect.) I decided to accept the camera. I mean, it’s time with my dad and it’s learning a new skill. Sign me up.

And when I say it’s learning a new skill, this camera isn’t simply a point-and-shoot thing. It’s changing the film speed, F stop, and lighting just to start. Yes, there are manual options and they’re great, but some pictures just have to be personally configured to get right.

This is a picture I got recently at an air show!

So far, I’ve only been out with my dad a couple of times to practice but after each time, I find myself spotting things later that would be great pictures. Before I’d merely see a bush but now I spot the bee’s wings sticking out of the pink azalea flower. Or I’d see the streak of a jet but now I wonder if I can catch a picture of the thunderbird on the underside.

But without the time out practicing, I’d never have seen these things.

I think the same goes for writing. This seems counterintuitive. I don’t have an idea what to write about, so I don’t sit down to write.

But I’ve found that if I sit down anyway and simply try, something lands on the page. Often times it surprises me. And the more I show up and put words to the page, the more often I find inspiration while wandering through everyday life. I think it trains the brain to look for it.

This is why those authors who write all the time never seem to run out of ideas. They sit down anyway, and then the ideas find them waiting and ready, even when they’re not looking for it.



15 thoughts on “That Question”

  1. That makes perfect sense Jennifer. I have experienced that in song writing as well as in photography. Writing??? I guess I should try it.,

  2. Just let those creative juices flow. Of course you have to stop long enough to recognize there is something there that is just begging to be placed on paper or film or??? Go for it!!

  3. Yay! I can’t wait for Mystery of the Golden Shells! My kids are going to have so much fun with it.

    Very strangely, ever since I decided to start writing nearly every day a few months ago, I don’t feel inspired to write, yet thousands of words get written almost every day. It’s kind of like my fingers do all the thinking, haha. The big ideas usually come from dreams, but all the others apparently come from my hands, and they like to tell me when it’s time to sit down and write.

  4. This is so true in so much of life! Just showing up and spending the time makes so much difference!!

  5. Maybe it’s my fantasy writer brain, but inspiration is magic. While there are those who can hunt for it and others who see it everywhere, in both instances it’s something that wasn’t there and then suddenly is there. I’ve always been a bit of a Greek mythology nerd, so I can tell you that I definitely believe in the Muses when it comes to my imagination.

    1. There is something magical to it for sure! Personally, being Christian, I believe the creative process is a small spark of the much larger creation around us. Either way, though, I think many miss the inspiration simply due to business that crowds it out.

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