Thursday, April 3, 2008


volunteer tulip
I saw it last night.

The spark.

The moment when inspiration flashed and ignited a dozen thoughts. At that moment, related ideas avalanched and connected. My friend could hardly speak. Excitement, enthusiasm, and sheer delight tangled her tongue. There were so many ideas she could not express them coherently. She got it. Her challenge was passing that moment of inspiration on to the others in the planning meeting.

I love that moment, don't you?

When a challenge has you walled in and you see or hear something that triggers an idea. And you KNOW you've found your answer to busting through the wall, going over, under, or around it. Demolishing it completely.

Waking up and knowing something entirely new about a character you are writing about. Something important which will drive the story in the direction it needs to go.

Finding a small item that becomes the 'inspiration' piece for an entire room's decor. Or an unusual shrub which will be the anchor for a new flower bed. (Harry's Walking Stick, I'll be back for you.)

Finding a color, a poem, or a great piece of art that feeds your creativity.

When seeking inspiration, I have a few reliable things I enjoy doing.

Movies inspire me. A story well told makes me crave to be able to bring the same pleasure and fun to someone through my writing. An occasional TV show will motivate me to write, but it has to be special. (Writing Stargate SG1 fanfiction is my favorite way to practice fiction techniques.) A bad movie, poorly told, sometimes motivates me to want to 'fix' it. I love books. Some motivate me, some discourage me.

Nature inspires me. Maybe it is the solitude of being alone with plants and the birds, but I find myself full of thoughts and ideas after a time in the garden. One of my earliest blog posts was on mowing meditations. Colors and scents fill my heart, as well. A filled heart overflows into creative endeavors.

Shopping inspires me. Yes, I consider shopping a right-brain, creative activity. Seeing new things always gives me ideas for all kinds of projects. Color, design, texture, whimsy, all feed my creative soul.

People inspire me. Certain people. Not everyone qualifies for the title inspiring person. Most of them are creative souls. Active in their own pursuits. Interested in new thoughts. Creatively adventurous. Encouraging. There is a depth and simple energy to them that makes me want to keep up.

Who or what inspires you? Where do you find ideas, clues, and purpose for your creative projects?

4 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

Jenileigh said...

Beautiful flower.

Cathe said...

Inspiration does not "flash" for me. It's a slow and plodding process. Once I have an idea, I like to work on it, but the idea doesn't come easily.

DebMc said...

Jenileigh, thanks. That's a volunteer tulip from a batch I planted three years ago. Very unusual for them to return around here.

Cathe...I call that beating an idea into submission. It reminds of the way a blacksmith works a piece of iron. It's a good idea, but it takes effort and time to make it work.

Lisa said...

Yes, similar things inspire me too. It's surprising that shopping makes the list, but I have felt it as well-that thrill of visual stimulation upon walking into a store. Even a place like Walmart can inspire me. I found the loveliest shade of aqua towels and bath mat. I snatched them up. They are adding a needed touch of spring to the main bathroom and have inspired me to paint something for the walls using that same wonderful, "oceanesque" blue shade. That color picked me up out of the doldrums of winter and set me down on a tropical beach. I was instantly refreshed.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. It's up to us to go seeking the beauty in the mundane things of life. A creative soul, open to the simple beauty of the world is a magnet for inspiration!