Friday, August 12, 2011

In Need of Inspiration

Hi all! Welcome to yet another Guest Post  Friday! Carolyn was kind enough to add a bio today, so I'll just skip on the intro. Instead, I just want to point out that there is now exactly one GPF slot open for this year, so you better jump fast if you want it. Please contact me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com if you're interested. Have a great weekend everyone!

In Need of Inspiration

As writers we possess the drive, and determination to see a project through to completion, but what keeps us going?  Is not part of it inspiration?

Inspiration is an external influence that activates our imagination, stimulates our emotions, intellect and curiosity.  It works like fuel to our ambition.  As a fire needs to be fed, so too does our creativity.  Without inspiration that spark would extinguish.  After all, didn’t inspiration give us the story to start with?  It fired us with zeal to pursue it, to foster it, to refine it.  Inspiration made our stories ones that must be told.

And the best thing about inspiration is that it strikes when we least expect it.  Sometimes the timing may find us in the middle of a movie, or jolted from our sleep in the wee hours.  But when those moments of inspiration strike as epiphanies, it’s like a high.  They move us to action immediately.  We scramble for something on which to record the thought so it doesn’t disappear.  At that time nothing else much matters.  I love those moments.

So what inspires you?

Maybe the answer is hard to pinpoint, or it’s difficult to choose just one.  You could ask a thousand writers and they could all provide a different answer.  And depending on the day, that same writer could say something else.  Inspiration is ever changing – as it should be.

Inspiration doesn’t always give you the full story.  Sometimes a new character tugs on your curiosity and pulls you in before you even know where the story’s going, but this is a fantastic place to start.  After all, without characters our books wouldn’t exist.

But what if you’re not feeling inspired?

Remember this:  Inspiration can’t be forced, but it can be fostered.

No matter how much we may try manipulating inspiration like a type of mystical power, the more it will fight against us.  Inspiration can be stubborn as if it were its own entity.

Maybe consider your last spark of inspiration.  Where did it originate from?  Did it strike out of the seeming middle of nowhere?  Did it hit you while out for a walk?  Did it happen while you were sitting still or moving?

While realizing the fact we can’t force inspiration, we can most certainly avail ourselves to it. 

Where can we find inspiration?

The internet
There is so much information on the internet, the possibilities of inspiration ignition are endless.

This helps clear the mind which can transfer it from the logical to the creative side of things.

People watching
Human observation cannot be underestimated.  Conversations, interactions, reactions can trigger a new character that needs his/her story told.

Books, movies, television, music
I’m not talking plagiarism.  But maybe you would have taken things a different way.  This spark of inspiration can lead you down an original path.

The news
You don’t just have to be a mystery, thriller or suspense writer to utilize this resource.

The Discovery Channel
It opens your mind, and lets you see places or things you may never otherwise.

Try something new
I recently went to my first airshow and found myself wondering what the lives of those pilots would be like. 

My closing words:  Remember inspiration can strike at any time, so be ready for it!

Brief Bio
Carolyn Arnold is the author of several novels in the mystery, thriller and suspense genres.  TIES THAT BIND, the first in a police procedural mystery series surrounding Detective Madison Knight is now available for purchase.

Carolyn was born in 1976 in the rural town of Picton, Ontario, and her passion for writing dates back to her teen years.  Although, her first completed novel wasn’t until 2008, her drive to complete one has since turned into several.  She lives with her husband of fifteen years and her two beagles in Southwestern Ontario.

Connect with Carolyn online:





Cover Blurb

Detective Madison Knight concluded the case of a strangled woman an isolated incident. But when another woman’s body is found in a park killed by the same line of neckties, she realizes they’re dealing with something more serious.

Despite mounting pressure from the Sergeant and Chief to close the case even if it means putting an innocent man behind bars, and a partner who is more interested in saving his marriage than stopping a potential serial killer, Madison may have to go it alone if there's not going to be another victim.

Amazon                Barnes & Noble               Smashwords


  1. I'm inspired by so many things! I love it when something completely unexpected inspires me.

    Great post! May you find an abundance of inspiration this weekend! :)

  2. Pasaba a saludarte y desear
    tengas un feliz fin de semana.
    un abrazo.

  3. This post inspires me. hehe. I love the cover art.

  4. Great list-- thanks. I think other stories inspire me the most. I want to write like them.

  5. Now I need a post that could perform the miracle of helping me decide which inspirational idea to focus on. :)

  6. Thank you for all your comments :)  Glad I helped inspire.

    Laura, it's the best when inspiration strikes when we least expect it. I love that too.

    And Michael thank you for the compliment on the cover art.  My husband does my design work.
    Deborah, that's a very good source of inspiration. I agree.

  7. Hi Michelle, sorry I had missed your comment. We posted around the same time :)

    My suggestion is go with the one calling to you the most strongly, and record the other ideas for future books. That's what I do anyway.

  8. Great suggestions! Sometimes I get inspiration from my husband talking to me about his work. It's crazy some of the stories he's related to me!

  9. Ricardo, Me alegro de que hayan disfrutado el post. Tener un gran fin de semana, amigo mío español.

    For my English-speaking friends, the above is:

    Glad you enjoyed the post. Have a great weekend yourself, my spanish friend.

  10. Caitlin, real life can definitely be stranger than fiction. lol


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