Monday, October 24, 2011

Others have said... Inspiration takes work

Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it. 

Jack London, Getting Into Print

As writers, we get ideas all the time. That much all of us know. But there's something that I've learned after a long time of writing: All ideas are not inspiration, but all inspirations are ideas.

Ideas bombard us.

In fact, we can sit on our desk an think up a hundred in a few hours. I think of them as thousands of puzzle pieces with no idea where they go or how they fit together.

Inspiration is the picture of a completed puzzle.

Unfortunately it's highly unlikely that the picture will be lying around the writer's writing space. It's out there.  Perhaps it's out there in a conversation you have with friends. Perhaps it's in a book. Perhaps it's in a single word graffiti'ed onto a bathroom wall (it has happened to me).

It will not come to you without you going out to get it.

I'm not saying that it will come to you just because you look for it. Most of the time, it will come to you when aren't looking. But keep that club handy just in case...

Where is the strangest place you ever found inspiration? Are you new to the hunt? Have you bumped into inspiration yet? How did it happen? 


  1. Great post - I'm linking to it for my post tomorrow.

    I found inspiration while trying to prove my point my husband that there must be abandoned/disused metro stations in Paris. A little research and I found pretty cool pictures and a new location for my secret lab scene!

  2. I like eavesdropping on conversations. I find all sorts of inspiration from dialogue! :)

  3. The ideas come when the come, fairly frequently. I look at inspiration as the moment when the framework connecting several ideas falls into place. I more often get there when i have a busy body and quiet mind--like power walking--though it sometimes happen in that fuzzy space when I'm waking up.

  4. How did it happen? Inspiration usually comes after having seen a great movie, listened to some music, or seen an amazing picture.

  5. Most of my inspiration comes from a dream.

    Unfortunately for me, I believe inspiration only takes me so far. Apparently the max on inspiration is 26,000 words. Time to get cracking on the rest.

  6. I got inspired once walking behind a guy on my way to class. He was wearing flip flops, suit pants (pinstriped!!) and a bright orange t-shirt. I was buzzing for hours afterwards itching to write the mind of a character behind that outfit.

  7. Dunno the strangest place, but I do find inspiration just about anywhere.

  8. My inspiration has always been elusive, unpredictable and multi-sourced. Sometimes I wish I could define, other times I'm glad that I can't.

  9. The strangest place would be my dreams . . . they get pretty weird sometimes. :P

  10. Wonderful post Misha! I find that inspiration hits me when I'm doing mundane things around my house like laundry. Since I have a small daughter and a plethora of laundry to wash and fold, it gives me plenty of time for my mind to wander. :)

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  12. Good thoughts here.
    Yes, inspiration comes from all the places.LOL
    Sometimes even from a little babes mouth, Just watch her you get it only thing is that instantly you need to jot it down, otherwise in the fraction of a second it may fly away, It happened to me, and i tried hard to get that back, but in vain,
    so my sincere advise to my fellow writers here is, "Always carry a tiny note book with you jot it down instantly there you are lol
    Thanks for the post
    Keep inform


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