There are lots of sources for my inspiration, but I never know when it’s about to happen. It may be anytime, anywhere. I do know, however, the feeling I get when I am inspired. It’s like nothing else. I’m truly alive in that flash of a second and everything snaps into my mind, like a switch turning on.
It’s a true, ‘light-bulb’ moment. When everything else around me fades and all I have in my head is that piece of inspiration. My body becomes numb, I my head in clear of random thoughts. The inspiration captivates my complete attention. I’m not in this world, but in the world of my mind. I see it in vivid colour, I hear, I taste, I feel and I understand. It’s a feeling of total understanding .
I know with all certainty in my heart that this is a true and right, and my head resounds with, ‘Yes – that’s it.’
There are different weights of inspiration. Sometimes I’m inspired with a gentle touch with just a stroke of an idea, an ‘oh-okay’ moment that leaves me with several directions I need to research to awaken to further possibilities.
Sometimes I ‘see’ a scene play out in my mind. Characters speak, things happen. A single chapter. A flash into a life. An obscure moment. Then that’s it. It’s not enough for a whole book and again, if I’m interested enough in the idea, I’ll need to flesh out a plot.
Sometimes though, it is a bright enough spark that will fill the pages of a whole book. Where I know the entire plot, the characters, their faults, their strengths, their failings and what makes them tick. I see scenes in my head, unfolding and developing, moving like a movie through my mind. My characters become flesh and blood and tell me what they would and wouldn’t say or do, they overcome adversity with a driving force that is out of my hands. The spark usually follows with an explosion of activity, where I have to write because the story won’t leave me alone. It doesn’t matter if I’m half way through writing another book, I have to write this one first.
I like those moments. They don’t happen very often but I have come to know and respect them as something very special.
Whether or not I go seeking inspiration is another question. Sometimes the ideas just come to me and I’m unprepared. While I’m reading a newspaper, watching television, listening to the radio or scouring google. I was once inspired with an article I came across in ‘Stumbeupon’. Sometimes it’s floundering around on ‘You Tube’. Talking to people, listening to chat shows. The feeling a song might provoke.
My last flash of inspiration was from watching television. Astute programs such as ‘Housos’, and ‘Bogan Hunters’, followed up with the horrific severity of the lives of the people in the documentary ‘Struggle Street’. The whole book came to me in an instant after I’d finished watching the three documentaries and now I’m half way through writing it.
The book previous to that was from ‘Stumbleupon’. There was an article showcasing some of the world’s unsolved mysteries that absorbed me. I simply thought ‘what if’ and the idea for the book sprung to mind in one of those clear inspiration moments.
I have dreamed several of my books. I wake up with a splitting headache and a whole book that I can’t get off my mind until I at least get a synopsis down. It drives me insane sometimes. I have just finished polishing a final draft on the previous book that came to me that way, and ready to be sent to my publisher. I already have another book in the wings waiting to be penned. These stories tend to be darker and a bit more paranormal in nature. Maybe it’s because the story comes to me in a dream state, but when I wake up, I’m drawn in hook, line and sinker. These are the books that stay in the back of my mind until they are finished. Only then do they release me.
I find ideas now come to me more freely than ever before because I’m open minded to them now.
When I first started writing, it was harder to catch moments of inspiration. I’d struggle with them, trying to place moments, making them try to fit into a larger picture that just wouldn’t suit. I remember finishing my first book, which was a struggle, and then feeling totally flat and without a next idea.
I had to force myself to become inspired. I had to look for ideas, go out of my way to find snippets, carry around a notebook and write everything down, tear out pages of magazines, save snippets into my computer. The more I looked, the more I found. Then little snippets of information I couldn’t do anything with became longer stretches, chapters, and then longer, more fleshed out.
Becoming inspired is like anything else, I guess. The more you look for it, the more you find it. The trick is not to become disillusioned if it doesn’t come. It starts off slow. You have to think about it first, and it’s not easy, but you have to stick with it until it becomes a natural part of you. It becomes as easily as breathing. Instinct.
My trouble isn’t with becoming inspired. It’s what to do with all of it. I don’t have enough time to get it all written down in a book. I know someday I will be able to dedicate more time to writing, but with children, work, house and husband, I have to scratch for time. I’m living the busiest part of my life. I’ll just have to win Tattslotto! I know, a long shot. Especially since I don’t but tickets.
I guess I’ll just have to keep saving, recording and noting my snippets of inspiration and hopefully one day, I’ll have the time to turn every single idea into a book. One day. Sigh.