“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”
I know what you’re all picturing right about now. A stereotypical writer, lying in bed – maybe some crumpled papers surrounding them because they fell asleep trying to make sense of the book they were writing. It was frustrating. The writer’s block was fierce until they finally closed their eyes, glasses slightly askew, hair mussed. Their eyes suddenly pop open. A sly grin tugs at the corner of their lips. Their husband or wife grumbles something unintelligible as the newly energized writer rolls out of bed, pulls on a robe, and sits down in front of their type writer – because, why not?
You don’t fool me, that’s exactly what you think of when someone says “writer’s inspiration” as if it’s a singular “AHA” moment where the story floods their mind. Well, I’m here to tell you that those moments aren’t enough. Your book can’t survive on rare golden nights. They would starve without the coffee filled mornings or the average, not-so-special days of writing.
So, what does the writer do? Why, they create inspiration of course! Some would call it
finding rather than creating, but I am not one of those people. In order to be inspired, you have to be open to it; you have to look for it. You must let the ordinary seem extraordinary. This is creation – taking the mundane and seeing it for what it is. Life. Life is inspiring.
There are two lines from an iconic Willy Wonka song that stick with me as a writer.
“Take a look and you’ll see into your imagination.”
“What we’ll see will defy explanation.”
You can’t explain it, but you must look for it and it will be there. The best writers have learned to channel the energy of their daily lives into their works. Family, jobs, pets, friends, big life events. All fodder for books; all things that inspire creativity. For those of you that surround an author, keeping their life interesting, don’t stop.
This one might surprise, but sporting events can inspire. I’ve written an entire book based on a hockey team and I’ll tell you a little secret. It’s my best book.
Things in life that bring you joy, grieve you, anger you, or make you laugh. Take Willy Wonka’s words to heart and you’ll see. You’ll find what you need to be inspired and to inspire others. Don’t forget, you too are a piece in someone else’s story. They may not need that “AHA” moment either. They might just need you.