Tuesday, April 2, 2013

You're The Inspiration

I was having a chat with my niece during Easter dinner about music, particularly songs and artists from the 80s.  This is a favorite subject of mine: having been a teenager during that era, I hold a special fondness for the tunes which used to vibrate the speakers in my car, shake the windows in my home (but only when Mom and Dad weren't home!), and are responsible for at least 60% of my current hearing loss.  Even today, when I hear certain songs and artists, I'm reminded of a simpler time--of people, places, and events that helped shape me into who I am today.  It's for this reason that my Forever Love Series is set in the late 1980s.  And, thanks to a 45 rpm version of "I Can't Hold Back" by Survivor, my beloved Mitch Tarrington became a musician.

Why do authors write about the things that they do?  Where do the ideas come from?  While the initial inspiration for my books was born from an actual dream, I tend to take a lot from the things around me.  Sometimes a song will spark my muse; other times, a TV show or something I observe while I'm out and about in the world.  I find that ideas and inspirations for writing are everywhere, if one will only take the time to find them.  The way to your readers' hearts may very well be found in words from the waitress at your favorite restaurant, a painting at the local museum, or the child playing hopscotch on the school playground.  Maybe doing some people watching at the local mall will inspire a new character, or provide you with some traits you can use to spice up a current one.  Will your hero sweep the girl off her feet and carry her to that mansion you pass on your way to work each day?  Or will she rescue him from a life like the homeless man you read about in the newspaper?  One never knows.

Ideas and inspirations are everywhere, and you need to be ready when one hits you.  Carry a small notebook in your pocket, handbag, or briefcase to jot down things that spark your interest.  Invest in a handheld recorder if that works better for you.  Then take what you've gathered, mix it with your own imagination, and build a world that your readers can get lost in, if only for a few hours a day.  What inspires you? Share with me in the comments.  Happy writing!

*Photo courtesy of Google Images


  1. My writing inspiration will vary. Dreams have inspired some of my tales, while a single character has been "born" from the lyrics or even the melody of a song. I hate that I can get inspired by the everyday activities around me mostly because I find it difficult to copy the idea before I get my hands on a piece of paper to write notes out. First chance I get I'll need to get a mini-recorder and use that when out and about.

  2. SirMac, I completely understand! I used to get an idea and by the time I got home, I'd completely forgotten it. Now I carry a little notepad in my purse, and it definitely helps! Thanks for the comment!