FWIS: Inspiration… or You’ve Already Got the Ruby Slippers

7 Mar

FWIS (From Where I Stand) is a monthly piece I’m doing with Abby Mumford & Jessica Corra… all three of us are YA writers in different places in our journeys. Check out their links for this months FWIS from their point of view! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s something people look for everywhere. In music, movies, books, nature, other people…everywhere.  Whenever you own up to writing, one of the first questions people ask is, “Where do you get your inspiration?”

I’m going to say something sacrilegious: I don’t believe inspiration is the real question. I believe the question is, when, for that split second a beautiful thought flits through your mind, what do you do with it?

All around us are little stories waiting to take shape – or flight. We’re all constantly retelling situations, rehashing old arguments, replaying love stories gone wrong, pondering what would have happenes, upgrading our own lives through our imaginations.

There, there is where the inspiration is. Not in finding those things, but in grabbing them.

I’d challenge anyone who claims to never be inspired.

Do you dwell in your thoughts? Do you let yourself live in those flit moments to see where they’ll go? Marinate them?

Are you prepared for them when they come? Do you keep a notebook or other way to record those ideas on hand?

Do you go back to them? Not every idea flies the first time, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t busy growing its wings.

Do you understand that every idea may not be the beginning or ending of a story? Maybe not even a turning point or the black moment. Sometimes it’s those beautiful, peaceful things we have to blink away that open us into a new world.

Do you take the time to play with ideas that can’t… or won’t… work? Sometimes the things we end up throwing away are the things we learn the most from. No writing is a waste. Every word written is a deeper skill built.

So, stop looking at the clouds and the stars and the moon and the sea and the flowers and wherever else it is that you look for your inspiration. Just like Dorothy found out, it was in you all along. Grab your gentle-mental butterfly net and grasp them as they flit by.


8 Responses to “FWIS: Inspiration… or You’ve Already Got the Ruby Slippers”

  1. abby mumford March 7, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    holy cow. your post rocks! man, between you and jessica, i think this month is my favorite! and i also like to think of my ideas as being in little cocoons in my brain, except, wait, eww, that’s kind of gross, all those little white clumps in my brain…….

    i think i’ll give the ruby slippers a try instead! i know you’re writing to a lot of people, but this feels like it was meant for me, so thanks for the pep talk!

  2. briaq March 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I’m so glad! Um, cocoons are kind of neat. There’s that movie with the old people from the 80s… Don’t do that. It’s scary and they had to live underwater or something *flashes to childhood nightmares*

    I know we talked a little about this last time we chatted, but I really believe you’ve got stories in you. Maybe I should buy you a notebook! 🙂

  3. adriana (@adikirilova) March 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Well said, Bria!!!

  4. Sofia Harper March 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I really like the idea, what do you do with it? Me, I collect them until I have something big enough, solid enough to write a book about. This can take weeks, months or a year. Even then I don’t wait around for inspiration to hit me to get the work done. I show up every day. It’s just nice when Inspiration decides to join me.

  5. briaq March 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    THANKS Adriana! 🙂

  6. briaq March 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    @Sofia I got this lovely picture of you filling jar with bright colored ideas until it overflows into a story!

  7. Sofia Harper March 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    @Bria lol That image makes the process looks much more organized and prettier than the lint ball analogy I used at Jessica’s blog.

  8. briaq March 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    I like pretty jars 😉

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