Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Looking for Inspiration


There is a reason I'm a writer. I can't not write. And if I don't have any story ideas (ok, I have ideas, but none that are so compelling that I must write them), I go freakin' crazy.

I'm going freakin' crazy right now. I'm not plotting or filling out character sketches or doing research or writing down snippets of dialogue. Nothing.

I can barely stand it. This has never happened to me before and it's downright scary.

Problem, as I see it? I am looking for inspiration instead of allowing it to find me.

I have a wedding to go to this weekend which involves a 2 1/2 hour drive. All by myself. Since I've never been to this place before, I'm hoping my brain will be sufficiently stimulated by the newness of my surroundings to get it jumpstarted into gear.

I figure, though, that good ideas are like trying to find the perfect mate - when you're not looking, that's when they run into you. :-)


  1. I always do my best thinking during long drives. :) I'm sure something will tug at that inspiration string during your drive! Have fun at the wedding!

  2. Absolutely! Maybe when you're looking with less intent, you'll get smacked across the head with it. :)

  3. I think it will hit you like the proverbial bolt of lightening. Long, solitary car trips are great for inspiration. Add some Frank and there you are.

  4. Jenn - I've come up with GREAT story ideas during long drives, so I hope that's the case this time!

    Janna - I need to be smacked, that's for sure! ;-)

    Rene - Ah yes. I'll be bringing my Sinatra CDs for sure.

  5. Hope that drive helps!! Some time by yourself with your thoughts will be good too :)

  6. How about writing a short piece for the local paper, a commentary or opinion piece? Tie it in to the wedding, the long drive. Sometimes going off on a writing tangent inspires even more ideas. Have fun at the wedding!

  7. Can you take any of your ideas that you think aren't good enough yet and work them? You know, do the "what if this and what if that" until they morph into something huge? Sometimes I do this with my mom and bounce things off of her. I ask, "would it be more interesting if the MC did this or that?" and then things can take on new life. :)

    You've already got your time period, so you can look up some of your favorite WWII stories and say, what if it happened this way...

  8. It's so hard to find that fresh, never-been-touched idea, isn't it? I think when I start reading through history books and finding tidbits of interesting facts it sparks my creativity.

  9. Enjoy the trip and let your mind go! I've been where you are and always, always, something pops out!

  10. I'm sure something soon will come to you. You're right, as soon as you quit looking, it will run into you. Keep a notebook handy and write down any random thoughts. Trust me on this one. The notebook is invaluable. (I've used the backs of envelopes and even brown paper bags just to tide me through!)

  11. I tend to find that when I'm doing mundane things, ie long drives, ironing, it's when inspirations hits me.

    Hope you have a great time at the wedding and come back with lists of ideas.

  12. I think a 2.5 hr drive on your own sounds like a great idea. My brain always starts churning with inspiration when I get some quiet alone time.

  13. You can write about my life story - it's pretty interesting!

  14. Tess - I'm looking forward to the drive!

    Joanne - I thought about writing a short story or something different, but yesterday, I just wasn't in the mood to write anything. Hate days like that.

    Robin - I've been reading lots of books on WW2 and the particular subject that I'm interested in and I'm hopeful that will spur some ideas!

    Jody - I think that's half my problem - trying to find that "never been touched" idea. But really, I don't think there are any NEW ideas out there - just our own personal way of looking at them that makes it unique. That's what I hope to find!

    Terri - I'm hoping my mind will unlock that stubborn room of ideas!

    Lexicon - I carry a notebook with me just about everywhere, too. It's a must!

    Debs - I often find that taking a shower or vacuuming will unlock my thought process, too.

    Kelly - Agreed. Those nice, quiet drives are perfect for contemplation.

    Troy - From the stories you've told me so far, I'd have to agree that your life is "interesting"!

  15. Melissa - re: your comment on my blog... I grew up with a white german shepherd. She was the greatest dog ever!!


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