All I ever want to do is create stories and in order to do so I have to come up with an idea, and in order to come up with an idea I have to be inspired. That's the general rule, right? It's not always so! Things might happen in the wrong order, I might see a picture and get an entire story from beginning to end, or I might think of a word or a phrase and start writing without quite knowing where I'm going to end up, and I might just want to describe a feeling or a notion and suddenly I have a full novel. So inspiration is extremely varied and tricky stuff to come by. Some might never meet a muse, and some feel they are stumbling in their inspiration all the time. I think I'm somewhere in the middle.
I am on the constant lookout for a good story and I seem to find them on the strangest places. An evening sky, waves crashing to shore, flowers, beautiful music...sounds like something you've heard before? Well, I must admit that my inspiration presents itself in a different manner than all the cliches. I don't think a picture of a lovely white cat in moonlight overlooking a blue inviting and grotesquely romantic waterfall (I actually had this poster on my wall growing up...My brother bullied me about it, I later replaced the cat with Bono!) ever inspired me to write any kind of stories. But I have been known to write a story based on just one picture.
My brother reads a magazine called Classic Rock, and I pick it up when I'm at his place, as I'm into those kinds of things. There was an article about Mötley Crüe. I was stunned by this one picture of Vince Neill, intoxicated to the limit of what any human body can take. Vince Neill is the lead singer. And what surprised and inspired me further is that this was the deal every single night on tour. When he wasn't drinking, he had sex, loads of it! Knowing what I know now, having read The Dirt, I know he lost a daughter and tried to forget by drinking heavily... I believe I would have chosen a similar path had I lost my child, so I can understand... he did eventually pick up the pieces, and is currently screaming for the crüe...
This is obviously not Mötley Crüe, but Matt Bellamy from Muse... And Muse, and their music has given me both inspiration and support to writing many stories. I suspect they'll continue doing so for many years to come.
Not to mention Marillion, I think they are even bigger than Muse, in my mind... They write music for the sublime of my mind... And by this I mean, the part of me that I can't explain.
But, I kept looking at this picture (the one of an intoxicated Vince Neill, remember...), thinking about all the horrid things his body was going through at that moment, and suddenly I was writing, writing as if mad. A screenplay... Looking back at it, I must be honest and admit that the story ended up being a massive load of crap, crashing in all the cliches I try to avoid, and I wouldn't show it to anyone, even if I still had it. But my point is that inspiration can strike where and whenever, one simply have to have a channel open at all times, waiting, ready. And this is not only in reference to writing, this goes for any creative process. Believe me, I've been through a few various areas, painting, drawing, making music, singing, acting, making accessories etc.
I have, however, always been very aware of my ability to imagine and create stories, so that's where I eventually focused my...well, focus!
So where can you look to find inspiration?
If you are an artist, you first have to deduce where you belong, obviously. And if you are a writer, then you have to decide if you write social realistic dramas, or if you wish to engage your imagination to write truly inspiring stories... Was I being a bit general, and perhaps a bit sarcastic in my statement here? I guess I was. I think it's no secret that I need the stories I surround myself with to be of the fantastic kind, even contain a dragon or two. And the social realistic drama is a category I rarely visit. I know, however, that I need to rid myself of my naive look upon life in order to tell better stories. I've concluded that I'm too kind, too into the happy ending. I need to be able to kill my darlings...at least on paper;) And I must write stuff that is able to surprise, even myself. A work in progress, I assure you, and it's not only easy.
When you know that a story will benefit from entering the dark side, the "Dark Half", only you fear going there... But when I (the few times I did manage the trip to the dark side) did visit the darker corners of my mind, my stories became so much deeper and so much better.
I have, over the years, found a lot of inspiration in films and series, and not only through the male actors...Liv Tyler and Drew Barrymore are two strong and beautiful women I both admire and wish I knew.
I do love other displays of power...and here I'm talking about the ability to entice your audience simply with one look or just being there.
A few actors have that ability, and their being on this planet makes me write all that better. And I might get an idea for a story that has noting to do with the story in which they are performing, and this is a great example of how inspiration can come disguised as entertainment. I'm always looking further than what's right in front of me, at least I wish to do so... Sometimes I'm blinded by that naive spot I told you about, and I have to look deeper... But usually it happens without warning, and I suddenly find myself deep in my own imagination than paying attention to what goes on around me, and I simply love that! I'm sort of there at the moment. I have an idea, just a title really, and my mind wanders off, creating the story, and when I then sit down to write, I will be hard to get to the surface...I just have to finish my exams first!!!
A writer who claims he or she has a writer's block, I have no compassion with what so ever. I believe that writer's block is a fancy way of saying "I can't, or won't be bothered". I know for a fact that inspiration can strike when and wherever, that has been my point throughout this entry. But I also know for a fact that I sometimes have to work hard to find it. And sitting down claiming I have writer's block won't do. I'm blessed with a lot of good ideas, but to tell the story, I have to put in the hard work and the time. I'm also a singer, and if I were to say that my voice isn't working, then I couldn't call myself a singer. I can sing all the time, but sometimes I have to put some effort into it...this is also the case with writing. I know how to tell a story, but sometimes it's hidden, and I have to look deeper...and believe me, I do!!!
James McAvoy... a man I suspect will hold the lead in a few of my coming stories...and should I ever get as far as I wish with my writing, then he will hold the lead, just wait and see!!!