Face relaxed. Head clear. Heart beating.
When this happens, I know I’ve reached a dead end. Inspiration is a beautiful thing that likes to hide within me and only appear when the lights are out and I’ve finally laid down for sleep. It’s that voice at 3 a.m. that whispers, “Hey, remember that time…Yeah, you should totally twist that into a magical world with teenagers, love, and amazingly awesome action.”
That voice is around a little way too often.
Then again, where would I be without it? Certainly not preparing to self-publish a book! So, I guess the biggest question is how I do it. The answer is: I don’t.
Inspiration is weird. It’s not something you brainstorm or search for. It’s something that just kind of happens, kind-of like an epiphany. It also turns off and on, which sounds weird, but that’s okay because inspiration is weird. Weird, weird, weird. It’s the only word that fits the definition of inspiration perfectly.
For example, I could be staring at a card board box. I’ll look at it on a Tuesday and think, “I should really empty that thing and put it on the curb for trash day.” Then, on Wednesday, I might look at it and think, “You know, it kind of looks like a flying car.” On Thursday, it becomes, “Yeah, definitely a flying car.” And on Friday? It turns into, “A flying car that travels at the speed of light and transports demons from Hell to a place of indecision were they are determined to be good enough for a second chance as a human.”
I seriously just came up with that on the spot. (imaginary applause)
Like I said, inspiration is weird and usually comes from weird things. If I had only told you what I had thought about on Friday, you probably would have never guessed I got all that from a card board box taking up too much space in my bedroom. Except, it did, which is why I am encouraging you to do the same. I want you to pick up the nearest object you can reach and turn it into something imaginary/fictional. then, give it a background and add a story to it. When you’re done, you might actually have something worthy of writing more about.
Inspiration, to me, is about seeing the invisible and making it visible through words. It’s about taking something ugly and making it the most extraordinary thing ever. It’s about inspiring others with your own inspiration. Inspiration is a like a chain mail letter: it keeps going and going and going. It never stops, even when someone has writer’s block they are still being inspired. They might not be able to twist their inspiration into something they can use to benefit themselves, but they are either way being inspired. It’s about taking a chance, really, and not worrying about the outcome.
I know that inspiration can be tricky, but really it’s probably hiding in plain site. Anything can become your inspiration if you want it to be. You just have to let it.
Jinapher J. Hoffman
P.S. the pictures in this article are all inspiration images for The Writing Summer 2014! (shh…it’s a secret)