NaNoBlogMo posed the question, “Who inspired you to write?” This struck home today, as my daughter is off getting inspired by several local writers at a Young Author’s Conference. As she goes through a morning filled with character development, sensory words, and scene variation, I hope she falls in love with the craft that her teachers believe she is gifted with.
The question got me wondering at the source of my own inspiration. I don’t think I could point to one specific source, as a variety of elements compel me to chisel out a story. I could point to a thousand sources of inspiration. Literature has always been a love in my life. Kate Chopin’s characters inspire me to put my own creations through the wringer; digging and prodding, smacking them in the face with a life altering revelation. Ambrose Bierce’s “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” inspires me to take the average reader by the nose (or neck in his case). From works like his, I am inspired to never lose sight of the reader/writer relationship as my fingers fly across the keyboard.
There are several contemporary authors, such as Judith McNaught or Frank Peretti, who pull on your emotions as they pull you through the story. Peretti’s ability to make you identify and empathize with a couple of sasquatches inspires me to generate that level of depth in my story. Ted Dekker ability to produce books that leave you pondering (and shivering) long after the cover is closed keeps me striving to have that lasting effect on my readers.
But if I would have to point to my greatest inspiration, it comes from the couple whispering and giggling in the mall, or the mom singing to her son in the ER while fear is etched into every line of her tired face. The passerby’s simple gesture can inspire me to write an entire novel.
While I might never be a Chopin or Bierce, or even a Peretti or Dekker, I am inspired by all that God has surrounded me with. And my purpose in writing is to inspire – maybe not so much another writer to begin this journey – but those same individuals that inspired me with their laugh, smile, and tears, I hope to bring a little of the same to them.
So I pose the same question. What inspires you to do whatever you are gifted to do?