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Secret 2: Honoring Your Inspirations
First, allow me to apologize for my tardiness in posting, as a new prompt will come up tomorrow and I am a bit behind the group. The past week or so has been crazy busy!
One quote from this chapter caught my eye, as it is so true for me:
Nature has been for me, for as long as I can remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.” — Lorraine Anderson, Author (McMeekin, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, p.27)
Nature is probably chief among my inspirations.
I have noticed in the past, and in reading this chapter, noticed again, that in almost every story I’ve written, even aborted attempts, every abandoned novel, every tiny scrap of fiction, almost always starts with something in the natural world. Either the character is outside, or is paying close attention to the weather. On the occasions they don’t start out right away with observations about nature in some way, nature soon comes to play a large role in the story.
As for photography, all of my best photos are nature photos, especially bodies of water, expanses of sky, and trees. I seem to have a preoccupation with those three. They pull me in. Cases in point (that have not appeared in previous posts:
And, in my drawings and paintings, again, nature figures heavily. (My normal inclination is to say, “In my rather pitiful, amateur attempts at drawings and paintings…”, but I’m trying to stop thinking that way, to stop looking at the products of my creative pursuits as though they were side-by-side with others’. In other words, I’m trying to stop comparing myself to everyone else.)
Music is something else that inspires me. I’ve nearly always got it on when I’m doing something creative, and the music varies by mood. I can’t get enough of it. As a child, I was singing songs before I was fully able to speak in sentences. One of my earliest memories is me sitting in my carseat when Mom was taking my late Grandmother grocery shopping, singing along to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on the radio in the late 1980s. I was probably about 2, given that I had my favorite raincoat on: white with purple seahorses. When I drive, I have to have music on. When I clean, there is music. When I bake, there is music. When I shower or take a bath, there is music. When I put my make-up on in the morning, there is music. When I’m sad, I play music. I use it as medicine, as entertainment, and as inspiration. I suppose, too, playing music could be a creative ritual as well, since McMeekin speaks of creative rituals in this chapter.
Bits of conversation, whether mine or just overheard out in public, will sometimes trigger quite the creative storm, though this has been less frequent in recent years.
Then of course, I am influenced by others’ writing, by films, by famous works of art.
Sometimes smells will trigger a memory that will in turn inspire something wholly different to spring forth.
Sometimes I’m not even sure what has brought on a particular creative endeavor.
Oh, and let’s never forget dreams! Dreams are right up there with nature among my inspirations, probably in the number two slot, since nature often inspires dreams I have. Those have given birth to many a story and many a poem in my past, as well as artwork, clothing combinations, jewelry bits and baubles, blog entries, journal entries, dinners, life plans, etc. As I’ve been on an extended break from writing–or, rather, finishing–stories and poems, this has been less frequent, but I’m hoping to get my mojo back. Dreams are fraught with interesting things, or, at least, mine seem to be. And I’m apparently not alone in that. One glaring, multiple-New-York-Times-Bestselling example: Stephenie Meyer, whose Twilight series started with a dream that became Chapter 13 in the first novel.
I have to say, I am trying to be more aware of things. I’m trying to ferret out inspiration in new places, and trying to expose myself to my known inspirations more often.
I can’t wait to see where I am by the end of this book club. I’m still excited, and have a growing sense of projects percolating in the back of my mind.