Wednesday, September 05, 2007

You show me yours and I'll show you mine...

Inspiration, I mean. I'm working on my essay for Skirt's October issue and it's supposed to be about creativity. So for the past week or so, I've been thinking about what inspires me, how it works, what used to inspire me but doesn't any longer, and how I'm going to find my next source. The basic facts:

* I lost my muse a few years ago and that's just not a position you can place an ad to fill. So I've been muse-less.
* Creative inspiration is like a drug. After a while, the same dose doesn't do it for me anymore.
* People ask me how I can write an essay every month and how I managed to write a book in just three months. The answer is easy: I do not have a social life. I knew what I was getting into when I chose what I do for a living. I love what I do, but I also know what I've given up. Long term relationships are few and far between because, really, who would want intimate details of their life put out into the world for public consumption?
* I don't know the answers to (a) where ideas come from, (b) how ideas turn into essays, or (c) how I stay motivated. I work as hard at keeping myself inspired as I do at actually writing about what inspires me.

Here's my latest source of inspiration: Inspiration Boards Flickr Pool.

To all of my creative writer and artist friends out there: What inspires you? Please share. It's an emergency.


  1. You do!

    (That doesn't help, does it?)

  2. Lately, I've been rooting around in a lot of the stuff that I loved back when I was a kid, seeing if that can keep my creativity cutting the rug.

    Hiking trails in the woods. Looking at the moon and stars at night, mapping them out.

    Buying DVD collections of old TV shows I used to love so much that I would sneak out of bed to see them - Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

    Listening to early Stones albums.

    There has to be something in there somewhere, right?

  3. I drift through Barnes and Noble.
    But you already knew that.

    Let's go again soon.

  4. Some things that lately have inspired me (not that I'm a "creative type") are
    a) Biking to the ocean
    b) Yoga
    c) Being obscenely friendly to people
    d) (especially dana boyd's bookmarks
    e) danah boyd

  5. From a writing perspective, life inspires me. Just sitting in a room, observing people, or listening to strangers on the bus or on the train, I get all sorts of ideas. I mean, I once sat in the back of the 79 Crosstown and listened to a guy explain his relationship to a friend on the cell phone. That shit is golden.

    And I write it all down, thinking I'll use it later.

    Music inspires me. I'll listen to a song and some great story will come to me and I'll jot it down, but I'll have to note the song I'm listening to so that I can revisit the mood I was in when I thought of the idea.

    I come up with whole movies while trolling YouTube.

  6. Bouncing ideas off other creative folks....that gets them rolling.

    Being bored. My pattern is to have some free time, get bored and itchy and then as soon as I have to get back to work I have a million ideas of creative things to do it I just had the time.

    Being a passenger on a long drive int the country.

  7. Unfortunately, my inspiration comes in those 2 1/2 minutes before I fall asleep and am entirely too lazy to pick up a pencil and write it down. That or when the assignment is already done....

  8. Kelly,

    Other writers inspire me.

    Who are your favorites? Rummage back through them and remember why you love what you do in the first place.

    Also, really good blues/soul gets me going. Nina Simone usually does the trick.

    P.S. - I love your blog. It inspires me, too.


  9. Cheese inspires me.

    But so does used bookstores, talking to strangers on the muni, planning an imaginary vacation, and knitting stores.

  10. going for a walk (or bike ride) alone. good luck, Kelly!

  11. i get all of my best ideas in the shower and the middle of the night. so i keep a journal by my bed and am thinking of getting some of that bath chalk so i can write it all down before it leaves my head.

  12. Wow! Your answers kept me busy for about a week. But my essay was a dud. Vacation planned for end of month to recharge batteries. Thanks so much, all!


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