Inspiration. The act of moving someone intellectually or emotionally. The spirit of influence on someone else's movements.
In speaking about writing, is inspiration important? Is it necessary? Well, in my mind, a writer wouldn't be writing had they not been moved intellectually or emotionally in the first place. There would be no pounding on the keyboard til the wee hours, had there been no acceptance of inspiration on the part of the scribe. So yes, I believe the answer to the question is, yes, definitely. Inspiration nourishes you as a writer, it propels you forward. Let me share with you the wise words of Therese Walsh, co-founder of Writer Unboxed magazine, who so graciously gave me permission to quote her, when she says in a recent post:
"Some inspirations nourish more than the writer; they feed a work-in-progress by becoming a part of the story in some way, helping it to grow from germ-of-an idea to scene, from scene to chapter, from chapter to finished manuscript. They lend a book texture and authenticity." Texture and authencity. Isn't that good? Isn't that what we strive for in our writing? Ideas, growing from a germ to a finished manuscript, layer upon layer upon layer. I find inspiration just by reading that.
But what about this rush of words, the fire in the belly, the coursing through the veins, until the writer is spent and finished? Isn't that inspiration? Well, not really, while it is definitely a by-product of inspiration.
Inspiration tends to come out of the gate just a bit quieter, under the radar, behind the scenes. Think about what Therese says here:
"It's been my experience that down-to-the-bone inspirations sometimes take a while to affect a story. They sit inside of you as possibilities, and when and if the time comes to weave them into the fabric of a tale, they rise to the surface and remind you they exist. This may or may not even be conscious."
Sometimes it's so deep that you have to be reminded about why you're writing that story to begin with. Dig deep. And then dig deeper. Don't be afraid to trudge through the layers of your subconscious until your fingers light on that gem, that germ of an idea, the reason you are inspired to write.
Take some time today and give this some serious thought. What is inspiration to you? Why is it important? How does it help you develope your talent?
All quotes courtesy of Therese Walsh, co-founder and contributing writer to Writer Unboxed.
Photo courtesty of Roxanne Schuster, photographer, Mountain Grove, Missouri.