On Writing: inspiration?

On Writing

I didn’t manage to join in with What I’m Writing last week, mainly as I was, well, writing! I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants on the blog recently, always running to catch up, so I’ve been trying to schedule more, to take the pressure off during the week.

I have succeeded, to a certain extent. Although after a blitz over the last week or so, I’m just about back at square one again! I have so many ideas for posts, so many drafts, but so little time to sit down and write. Ho hum.

All that aside though, in addition to the simple narrative blog posts, I tried my hand at a couple of pieces of flash fiction…

Now, I have often said that I don’t believe I’m imaginative enough to write fiction, certainly not a novel; my head isn’t full of wonderful, creative and innovative ideas for stories. I may have lots of ideas for journal posts for the blog, but fiction? Not so much.

However, I came across this quote, and I wonder if it is true?

        Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.
        Philip Jose Farmer

I wrote two pieces of fiction over the course of the last week. These are the first pieces of prose I have written that haven’t been, what I think of as, embellished autobiography.

They were not based on memories or events. They were not, even loosely, about me!

I loved writing them, and I found the process for each of them interesting, and a little surprising. They just happened!

The first piece, Thunder, developed from the first sentence. That sentence popped into my head on the school run and remained, unedited, in the final draft. The rest of the piece flowed from there. It ends with the character waiting for something and people have asked what for? Honestly, I’m not quite sure! But, I have a feeling if I sat down to write part two, I would find out.

For the second piece, Books, the idea just came to me. It was completely different to anything else I have written, and I was actually very nervous about publishing it. I’m still worried that it’s slightly contrived.

But, I wrote fiction!

I have found reading the other posts linked up to this linky hugely inspiring, and it has made me wonder more about where creative inspiration comes from. Do ideas appear, unbidden, in our minds or do we need to sit down, concentrate and find them? Or is it a bit of both!

Where do you find your inspiration? Where do your ideas come from?

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23 thoughts on “On Writing: inspiration?”

  1. Well done on your creative burst, I think that quote about using your imagination is brilliant. Personally I wait for ideas to find me, I can’t force them. When working on a long piece of writing I find I do get stuck on something, so that’s when I work on something else and wait for the idea to come. It’s usually when I’m driving or walking the dog! (and I don’t have pen and paper handy)

  2. I have covered finding writing inspiration in some of my Friday Fiction posts: music, photos and newspaper articles in particular, have worked for me.

  3. I enjoyed both fiction pieces, I think we may share the same love for intrigue and ambiguity, which I got from both. There were some lovely descriptive lines in Books, especially :)
    I’m not sure where inspiration comes from for me, from everything and nothing I think! I often find myself walking down the road looking at an odd shadow or random leaf or over hearing a conversation and imagining and creating from that in my head. Sometimes I think my head will explode there’s so much going on in there! And other days it feels like a barren wasteland, parched and dry-but I don’t suppose I’m alone in this x

  4. Brilliant! I don’t believe for a second you can’t write fiction, as you’ve just proved yourself. And that’s so true – the imagination is simply a muscle that needs flexing. Have you thought about keeping a small notebook with you and jotting down ideas as you go about your day and when day dreaming? X #whatimwriting

  5. There’s definitely a lot to be said for the ideas coming out of the writing process rather than the other way around. Of course there needs to be some spark of inspiration to start the process off, but I’ve found that can come from the most insubstantial places. With my first novel the inspiration was a bit meatier – it came from all the emotions ten years of teaching stirred in me about young peoples’ potential. But then the one I’m working on at the moment started with the feeling I was left with after a dream. And the one I want to work on next came from an inscription on a bench. Before I started to write I think I was put off by not knowing exactly what I would write when I started – how on earth I’d fill all those pages and chapters. But characters and stories definitely seem to take on a life of their own when you let them… xx

  6. I often have no idea where an idea comes from and have always said, aside from poetry I can’t write fiction…yet this lunchtime at work I suddenly had an idea for your prompt this week! Maybe daydreaming’s the key? ;)

    I really liked your ‘Books’, keep it up! :) x

  7. I love those two pieces of fiction – you quite clearly have imagination and ability in that area! And I think that quote is very true. I remember trying to think of ideas for flash fiction a year ago and it was such a struggle but as time has gone by and I’ve written more and more the ideas come so much more easily. I bet you’ll find yourself writing plenty more in the coming months.

    As for inspiration… well you know where I got my last piece of inspiration from – you! I love the prompt for that reason. Ideas often come to me if I’m awake at night with the baby and there are no distractions around. Although sometimes it is amongst the hubbub of daily life that inspiration pounces!

    Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting and I’m so glad you’re finding the linky inspiring. Oh, and how you manage to blog as often as you do I have no idea – hats off to you! xx

  8. I loved reading this post Sara! Inspiration – it’s an interesting one. My inspiration is almost always my family history and my childhood. I often wonder if I’ll run out of ideas or references but I never seem to. Fiction is a puzzle to me, I’m always drawn to real people and biography first. It’s people’s story, I just can’t resist! Good luck with the writing, it all sounds very exciting x

  9. It’s nice to know that the inspiration comes when you find the time to sit down and make it happen, because I do have this vague ambition to do that some time – as you say, it is just literally finding the time and I feel like I am on some sort of Waltzer of life at the moment and I just need to let it slow down before I can allow myself the luxury of attempting to be creative! Your flash fiction was really good. X

  10. Oh this is brilliant Sara! I love that you’re inspired by everyone else and it’s very exciting to hear you’re writing your first pieces of fiction.

    As for my own inspiration, it comes in all forms. Sometimes, like my Thunder piece for #ThePrompt, they just pop into my head. One word triggers an image or a play in my mind and I can’t get rid of it until I write it. Other times a picture will play on my mind and I’ll have to work out why, eventually writing something short. Then there’s the novel, THAT requires thinking about. Originally it was inspired by one single thought but obviously that couldn’t be it and for years now that thought has been expanding. I’ve had to research and people-watch, it’s been an interesting journey.

    I totally agree with that quote, the more you exercise your imagination the better it works. Before you know it you’ll be having ideas strike you at the supermarket! Don’t forget to carry around a notebook or phone with a notes app – essential for catching those fleeting ideas! #WhatImWriting

  11. I don’t write fiction and don’t have a yearning too. Even if I had an idea it’d likely never get to a finale. I remember writing as a teen and it was largely about what might haopen to my friends and I if the right boys noticed us. Load of toh really.

    I think though, writing in general definitely gets easier and faster te more you do, so fiction should be no different to any other writing in that aspect.

  12. As, I love that you’ve been inspired to write fiction. And it’s good stuff, too! Over the weeks I’ve been doing the prompt (and now this linky) I’ve seen writers grow and go from strength to strength, given confidence to explore their minds. Feels good, doesn’t it? X

  13. Wicked World of Lucas

    Awesome – you’ve found your mojo!!! Great post. Looking forward to sitting down after the school run this morning, cuppa in hand to have a good read. Hope you’ve linked this to Vicky’s Prose4t linky which opens this morning xx #sharewithme

  14. Lucas & Grace – Sending you XL MEGA High-5′ s for being so awesome with your writing.
    Lucas says – Have you considered writing a story about a 6 year old Superhero whose magical powers come from Haribo? Can’t think where you’d get inspiration for that from………… he he #sharewithme

  15. Isn’t it great when it just pops into your head?! I have come to try to accept that sitting and staring at a screen hopelessly for a while (hours, days even) is actually part of the creative process and has to be done sometimes! It’s hard, but once I accepted that, I found ideas came a lot more freely. And actually, it’s not the writing that takes much time – it’s going through all that waiting! Lovely post, thank you.

  16. I really enjoyed your two pieces of flash fiction lovely, and yes I agree that anyone can do it. Some novelists take decades to hone their work and write dozens of manuscripts before letting anyone else read them. Why not just write and see if it takes you somewhere? There doesn’t have to be time limits and agents and high stakes involved. Just write from the heart and I’m sure it will be wonderful. Look forward to reading more xxx

  17. I think that I get to have more creative juice when I am reading fiction. But I dont read as much now so my writing sucks (more). I try to escape writing by posting photos =P But I do want to post something brilliant and hopefully I can have something that good soon #brillblogposts

  18. I believe this quote and I only say this because I never thought I was creative enough to write a book and then I did and I started second one and I have three more book ideas flowing in this head of mine and notes in notebooks waiting to be typed out. It really is a muscle that just needs workout ALOT. Great post. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  19. Ooh! This is awesome! Good for you and writing some fiction – I must go give them a read!

    In terms of the blog, no matter how hard I try I just can’t schedule posts! I blog every day and more often than not the blog was written that day. It’s exhausting and relentless but, I kind of have to accept that’s the way I work…I need a deadline!

    Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutYou xxx

  20. Pingback: #Whatimwriting October Round-up - The Muddled ManuscriptThe Muddled Manuscript

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