I’m often asked where I get my ideas, where my creative spirit comes from. The fact is, I have a random idea generator and a stable of typing monkeys.
All right, I don’t. But, man, sometimes I wish I did. The world is my creative playground and anything and everything can inspire me. This sounds great, doesn’t it. Like I should put it on a cheesy motivational poster: “The world is your creative playground.”
Except it’s not really. I mean, sure, lots of things can spark an idea but then the juice to sustain it? Make it into an actual workable story? Sometimes that comes from creative fire, but sometimes it comes from sheer grit, or 3AM panic attacks.
However, there are the times that my creative depths get plummed in a completely unexpected way – like this summer. (That sounded less sexual in my head.)
I spent July in Europe visiting Paris, Croatia and Prague. I love Europe and I especially fell hard for eastern Europe. I knew the trip was going to be fun, and I also knew that I’d have a lot of down time on planes and such, so I’d bought an iPad to be able to keep writing a story that I was in love with. (Note: Not the book I was supposed to be writing which was book 2 of my Get Real series. Apparently, I’m distractible like that.)
I wasn’t looking for any creative boost with this story. As far as I was concerned, it already kicked butt. But as I was standing in the louvre looking at this face carved on a stone wall that had been taken from one of the homes of Louis XIV and listening to the the grandiosity of that King, I suddenly realized that my “kick butt” story, was kind of run-of-the-mill. That was okay though, because looking at this stone carving, I knew exactly how to amp it up. That one moment fired me up to take my writing to an entirely new level. One I hadn’t even known I’d been seeking.
I went back and did a page one rewrite. That’s the thing about the creative spirit. It’s all well and good to seek inspiration out in the world, but knowing it can show up like an unexpected but welcome visitor? Well, that’s pretty cool, too.
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