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Friday, April 10, 2009


A World of Inspiration

By Jill Earl

As writers, we’re always looking for inspiration to get us back to the keyboard or notepad, or to expand on an idea (or several) already percolating in our minds.

While exploring HOW, an online magazine for graphic design professionals, I came across an article by Sam Harrison, author of a number of books on creativity and editor of his site, Titled ‘10 Ways to Get Inspired by the World Around You’, Mr. Harrison suggests that close examination of what’s around us may reveal more ideas than we can handle.

I daresay that most writers already practice number five, ‘Observe and Take Note’. After all, how else would we get, retain and develop all of those ideas we come across? Mr. Harrison mentions two of the world’s more notable notetakers, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison, whose books were filled with diagrams, sketches and notes.

Not too long ago, I came across a worn notebook filled with expansive family trees of characters I had created when I was in high school. This book became a ready resource to flesh out characters for scripts I wrote for an online radio drama I used to work for.

You could look at number two, ‘Explore the Masters for Material’. The article points to artist Willem de Kooning, who was inspired by Rubens to combine classical and modern into a new form of art. Does Dali do something for you? Perhaps a gaze into his life may inspire you to create a graphic novel.

Sometimes as number ten states, you ‘ Stay Where You Are’, which is what Charles Pajeau did as he watched his children build structures with pencils and thread spools they found around their home. What was the outcome? A classic: Tinkertoys.

And for the rest of the story, as the late Paul Harvey used to say, go here:

The world provides such rich inspiration for the writer. Get out there and get them!

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Anonymous Madeline said...

What a good article! Thanks for sharing.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Michelle Kafka said...

Thanks for sharing the link. I'll put it in my favs.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

5:52 PM  

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