Two questions I’ve been asked a lot lately have been, (1) “What influences you the most when you sit down to write?” and (2)“How do you keep coming up with new stuff? Surely, the well must run dry at times.” I’ll start with the second one.
You would think the idea well would be a bit arid at times. I mean how can a person have the brainpower to continuously pump out one story after another with some sort of inspirational message in it? I guess those writers specializing in the Inspirational genre don’t really think about it. I know I don’t sit at my computer every day and say, “Okay, I’m going to be motivating today!” Because, man, there are days where I am so unmotivated.
This may sound over-simplistic but I’ve found that all you really need to do is listen and pay attention to everything around you. I compare it to seeing the world through a child’s eyes: Get down and investigate, ask questions, be curious, and, most of all, find beauty where you never thought there could be.
Most of the people and situations I’ve written about have been…well…simple things. You know, an every day person doing extraordinary things that would normally go unnoticed. I write about people who’ve touched me so deeply my heart overflows. How about writing about how you, or someone else persevered over adversity, beat the odds or “made it”? These make the best stories because people can relate to them. They inspire because they are about every day people: People we know, people we strive to be, people who are told they “can’t” but do it anyway.
There is enough tragedy and negativity in the world today and, unfortunately, these feelings are contagious. But do you know what? So is happiness, love and peace. Think about what happens when you throw a smile at someone as you pass her. Even the sourest of faces will return a smile (most of the time).
So, dear writers, you can see the well will only go dry if we let it. All we need to do is look around. There’s inspiration all around us. And as long as I’m writing, I’ll be sure to keep making deposits into that well so other people’s thirst for hope will always be quenched.
Oh! And to answer question #1, I think I’d have to say what influences me the most is my daughter, Jaimie who lives with SPD and Dyspraxia. If she can get up every single day uncertain how the environment around her will make her feel with her beautiful, brave face…I can too (albeit with a much older, more wrinkled and tired face). How can I not find inspiration from that?
Happy writing, everyone!