The Mysterious Entity Called Inspiration

Someone asked me once about where my inspiration to write something originates. I had never really thought about it, so the following is what I came up with:

First of all, I really do not think that I was inspired to write or to be a writer. As a kid, I just liked to write “stuff.” I believe the inspiration comes after the fact. For example, two six-year-olds might simultaneously begin taking piano lessons. One has no interest and just goes through the motions. The other is intrigued and plods forward. The first falls by the wayside. The second begins to play and understand the music and the instrument. Lo and behold, here comes the inspiration to help him create his own music, to tap those keys, making his own sound in his own way.

The way I see it, inspiration is triggered by the people, places and things that we encounter and experience. Then inspiration takes on a life of its own as its owner (you or I) lets it journey forward, creating “something” different and unique to us.

A friend of mine might introduce me to a friend of theirs and my mind will begin a journey, intrigued by the way that person said, “Hello,” or by the manner in which they looked at me or the clothes they were wearing or whether or not their shoulders were slouched. They will be  placed in my memory bank for future reference as a possible character, and I do not even know it at that moment in time. Someone else would never give that person a second thought. But the red shoes my friend was wearing may give the guy he introduced me to an idea for a different type of shoe.

So, for me as a writer, the inspiration to write about different things and say things in my own way came about because I liked to write to begin with. I scribbled this and I scribbled that and kept on scribbling. For me, there were long pauses between the scribbles but I never lost the desire to scribble and kept at it. It took me almost fifty years after my first scribbles to actually begin scribbling most every day.

In the final analysis we are all different, all unique, and I guess we all have inspiration that fits who we are. Some of us join forces with our inspiration (some call it the muse), others may talk about it for a while, and others ignore it completely. We certainly are interesting creatures.

Copyright 2016 Larry Peterson

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