What inspires you? Whether it’s writing or simply getting out of bed every morning, I think we all have things that inspire us.
I’ve always loved to write, but I never considered being an author. When I decided to write my non-fiction book two years ago, I still didn’t consider writing full time. Not even when I signed the conract for the publishing deal did I think I would ever write another book.
Then things changed one day. I was reading a diary I started after a traumatic event in my life, and I decided to start a fiction manuscript (very) loosely based on that time in my life.
So, that’s my first inspiration. Life. So many of my characters have a piece of me or one of my friends. In one manuscript, I have several characters very heavily based on friends of mine (who will sign permissions, thank goodness). From things they say to clothes they wear, they inspire my characters every day.
My other two inspirations are far more embarassing. The first is the tv show One Tree Hill. In Season Five, Lucas’ novel has been published and we follow his journey to write a second novel. My favorite episodes of this season are the first couple as we see how his novel (based on his own life) has affected the lives of those around him, paticularly his ex-girlfriend Peyton.
Seeing the success of Lucas’ first novel makes me eager to have a first novel of my own published. When I can’t write, I watch episodes from that season, and somehow they inspire me to go back to my laptop and write something…anything.
In the bigger sense, One Tree Hill (which I own six season of) reminds me of typical situations teenagers and twenty-somethings face on a daily basis. Something about watching the show sparks creative juices and inspires new scenes in my works-in-progress.
Don’t read this the wrong way – I have never copied any of the characters or scenes from this show. There’s just something about the show that inspires me to make my characters flawed and have them face tough situations. Maybe because that’s what I love about the show; every character is flawed in some way, but in a way I can identify with and in way that makes me want to see what they’ll do next. They face everything from unplanned pregnancy to death of loved ones to marriages and births and career success. I never get tired of watching it.
I also have One Tree Hill to thank for introducing me to Kate Voegele and Sophia Bush. Kate is an incredibly talented artist, whose first two albums are permanent fixtures in my car’s CD player. Sophia, who plays my favorite character on the show, is an incredible woman in “real life,” who is incredibly environmentally conscious, and has inspired me to be through her tireless efforts via Twitter to bring awareness to us all.
Last but not least, Miranda Lambert’s songs inspire me. Again, like One Tree Hill, I do not copy the situations she sings about, but they put me in the right mood to write certain characters. The emotions in her songs are raw and you believe she really means every word she says, as if all those situations and feelings are really straight from her heart. They range from beautiful ballads to spunky kick-ass tales of women who take control. I’ve always heard you shouldn’t listen to music with lyrics when you write, but I’m a rule breaker. I often listen to Miranda Lambert.
So, what inspires you? I’m particularly curious what inspires others to write? Where do your character ideas come from? Are any of them based on you? A friend?