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Inspiration

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can be elusive and unpredictable. It’s very inconvenient when I’m faced with a deadline and my inspiration is AWOL. Inspiration can be forced, although it’s not a pretty sight. Close your eyes tightly, tense every muscle in your body, concentrate intently and try to squeeze out inspiration, so it flows through your fingertips. This has never actually worked for me, but maybe you’ll find it worth a try.

Technique Used to Find Inspiration

I don’t know how it is for you, but inspiration strikes me when I least expect it. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. You know, the way you feel on a first date, or waiting at the top of the world’s tallest, fastest roller coaster. Well, I don’t ride coasters, but I imagine the feeling is the same. Maybe it’s more like wearing a that first pair of  fabulous looking 4 1/2 inch heels. You feel great, but you know  you might wobble or worse, trip.

It found me today. A brilliant, blinding flash sparked inside my weary, little mind and there she was, the main character for a book I had no idea I was going to write, vague and fuzzy, but warm and real. Snippets of her life and bits of conversation appeared in rapid succession in my tingling brain. I’d been zapped by inspiration.

Inspiration can be something of a curse and I’m afraid to tell my family that I’ve been struck again. I don’t think they’ll welcome the news, after what they endured the last time I was inspired to write a book. I was often in a daze, straddling my two worlds. I cried a lot, daydreamed often, lost ten pounds (OK that was not a curse), and went to bed at ridiculous hours. Friends would ask me if I was “ill”.

Inspiration: Curse or Blessing?

Imagine a plaintive voice: “Mommy, I’m hungry. When are you going to make dinner?”
“Dinner?” I answer, “Dinner? Nicole just saw her husband making love to another woman, and you’re worried about dinner!” That didn’t really happen (that I remember, anyway), but scenes like this were always a possibility when I was immersed in writing.

I do remember driving in the car with my husband, and suddenly spotting a Lexus. “What are you looking at?” my husband asked as I strained to watch the car as it passed.
“That’s the kind of car Jason drives, ” I told him.  “Hey, let’s drive through the Lexus dealership. I’ll show you the kind of car he has.” In case you don’t realize the extent of my insanity, Jason was a character in my book.

Another time, in the middle of a conversation with my husband, I became hostile. “Why do men cheat?”
He was getting used to my bizarre behavior and didn’t miss a beat. “Not all men cheat,” he said patiently. “Women cheat too.”
Then I became defensive. “Nicole cheated to get revenge on Jason.”

Looking back, I’m surprised they didn’t have me committed.

Well, I’ve been “struck” again. Soon, I’ll be straddling two worlds–the one I live in and the one I’m creating. Once inspiration strikes, you can’t fight it.

The Brain After Inspiration Strikes

Inspiration strikes everyone, spurring new ideas, new creations, new ways of doing something or new things to try. What are some of your most memorable inspirations? Does it strike you like lightening or slowly and quietly? Do you think it can be forced?

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13 comments on “Inspiration

  1. Good luck with that.. It is brilliant that you have such a powerful imagination, and a husband who is understanding of it. I look forward to hearing more

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  2. Just visited. Love this post. My answer to why do men cheat – for what its’ worth!. Sometimes I think they cheat because it’s easier than dealing with their own issues. They cheat in the hope that they can run from themselves.

    And actually they can’t. They are still them and the problems inside them are still there.

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    • Caroline, I agree with you. The book I wrote dealt with a husband who’s wife caught him cheating, then she had a “revenge” affair and how they struggled to work through the issues that led to their infidelity.
      Thanks for the visit!

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  3. I love that picture!! I totally have to try that method. 😀

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  4. Haha. Love that picture. 😉 Inspiration usually strikes me through something visual, and it’s kind of like a lightning bolt. Then the other ideas start trickling in like raindrops. So I guess it’s kind of like a spring storm for me. 🙂 Great post! LOL on the Lexus incident.

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  5. I’m not so much a writer as a presenter (public speaker). When I get struck with an idea it’s usually along the lines of “Hey, that would be a great way to make the following, difficult to make, point!” during a presentation. I find that this can happen at any time, although lately for me the Wikipedia home page and Yahoo Odd News pages have been the usual sources.

    I also find that its best for me to regulate when I dwell on my inspiration, since when I dwell on it that pretty much renders me useless to do anything else.

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  6. Yes, inspiration can be forced! — When you’re faced with a deadline. I call that good stress. I’ve come up with some of my most creative ideas during those times.

    When I have a lot of time to ponder, it depends on what I need to get inspired. Recently, I entered a religious art show. The theme itself was inspirational. I’ve done a lot of art pieces before, but not for that genre. The show inspired me to explore these opportunites even further. I’m looking forward to the next show — expect something completely different from me!

    One little trick I often use when I need inspiration is to keep a notepad by my bedside. My brain delivers a lot in my dreams!

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    • I like the notepad by the bed. I do a lot of thinking before I fall asleep. If the idea is really good I jump out of bed and log on the computer. If I’m too tired I try to repeat it a million times so I won’t forget. Both ways are a pain!

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