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.
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”.
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.
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?