The ACT Writers Centre’s monthly magazine is called ACTWrite. She’s a funny character, and over the next twelve months, she’s also going to be slowly evolving. Our upcoming edition is all about where writers, Editors, publishers and publishing houses source their inspiration from. Inspiration can spur us to get out of bed in the morning and feed ourselves toast, or it can exist as that striking moment when an imaginative thought begins to embryo into an idea for a piece; the wonderful thing is, inspiration is about momentum, and this stirring, for each of us, is experienced uniquely.
If those things that inspire you are as simple as walking your dog, or reading to your children, or perhaps as heinous as needing to pile whipped cream onto a dollop of icecream*, we’d like to hear about them. Leave us a short comment below, telling us what inspires you to write, or read, or get into the office to wade through a slush pile. We’ll be selecting a few to appear in the December issue of ACTWrite, and we’ll be sure to let you know if your comment is selected to appear.
*this may be exactly the domestic conditions one staff member of the Writers Centre requires to commit to creative thought, and in all likelihood, diabetes.
Writers inspire us. Knowing what it was like to be a slightly lonely young imaginer, and the relief and surprise that accompanied discovering other writers and readers, is enough to keep us organising events!
I’m inspired by my love of stories and my abiding curiosity for all things. I want to know the answers to questions such as, “Who left one high-heeled shoe by the side of the road? And why is the toe stained? In the search for the answers, stories emerge.
Feedback! When somebody takes the time to consider something you’ve created and responds in a thoughtful, genuine or critical way, that’s wonderfully inspiring. If it’s enthusiastic and positive feedback, that’s rad, but in another way respectful criticism is better, because it often confirms things you couldn’t admit you were doing wrong, and points at what you’ve got to work on next. So basically, the opportunity to write well and to write better next time is inspiring to me.
As a reader, I often find myself dumb-struck by a line in a novel. It doesn’t have to be a classic or a work of literary genius. But when Scott Turow writes about Rusty Sabich wishing for the life he had or John Irving writes about writing in ‘The World According to Garp’ I am jealous. Because I want to write a paragraph, or a line or even a fragment of a sentence that resonates with someone as powerfully as these words resound with me. That’s why I write. I aspire to make someone- somewhere, -who doesn’t know me and is only connected to me by the words I have written think… and I want them to think, ‘Shit! That’s it! That’s the perfect way to describe what I’m feeling (or what I’ve felt)!’ I may never know if I’ve achieved this, but that’s why I sculpt sentences until they feel as smooth as stone or discard them because of their roughness and that’s why I’ll keep on doing it.
I’m inspired by my need to speak and be heard – if only by my notebook. I’m also endlessly inspired by ‘what if?’ and ‘why?’. As Kaaron so beautifully put it, ‘Who left one high-heeled shoe by the side of the road? And why is the toe stained?’
The emerging epublishing world, and the writers who make it such a supportive environment are very inspiring, and empowering, right now. Working in this space is not just a means of creative expression it’s a political act. That’s inspiring.
I get inspired by a variety of places. Sometimes I get my ideas from random things happening in my brain, other times it may be something that happened to me (which I usually put a crazy twist on) or something that I’ve read somewhere.
I’m inspired by nature and a connection to place, by the stories I hear and the issues I read about in the news. I’m inspired by how people respond to the tragedies and challenges they face. I’m inspired by other stories, by fragments of conversation, by the events of my own life and by the things I care most about. When things that are happening around me become part of my inner world, they often turn into the seed from which a story grows.
I’m inspired to create change. I write because I feel I have to. To express my views and opinions on things that matter to me and are current in our lives. I think this is what we’re supposed to do as writers and I’m inspired by those who do just that.
I think you can only create interesting, inspiring work if you’re an interesting and inspired person. So I’m inspired by travel, reading books on subjects that I wouldn’t normally read, meeting different people and trying new things.
Words themselves inspire me; if you stare at any word long enough, it leaps from the page, grabs at your eyelashes, and won’t let go until you have worked a poem around it. At the moment I am staring at the word iota, whose ugly, vowelly body is beginning to flex and writhe on the page. Soon it will be vault time, and my eyes will be hooked open by the nasty little fingers of that four lettered freak, located on each side of the downward stroke of the ‘t’.