People always ask writers where they get their inspiration. I never know quite how to answer that question. If I tell the truth—that I haven’t a clue—no one will believe me. So I usually dig deep into the nearly forgotten memories of my youth and start listing all the writers that I loved as a child.
That’s a partial answer, I suppose, but it’s not the whole picture.
Which got me wondering. Where do writers get their inspiration? Where do I get my inspiration?
I guess the real answer is...everywhere—from everything I see or read or smell or touch or taste or hear or experience. From throwing darts with an atlatl on a school field trip to watching deer munch apples in my backyard. From driving in a blizzard to reading about subduction zones. From immersing myself in the scent of the roses near my front door to listening to bees swarming in an ash tree. The inputs are virtually limitless, and they don’t have to be boring or, worse yet, “good for you.”
For example, I recently went to see the new Star Trek movie. Twice.
I watched three and a half seasons of Battlestar Gallactica straight through, one episode after another.
I climbed around in among the huge boulders known as the Bonneville flood melon gravel, studying petroglyphs etched there by prehistoric people 8,000-12,000 years ago.
I played hide-and-seek with a fifteen-month-old.
I read the latest Robert Crais book in one sitting.
I baked a double batch of chocolate-and-white chip cookies.
I watched a hailstorm.
So there’s the real answer. Life is my inspiration.
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