I had a dream a giant flaming meteor had hurtled into earth and like half the buildings in New York were going down and we were all like “yep, that’s 2020”.

Fun fact (that may or may not come in useful when writing): you can hear a car knocking over a street lamp from 1.5 miles away. And see the flash. (true story)

But let’s rein this in. It’s very chilly and moody outside right now (and I’m listening to my autumn playlist which is like a weird mix of David Bowie and The Hobbit but IT WORKS OKAY) thinking about inspiration. (Haha. LIE. I was actually thinking about what in the heck to write). I was thinking about inspiration and the weird places and times it shows up.

Inspiration to write, generally speaking (or inspiration for artists). So here is where I have discovered it, stumbled upon it, whatever.

On with the show.

While In Bed

First off, RUDE. Bonus if the lights are already off and your eyes are already shut and then BOOM. Idea. Now you have to get up and either lean over and scribble in a notebook in the dark, hoping that in the morning you’ll find your handwriting somewhat legible, or write on your phone or turn on a light and risk burning your eyes out of their sockets.

This happened the other night (thankfully I was still awake). I found a picture on Instagram an suddenly BAM there was an idea for a whole new novel and I was just like, “really??? The night before a performance?? I don’t have time for this!!!!” (nevertheless I wrote it down and am restraining myself from taking any further steps).

Zumba

(now you’re all looking at me like there’s something in my teeth)

Seriously though. I always get good inspiration from walking (ahem), or when I’m at the gym on the treadmill or elliptical for a long while (great time to imagine the trailer for your book turned movie to some dramatic music). Exercise gets the blood flowing and swooshing around in the brain chemicals and some hormones going or something *insert science* and anyway it nearly always induces “thoughts” for me. But Zumba is something special.

I haven’t actually taken a Zumba class in like…a year or more *so sad* (for long various reasons, including, you guessed it, COVID) but like….my brain is always like “idea idea idea”. I wonder if it has to do with always taking it at night or the music or….like bumping my hips around just does something. *insert more science*

Driving

Driving is a great time to get some thinking in (see here), and with some good music playing…ah, perfection. Though the bad thing is that taking down notes is impossible until you get to a stoplight so you just keep repeating that line of dialogue to yourself so you don’t forget it because IT’S GOOD.

Dinner

If you’ve never rushed away from dinner to write something down, who even are you? (just kidding) This happens to me every once and a while, usually when I just finished writing and my brain is still in the story and suddenly I’m like “oh shoot” and scrambling away from my food in a way that would shock a hobbit.

Nighttime.

Like anywhere….getting ice cream, on the highway, on the way home, out to eat, out to the movies, gas stations….anything at night is just VIBE. WEiRd. Spooky. Magical. Whatever.

Sometimes it’s not so much a specific inspiration but more of, “Mood. I feel a mood here.” *I say as I nod sagely while stepping into a hotel sometime past midnight*

Night has a specialness to it. It might be because generally we don’t do things at night (at least a lot of us). We’re not nocturnal, so when we’re out and about at night it’s like stepping into an alternate universe wherever we’re used to experience during the night. Night is also calming (hence….why we sleep at night. It’s dark. Time for us to go to bed), but not just a sleep inducing calm, and it’s a clarifying calm. I’ve always felt that night is a bit of a blank canvas. Everything is dark and quiet. Nothing is distracting. Night also has a mysterious quality. And all stories have a bit of mystery to them, even if they are not a whodunit. All stories revolve around, “What will happen next?”

That about sums it up? Right? (it is not clear to whom I am addressing this question)

What are some of the odd or not so odd places you have snatched up some inspiration?

One thought on “We Found Inspiration in a Weird Place

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