To follow the standard advice, I need to read more. I also need to write more. I understand if I want to hone any sort of chops (skill, authenticity, voice, etc.) and, therefore, credibility as a writer, I need to write more. I also understand popular theory is that this is built through reading more. Learn from the successes of those authors you enjoy, but perhaps more importantly, learn from their mistakes or the ones from the authors who do nothing for you. This is fantastic advice if that’s all that inspires you. What if you have a different muse?
I would love to hear what inspires other writers. I certainly don’t mean to limit this to works of fiction or non-fiction, works of novel length or short stories or smaller works. Who or what is your muse? While I’ve derived plenty of inspiration (both technical and thematic) from reading other works, I would have to say my more prolific writing periods stemmed from periods of relationship and life changes or, even more significantly, immersion in music.
Music? Yes, for me, music triggers intense sense memory – the ability to tie one of the five senses to an event that evokes an emotion. There are songs that I link to memories of adolescence or adulthood and, through them, I can experience all of the various senses all over again regardless of the years between the events. When I wrote the bulk of my flash fiction or the two self-published pieces, I was in the middle of a couple lengthy novels, but what got my mind really flowing was creating and listening to a specific playlist that fit the theme of what I wanted to write.
What inspires you? It doesn’t have to be an inspiration for writing or any creative endeavor. What inspires you to live life the way you do?