Where Do You Find Inspiration?

For each writer, or painter, or composer, inspiration comes from a different source. We are not all the same, and our muses work from a variety of points of inspiration.

Because I have a good memory, I have been able to draw from my childhood easily when working on my memoir. When my mother died, she left an abundance of old black and white photos. They have helped me pinpoint her expressions, both when happy and not so happy. But this week, inspiration arrived in an email.

My cousin, Rosie Lee, sent an email out of the blue. We communicate from time to time but not often. Her email held her stories of two experiences she had with my mother — one when she was nine and the other after she had become a mother. Both were contrary to my own experiences but timely as I am working on a part of my draft focusing on the goodness in my mother, goodness seen and heard from others.

Mom & Me

Mom and me (1946)

Rosie also mailed a lovely collection of black and whites which included one of my mother holding me when I was about eight months old. I had never seen that photo. In it, my mother’s eyes are shining and her smile spells happiness. Her expression speaks love. That photo told me she truly was glad to have me in her life despite the experiences that took place over the next 50+ years.

One photo moved me to a pinnacle of inspiration for drafting this portion of my memoir about Mother’s goodness and graciousness to others. There are surprises in store for my readers as this part of the memoir unfolds, and I believe I may be in for a few more surprises myself.

Thanks to Rosie for her loving email and sharing with me her experiences as well as sending those photos, such important chronicles of our lives with my mom.

Now, how about you? Where do you find your inspiration? Is it in people, places, photos, nature, art objects? Share with us, if you will.

* * *

What’s next? On Tuesday, October 15th, I have the privilege of hosting Carol Bodensteiner in an interview. Carol and I exchange a variety of questions and answers, and one fascinates me — how she is accomplishing the switch from her memoir to a historical novel. Come and find out!

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  1. #1 by creativityorcrazy on October 10, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    A lot of my inspiration has just been life experiences needing to get out.

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    • #2 by Sherrey Meyer on October 10, 2013 - 9:21 pm

      Writing out our life experiences can often be inspiration enough. Getting those stories out and in document form is a great healer.

      Like this

  2. #3 by Joan on October 10, 2013 - 4:39 pm

    Sherrey – I’ve always been inspired to write when I’m outdoors. There is something about being surrounded by God’s beautiful creation inspires me to write. Now that I seem to be transitioning more into memoir writing, I also rely on memories and I’m thankful that my memory is good.

    Love the photo of you and your mom.

    Blessings!

    Like this

    • #4 by Sherrey Meyer on October 10, 2013 - 9:20 pm

      You are my outdoor friend! And your photos you share of the outdoors are so rich and yes, inspiring. I love that photo of my mom and me too. To think I’d never seen it before! Blessings to you too. :)

      Like this

  3. #5 by Random (aka WhiteRavenSoars) on October 10, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    I find my best inspirations from when I work on what ever my WIP is with another. In the sharing of my WIP I learn more about the story. The characters thrive on the attention I do believe *grins*
    That said, there are many other ways I find inspiration. Usually in the moments of other people’s actions. In videos or images of things others have done. Their inspiration to others, inspires me greatly.

    Like this

    • #6 by Sherrey Meyer on October 10, 2013 - 9:19 pm

      Really like the phrase “[t]he characters thrive on the attention I do believe. Perhaps this is true. A story has to have a persona, whether through its characters or in the case of nonfiction in the story itself. So, as we hunger for attention, so may our WIPs.

      Like this

      • #7 by Random (aka WhiteRavenSoars) on October 10, 2013 - 10:25 pm

        I have learned that I really can’t write without a writing partner. I have to have a sounding board, the characters… they seem to grow too quiet when there is not someone to share their story with. It seems I am not enough company for them *grins*

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        • #8 by Sherrey Meyer on October 12, 2013 - 7:48 am

          Your characters seem to be a bit needy, yes? *grins*

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          • #9 by Random (aka WhiteRavenSoars) on October 12, 2013 - 8:53 am

            man alive… I don’t think needy covers it!!! *shakes head sadly* durn things… and spoilt!!! Cause let me tell ya… they get what they want…
            Hmm, methinks I should stop caving in to their every whim, I wonder what would happen. *wrinkles nose* Prolly some colossal fit or some such.
            *grins* ahhh, the joys of being a writer!!!

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  4. #10 by C.B. Wentworth on October 10, 2013 - 8:10 pm

    Images always seem to do the trick. I think that’s why photographs always seem to end up on my blog along with a piece of writing. My novel notebook is also full of pictures. :-)

    Like this

    • #11 by Sherrey Meyer on October 10, 2013 - 9:17 pm

      Hello, C.B., and welcome. I’m a visual soul and photos or images of any kind seem to do the trick for me. Hope you’re doing well. :)

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  5. #12 by Barbie on October 10, 2013 - 10:20 pm

    I find my writing inspiration just through every day life lessons I am learning. In my art, I put on worship music to paint, or paint at church during worship. Worship music inspires me to create on canvass.

    Like this

    • #13 by Sherrey Meyer on October 12, 2013 - 7:49 am

      Oh, those every day life lessons do inspire us, don’t they? My mind’s eye can see you painting with worship music in the background. :)

      Like this

  6. #14 by lindseygendke on October 15, 2013 - 9:49 am

    I think the more I share with others…through my blog, through a writers’ group I joined, through handing off the first draft of my manuscript to trusted family and friends…I am inspired to keep on. Hearing people validate and react to my work like it matters really gives me a boost.

    Like this

    • #15 by Sherrey Meyer on October 15, 2013 - 12:21 pm

      “Hearing people validate and react to my work like it matters really gives me a boost.” Just had this happen to me yesterday. Know what you mean, Lindsey!

      Like this

  7. #16 by Sue Mitchell on October 25, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    I had always avoided writing groups because I find critique very UNinspiring, but recently I got involved with Guided Autobiography groups, where the focus is on the content of the writing rather than the craft and all feedback is positive. I was surprised by how inspiring it was to hear other people’s stories and discover what in my piece stirred something for them. It conjured up a lot of memories and made me want to write more!

    In addition to that, I love reading old letters for inspiration, either my own that have come back to me or letters sent to me by other people. Somehow a letter takes me back into that time period more than a photo or conversation would, I guess because it is narrated sort of in the moment the events were happening.

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    • #17 by Sherrey Meyer on October 26, 2013 - 9:03 am

      Sue, I’ve been attempting to push myself to get into a critiquing group. Perhaps it’s the UNinspiring nature of it that keeps me from stepping out of my box and into a group.

      Old letters are so wonderful and lead to so many memories surging from inside the deeper recesses of our minds. I found the letters I had written to my folks from college years. People I hadn’t thought of in years were mentioned, and suddenly I was transported back to those Friday night games, the trips on foot to the local Dairy Queen for Cokes, and long nights of study. Amazing resource!

      Like this

  1. Unmissable Memoir Posts from Around the Web… October Edition | "CommuniCATE" Resources for Writers

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