Friends, do you ever struggle to find inspiration?
Whether or not you’re a writer, it’s important that we feel inspired at times. It might be that you find the perfect recipe to try, and that inspires you to whip up a yummy meal for your family. Maybe you see some wildflowers on a walk and pick a few to put in a vase near where you do your crafting, and that bunch of flowers inspires you to work an extra half hour on whichever craft is in the works.
For me, nearly anything can be inspirational depending on the moment.
Lately, I’ve been binge watching a couple of seasons of the TV show House, about a team of doctors who specialize in diagnostics. While there are some aspects of the show I don’t particularly like, there are many that I enjoy. I like the quirky, damaged, manipulative Dr. Gregory House, because he cherishes figuring out the puzzles that are his patients and his coworkers. I like the cases the team tries to solve, because they’re often more complex than they first appear, and there’s usually some big twist I never saw coming. I like the fact that story is a huge part of every episode and that there are usually two or three threads that get woven together each time.
While I’ve been enjoying the show, I’ve also been analyzing it from a storyteller’s perspective. What works? What doesn’t? Which twists did I see coming? Which blindsided me? How were props used? How was House’s sarcastic sense of humor used well, and when did it come off as completely rude, and how did the writers and actor find the right balance between the two?
These, and many more, are all things a writer watches for in shows, movies, books, and real life as they’re contemplating the stories in their own minds that they’re trying to put down on paper (or in a computer document).
These, and many more, are the things that have inspired me the past couple of weeks.
Last night, after finishing up season one of House (I started with season six, then switched to season one after I picked it up at Half Price Books for $4.99), I opened a favorite work-in-progress (WIP) of mine. I had been stuck on it the last time I closed the document many months ago. I didn’t think I would be, because I have a very detailed outline this time around. Yet, the scene I was working on was one of the few that had a vaguer summary than the majority of them.
Even though the story has nothing in common with House (other than story and maybe some health maladies), having watched two seasons’ worth of episodes of that show actually helped me break through the writer’s block and write over 200 words to continue the scene from the spot where I had previously gotten completely stuck.
Granted, 200+ words is not a lot. But when one is stuck, even two words seems noteworthy.
Today’s writing goal includes jumping into that scene again to see if I can finish it up today. It’s going to be a wild one, as it features a posse of elderly sisters, a jet plane, and more than a little turbulence.
I hope the hijinks that ends up on the page matches or surpasses what I currently have imagined in my mind.
What do you see in the world around you right now that inspires you in some fashion?
What has that something inspired you to pursue today?