How do you create something out of thin air and turn it into words on a page?
I think for most people it starts with a glimmer in the mind, a brief image, that tells us there is something here that needs to be explored. It would be wonderful if we could all pull a J.K. Rowling and have a complete world that spans seven books spring to life in our minds while we’re riding a train, but most of us don’t get that kind of lightening bolt. (See what I did there? Harry Potter forever!) And let me just get this out of the way, inspiration is the easy part, the hard part is actually finishing the thing, but I’ll address that in another post. Today I want to focus on fleshing out the moment of inspiration.
For me it was a dream I had of myself with one giant multicoloured wing. The other wing was gone and a bloody stump stuck out of my shoulder. In the dream, with tears streaming down my cheeks, I reached up and pulled the remaining wing from my body leaving a few bloody feathers behind.
At the time I didn’t know this was a book trying to get out, it was a just a dream that resonated with me. Resonated so strongly that I ended up tattooing those remaining feathers on my back (minus the blood, I don’t want blood stains on me forever, ew). I thought the tattoo was the end of things, but the image persisted and little slivers of a story started to form in my mind until I couldn’t ignore them. I had to get to the bottom of things. So I got out a note book and started the lengthy process of writing a novel, which became two novels and so on and so on and… You get the idea.
Play close attention to the images and ideas the universe sends you. You never know how your next great masterpiece may choose to enter the world.
What are some of the ways inspiration has found you? How do you call on your muses?