Like most of you, I wear a lot of hats when it comes to how I fill up my time. I am lucky enough that everything I do is something I love having to do with books but like I am sure all of you have experiences, sometimes the thing you want to do the most gets put aside so you can make a living. I work as an editor and I review books on a book review site, but my dream has always been writing. Lately however writing has been put on the back burner, mostly because of lack of time to do it but also because I have been lacking inspiration lately.
So I thought I would talk about how to get inspired in today's post. For me I have always been most inspired by reading. I am one of those readers who gets tunnel vision though, if I read a book I love about werewolves, I seek out and buy a ton of books about werewolves. I love the compare and contrast of how each other does something a little different (or a lot different) than the last. I have yet to read a book where an author has the exact same version of supernatural as another book. After I get my fill of whatever supernatural element that has me entranced, well that's when the inspiration kicks into high gear. I start thinking about all the ways other people did it, what I liked and what I didn't like. Would the elements I like fit with the characters in my book (these elements are almost always broad strokes elements like being on the run or love triangles)? Then normally the crazed lady begins to write like the energizer bunny. I have notebooks filled with random thoughts, mini-outlines on fast food napkins, and thousands of words entered into my Scrivener program. And then eventually I run out of steam, and writer's block kicks in.
Reading books is probably where most of my inspiration comes from, but hear lately I have really been enjoying taking inspiration from people I know. Some of my best friends have some amazing qualities, and I couldn't help but think to myself, if I amplified some of those qualities I would have an amazing heroine, or a fabulous side kick. My favorites are the inspiration I get for villains. Let's face it not everyone gets along with everyone, and often during girls night I get to hear about the mean girl at work, or the boss that's a hard ass. Those elements can all be incorporated too, in fact when my book is done I'm almost positive all of my villains will be named after jerk bosses that employ my friends.
I never used to incorporate my real life with my writing, never thought to take inspiration from it. I used to figure that I write about worlds that don't exist so I should take inspiration from things that don't exist. But lately I have really begun to realize how fun it is to incorporate every day life into my writing. It makes the writing more real, and the banter is just so much funnier, plus it makes my characters more real. I love having a character that I feel like I could sit down and have a beer with. If anything my search for inspiration just means more real life fun experiences, and who couldn't use more of those.