Being a creative person, I’m often asked where I get my inspiration from and it’s a really difficult question to answer. The thought of having to keep answering that question, inspired me to write this blog (See what I did there?) with the hope that I’ll now be able to direct them here instead.
My inspiration sources fit into three different categories that I’m calling the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The Good is exactly what it sounds like. Great art, writing, filmmaking, songs, people etc all contribute to this category. For example, if I see a great piece of art, it has the power to inspire me to create something and try and surpass the artwork. Whether I do or not isn’t the point, it’s that it has inspired me to dream and reach. It could also be a piece of writing that inspires me to take the theme to new heights or to try a different way of telling the story.
The Bad. Oh dear; the Bad. I am sure you have all experienced this. You’re watching a movie and the ending is so predictable or boring that inside your head you’re screaming “no! It should have been this way!!!” That’s the ugly. When I have that moment, I’m instantly inspired to write my own story with a similar theme and in a completely different and better way, of course. The Bad can actually inspire more often than the Good.
The ugly. The ugly is where I try and force inspiration by staring at my screen or piece of paper, willing a story or lyric or whatever to appear and it’s not helpful. What I can do however is just start writing or drawing something basic and then improving it and improving it and improving it, until I am happy with it. Which means I am basically inspiring myself to improve on what I have already created. The result of forced inspiration it is never as good as true inspiration. That’s why I call it the Ugly.
Maths has never been my strong point so please forgive me for including a fourth source, which I call the Unknown. I consider the Unknown to be the purest form of inspiration and it often produces the best results, so it’s probably a bit naughty to have this as a bonus category. Anyway, an example of the Unknown would be standing on an escalator, when out of nowhere, a short story about a giraffe jumps into my brain. There wasn’t a single giraffe in sight and I wasn’t thinking about giraffes but suddenly I have a great idea that includes them! Where do those ideas come from? I can’t answer that and maybe I don’t want to? Maybe that would somehow jeopardise the process? (Probably not) All I can say is I am thankful when it happens and write the ideas down as soon as I can because they can also leave your brain as quickly as they arrived.
I guess I am saying that I get my inspiration from everywhere and no-where. Huh… maybe I should just say that from now on?