Finding Inspiration


Baraka: The Movie

I watched the movie Baraka this week and it left me thinking about the nature of inspiration.  Both the inspiration that leads to the making of this style of documentary, and the inspiration that it can give to those who watch it.  Baraka was filmed in multiple locations around the world and it gave me the gift of looking directly into the eyes of many other human beings.

I saw the phenomenal number of ways we humans are alike–and the very few ways that we are different.

Watching Baraka got my creative juices flowing and gave me the inspiration I needed to break open a difficult scene that I was working on and write it through. I didn’t watch the movie specifically looking for help with that scene.  It was just a nice side effect of staying open to inspiration.

Inspiration is all around us…

Once you understanding what inspires you creatively, it’s easy to add more of that into your life. When I’m in the middle of writing a story, I crave visual inspiration.  I flip through design magazines, I watch documentaries and videos.  I look  specifically for visual stimuli that challenges me to think and feel. When I’m between stories, I read. I read through the New Yorker,  Scientific American, a new short story collection that I’ve found. Sometimes (gasp!) I even read the news. The difference? Visual inspiration can help you “feel” which lends itself to improving the quality of your writing.  Reading for inspiration can help you to find ideas and a voice for your next story.

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it. 

~ Neil Gaiman 

I love that! Where do you find inspiration?  Do more of that. Write from that place. That’s your homework.  Write down what you are doing when you feel inspired.  Write down how you will make time to include more of that in your life. Let me know what happens in the comments below. Wishing you inspiration,

xo Pam

Posted in: Articles, Blog,
Read Next

Adversity & Creativity

I recently read an article referencing a study by Psychologist Marie Forgeard of the University of Pennsylvania that tackled the question of why adversity and ingenuity seem to go hand in hand. It’s clear that many authors and highly creative people have overcome adversity in their lives.  To give you a flavour of what I mean: […]

Go Ahead. Be Yourself!

Imagine a contest in which the best pastry chef’s in the world compete for three insane days building chocolate and sugar sculptures and baking perfect pastries.  It sounds like a Food TV reality show, right?  Actually, it’s not. It’s the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition (Best Craftsmen in France) and it’s the dream of almost […]

FocusOnStyle says:

So true, Pat! I always tell my readers and style mentoring clients that inspiration comes from wherever you find it. You just need to keep your eyes open, and let the surprises happen. Great post!

Pam Smith says:

Great advice! :)

I get inspiration from my life in small, subtle ways. I learned long ago that setbacks and challenges are overcome and embraced when you look at them as a life lesson. I consider myself a student in many aspects, so when I step back and observe rather than react, I am inspired to write about it. I hope my writing is encouraging not only to my clients, but also to others who have been where I once was! Thanks for a lovely post!

Pam Smith says:

Lovely thoughts. I too am a life long student and I think that helps us to keep an open mind. Thanks!

Inspiration to me is a state of mind: being open to ideas and thoughts and images and bits of dialogue, to let them mix and meld without judging any of them as weird or crazy or terrible.

Pam Smith says:

Such a great comment Sonal! It’s absolutely about staying open. Thanks!

This post is inspirational itself, makes me want to sit here all day and write! I find my inspiration in nature or when I’m having a relaxing soak in the tub. The quite time allows me to think without restrictions or distraction. My best ideas come to me this way.

Pam Smith says:

That’s a great idea Krystal. Soaking in a tub or being in nature are almost meditations and can really spur inspiration. Thanks for sharing! :)

Camesha says:

It’s so true. As a writer, I take note of everything. I’m always thinking about how experiences weave their way into my writing. I get ideas many times when I’m driving! Not the optimal spot to take notes. LOL!

Pam Smith says:

Not a great spot for notes, no! LOL! That being said, I do my best thinking when I’m doing a mundane chore like driving (or laundry, or dishes). I’ve had to use my voice recorder in the car a few times to take notes. LOL!

Beth says:

I find inspiration everywhere. When I have to attend an event that I don’t want to go to, I tell myself that I’ll learn something or overhear something that I can use in my writing… and I usually do.

Pam Smith says:

Fantastic Beth! It’s all about being open to what is around you. It’s amazing the notes on dialogue that you can make just by listening to the people around you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

Write a Reply