Remember when I told you about my writing process? Well the next question I'll answer in my writing series is what inspires me.
As I stared blankly at my computer for several minutes, listening to "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men, I came up with nothing. Just kidding. Maybe.
In a sense, nothing and everything inspires me. I never know when a news story, Facebook status, tweet, photo, overheard conversation, or human interaction will trigger a desire to write a blog/script/story. Sometimes I'm just sitting or exercising (mostly sitting) and an idea comes to me from inside my brain with no help from the outside world at all... it's rare but it happens. Movies, television, music, and books also provide ample inspiration in the depths of their art.
Wow. What a non-committal, general, boring answer.
To dive deeper into the specifics, I draw themes from experiences throughout life. For example, I'm wholly fascinated by vanity and the general bias and preference toward physically attractive individuals. At the same time, my faith inspires questions and struggles with a belief in God and following a religion.
My awareness of my imperfections-- okay okay, my self-consciousness-- and excellent powers of observing people help me add flaws and dimension to characters and write realistic dialog. I have a general curiosity about the mind, what makes people tick, and how to influence them-- sounds utterly villainous of me, doesn't it?
Interests also influence the desire to write: my love of fantasy and animation, Jane Austen, action flicks, and humor. I'm a firm believer in not taking oneself too seriously and coping with life through laughter. This ideal, I believe, is pushing my writing into a more comedic direction... though I don't think I'm funny. I just find things amusing and feel that nothing in life is without hope.
What most inspires me to write is the process and act of writing itself. Taking my ideas and turning them into whole stories with people, places, and things. I use writing to rifle through my feelings and figure out more of myself-- it's therapy. It can be utterly frustrating, completely joyous, intensely emotional, and is always personal. That's why many writers hate criticism or won't ever share their work: my creative work is a part of me and it took months to complete! For me, though, once I get the words out and on the page, it's time to send my work out to take shape in the world and find its place. Actually, blogging has greatly helped my fear of sharing.
Watching letters become words become sentences become paragraphs become stories is incredible. Then to have someone else interpret and bring your story to life is even more beautiful because you get to see first hand how your work influences others. But first and foremost, writing is for the author, not the audience. So if you feel the urge to write, do it for yourself and no one else.