Shannon Thompson wrote about what inspired her Timely Death Trilogy, which took course over many dreams she had. The only thing a dream has inspired for me was Amelia Gareth, my protagonist for When Stars Die. But everything else comes entirely from my head and the previous chapter I had just written. When I both write and re-write, I do it for myself first, and then I edit for what I think my hypothetical number one fan will want to read, as well as my hypothetical fan that will rate my book three stars (because three star ratings DO NOT mean that the reader didn’t enjoy the book. It can simply mean they’re tough raters and they wanted more out of the book that they didn’t get, but it didn’t deter their enjoyment. Although three star ratings for me means I didn’t like the book, but I kept reading, which is what matters. Anything below three stars for me means I didn’t even finish the book).
In any case, my inspiration doesn’t come from anything sentimental for me. Throughout the day, I am constantly thinking about how to make the story better, how to make the chapter better from a story standpoint–not at a technical standpoint, which is what I worry about last. Here are some inconvenient times when I receive inspiration:
- At work: I’m supposed to be doing my job, as in making appointments so I can hopefully earn commission, which rarely happens for me, because, frankly, the mall sucks so hard, harder than a diamond, and because I work the mall, I can’t make that many appointments. The more appointments you make, the higher the probability that you can actually SELL something. But at least I can keep my job, even if commission doesn’t go through. In any case, after making one appointment, I get totally lazy and generally limit how often I call people over to enter for the Fiat, which is the gimmick we use to draw in homeowners who might be interested in getting stuff–after all, even if I make 8, they’re probably not going to sale anyway, so I often say ‘What’s the point?’ Oftentimes while I’m interacting with a customer, I’ll receive this burst of inspiration, and I just HAVE to write it down, even when I am with a customer–and I do write it down. I am an author now. It is my career now, no matter how this career goes. I have saddled myself with a schedule now, so when inspiration comes, it has to be put down, regardless of how my interaction with the customer is, regardless of how rude I may appear.
- While in class: There is an exception to this. Geography is the most boring class I have ever taken in my life, so it’s not unusual for me to be working on my writing in this class, or writing down inspiration. However, for my other classes, it’s often advised that I pay attention, especially because memorization doesn’t exist in these classes like it does in my geography class, so I have to pay attention in order to understand concepts more clearly and how to apply them. But when I get a hit of inspiration, I simply have to pull out my outline journals and write it down, even mid-lecture. The professors may think I’m taking notes, but, really, I am doing something totally different from what they want me to do. I haven’t been caught yet, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if they happen to do catch me. It’s just inconvenient because I really should be paying attention to lecture to understand stuff.
- While driving: I think about writing intensely when I’m driving because driving is rather boring for me. But once a piece of inspiration hits, I have to pull out the notebook and pen to write it down, even when I’m driving. At a stoplight, I will write it down, but if I have to finish my thought, I will write, even as I’m driving, and writing while driving isn’t even illegal but is just as dangerous as texting while driving. However, I am a very alert driver and haven’t had any accidents…yet, but I don’t see myself writing while driving too much in the future because TSAI is done, Christmas break is almost here, and so I’ll be spending most of my time at home.
- In the shower: So the other day I was mulling over how I wanted to end TSAI, and then suddenly realized how I wanted to end it. Now I was already in the tub, soaking in the hot water before I turned the shower on, but I knew I needed to write it down, that I didn’t want to think about it while showering in the relaxing, hot water. So I immediately got out of the tub, wrapped a towel around me, and went into my room to write down my thoughts. Mind you, I was freezing because my body doesn’t do so well with temperature changes, but I absolutely had to do it.
- Right as I’m about to fall asleep: While I’m on Seroquel, a great sleep aide and total mania killer–usually–my mind is still active, thinking about what I’m going to do while in the process of finishing a book, so when inspiration hits, I have to write it down right then and there or else I could possibly forget it the next day. I often do remember it the next day, but you never know. And it’s annoying because I was about to fall asleep and am so sleepy as I write it, but, well, you have to do what you have to do as a writer or author.
So, for those who are writers, what are some inconvenient moments when inspiration has struck? For those who are primarily readers and like to know what inspires writers, what is your favorite piece of inspiration writers have written about?