Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

Seriously.  Sometimes I can go for weeks without feeling the least bit inspired and then WHAM, I get a flood of inspiration when I'm trying to fall asleep. 

Like last night.  I was pooped.  I needed to sleep.  But could I?  Oh hell no.  First, my brain went off on a tangent and rewrote my query letter, which I then needed to get up, pad through the dark house in my skivvies and write down because my brain wouldn't let me sleep until I put this on paper.  Afterwards, I fell into a dream-filled snooze for about an hour, awakening to realize the dream itself was an incredible idea for a totally different book than I've ever written (more pure fantasy than urban fantasy - with elves or gnomes or some other small magical species).  One more semi-clothed trip through the house to my desk, so I could write the general premise down.

Don't get me wrong.  I love inspiration.  I'm willing to lose a little sleep to get it.  But where does it come from and why can't it visit during the day when I'm not doing anything of importance? 

I mean, if I knew where it came from, I could potentially tap into it at will.  Bored?  Tap the inspiration and find a short story to while away the time.  Waiting in the doctor's office?  Access the muse and jot down copious notes on how to fix that plot hole.  Seen today's Grey Anatomy a thousand times?  Hit that creativity mother-lode and get a thousand words out. 

But I don't know how to find it.  Not when I need it anyway.  It just comes and goes as it pleases.  Bitch.  Life would be so much easier if I knew when and where it was going to strike.  But even then, I'm screwed.  I know it usually comes while I'm trying to fall asleep but if I anticipate it, it never shows.  If I put a pad of paper by the bed, it sees it and runs away. 

No.  It wants me to have to stumble through the bedroom, across the living room, into the dark dining room we use as an office, turn on a light and scribble hasty notes while my butt slowly freezes and my head longs for the pillow. 

I think I need to build an inspiration trap.  A little box, a stick and some string, so I can catch it and harness its awesomeness.  If only I could figure out the bait. 

Where does your inspiration come from?  Is yours as sneaky as mine is?  What would you use as bait?


  1. Mine definitely sneaks up on me. I hate it when I have an idea right before bed though! Nice to get the idea, but I wish my brain would choose a better time. :P

  2. I love that - an Inspiration Trap!! It is a sneaky devil, but at least you get inspiration, even if it is at the wrong time of day.

  3. Mine likes to show up when, like you, I'm trying to sleep, I'm in the shower, or I'm w/ people who bore me...but I'm obligated to be polite too.

    Cheese is always awesome bait in my world!

  4. Oh my heck! This happens to me too. When I need inspiration, it's nowhere to be found. When I don't, or when I'm busy doing something else, it's everywhere! Argh! If you figure out how to trap it, I want in on that.

  5. A sneaky trap. I suggest baiting it with ginger lemon creme cookies. It's getting me everytime, for sure.

    Hope you get your inspiration caught and working soon!

  6. hahaha i know what you mean! and you might want to keep a notepad on your nightstand??? just an idea :)

  7. Fortunately mine doesn't visit too often in the night but likes to hit when I'm on long distance drives...

    If you find out how to tame let me know:-)