Where Do You Get Your Inspiration From?

Hey friends,

I’ve been considering lately the different places from which we, as artists, draw our inspiration from, mainly for the purpose of borrowing ideas for potential muses from other artists. So what inspires or informs upon your writing or other creative endeavors? For me, I love writing when I’m out in nature, although I haven’t gone out in a long time. The writing itself, however, is often prompted from snippets of conversation I hear or some interesting word or phrase I read. I usually can’t write with music on, but I love looking up lyrics or listening to other poets and mimicking their styles.

So, I’ll admit, I have an ulterior motive for making this blog post. I’m also writing another blog post for another class (Editing & Production/Gandy Dancer) and I need your help! If you’re willing for your response to be reproduced on the Gandy Dancer site, please indicate so somewhere in your reply so that we can spread the inspiration! If not, then no worries, I’m still curious for my own personal sake.


3 Replies to “Where Do You Get Your Inspiration From?”

  1. I think I get my inspiration from things that trouble me – personal convictions about my pride and selfishness, children and refugees in war, being away from home, sharing a friend’s burden, seeing the struggles disabled people go through… I think things that trouble us tell us what we value as important, and that is a major part of self-discovery.
    I don’t know what Gandy Dancer expects to have, but if this is useful in any way, feel free to use it.

  2. Hey, Pam — I realized I never responded to your question. I want to help, so I’ll frame where I get my inspiration from in a way that’ll help you generate poetry in similar ways.

    I want to say that I get my inspiration from little instances – I remember looking at the chalk board in our class on Tuesday and thinking about how a professor covers himself in white to teach his students. That image to me connotes so many different things and so I wrote a poem about what it feels like to teach yourself to someone. It’s a weird thought, but I think it’s relevant to what I was feeling at the time.

    And that thought leads into another way that I get the ideas for my poetry, which is creating something from the way that I feel. Usually, I’m confused because I don’t contemplate on these things, but now I think that feeling a certain emotion and then translating it into writing helps me clear my mind. So that’s another way I like to write.

    Something else that I really enjoyed doing in our workshop was ekphrasis and so I suggest you do this if you have a critical eye for art and literature.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Pam!
    Inspiration is a funny thing. On one hand, I feel like I find it everywhere. I find it in my geology professors, and how they word things in specific ways without acknowledging the beauty in their word choice (my favorite is probably “solid olivine). I find it from eavesdropping on conversations while walking on main street. It’s in the works of literature we read, the words I mumble to myself while walking up and down the stairs to do loads of laundry, in the ways I try understand my own thoughts and the images I see. I also like letting myself be a “bad” researcher. I go onto Google, search something that interests me like “minerals used to clean pollution” or “octopus communication,” and I let websites take me where they will. Learning, I feel, is always a good source of inspiration, and that’s probably why I don’t find inspiration hard to come across.

    I find it hard to use, though. Whenever I write it’s usually from a prompt that I either created myself (like mentally compose a poem while hiking and immediately write it down once you stop hiking) or ones that other people provide me. I change moods, change styles, change the music that I’m listening to (or not listening to). I play around with aesthetics: burn a candle, put on eyeliner, change into sweatpants, change into a dress. It doesn’t really matter. When it gets down into actually writing, I just have to have a large swath of open time where I can allow myself to be comfortable and just go at it.

    You can use this if you’d like!

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