I’ve been a creative long enough to know that inspiration comes and goes in waves. (Anyone else just read the end of that sentence to the tune of Greg Laswell’s Comes and Goes [In Waves]? But more on that later…) One day, I’m consumed with too many ideas for stories or paintings. The next, I’m curled in a ball on my couch, eating cookie dough ice cream from the tub and crying because the women of The Real Desperate House Wives are cleverer than I. Okay, maybe that is a stretch. Especially since I have very little patience for reality TV. But you get my drift, right?
I’ve also been a creative long enough to know that, if you want to soften the waves, you have to douse them with a little fire. For me, nothing strokes my creative fire like other creatives.
I’ve sparked an idea for a story from watching movies, seeing paintings, reading other books, enjoying really great food, even through the wonder of a beautiful sunset. But the most consistent source of inspiration, for me, is in music.
What is it about a song that can overwhelm you? There are some treasured favorites that bring me to tears. Every. Single. Time. Even though I listen to them frequently. Others catch my breath with their peacefulness or hope.
A simple search on the web will give you endless articles about the effect of music on humans. Some, like this article, link it to a primal need we had to communicate before language existed. Whatever the case, there is something about a melody that connects with us.
What music inspires you?
My favorites, truthfully, vary according to mood. But there is something about Claude Debussy’s Claire de Lune, the haunting trumpet wail of Miles Davis, the poetic lyric of Passenger, or the raw emotion of Johnny Cash that make me want to rise to their level of creativity. They get my fingers typing, and the plots reveal themselves.