Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Formula for Inspiration

A few days ago we were coming home from somewhere, driving along this road that runs right next to a large valley. Most of what I could see on this drive were trees, but I got a five-second glimpse of the roofs of a village of squatter homes. I only saw about fifty makeshift roofs, but I know that the squatter area there fills that valley. (Squatters are really, really poor Filipinos who make their homes anywhere they can, with anything they can because they can't afford to do anything else).

After that five-second glimpse of that squatter area, my thoughts wandered. I thought about what it might be like to live like that, and how I can never ever fully comprehend it, and other things as well. I don't know why, but for some reason that overwhelming urge to create something meaningful overcame me at that moment.

That afternoon after I got home, I sat down and wrote for about two hours. Somehow, for some indeterminable reason, that glimpse of those squatter homes inspired me to write.

I feel like I talk a lot about inspiration, but I think I do that because it's always different. There is no formula for inspiration, and I think it's sometimes easy to forget that. I know that I've definitely read posts about how to get inspiration, or people have inspiration-themed prompts. "Music inspiration for you", "want inspiration? go for a walk outside", etcetera.

But really, inspiration comes, at least for me, in the most unexpected moments, through the most unexpected circumstances and glimpses of images. I don't have a formula for what inspires me, and I never will, no matter how much I might analyze the things that have inspired me and motivated me to write in the past.

What random things have inspired you?


  1. Lately it has been; my wife, clouds, the song Burnt from adhesive, the movie looper, you, blogs about writing, jogging, etc. it's pretty simple, everything and nothing inspire me lately. Sadly i don't have enough time to write everything i want ;(

  2. I totally know what you mean. Sometimes I feel that when you're looking for inspiration, you go in with the mindset of "I can't get inspiration, so I'm going to use these prompts to help me." I always find inspiration in music and the emotions behind it. Good luck with the new idea! :)

  3. Hey Alyssa, I'm hosting a writing contest over at my blog. It would be great if you wanted to enter!


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