The beautiful young girl in this picture is my grandmother Joan Paton. She might argue the beautiful part (she is humble to a fault) but I have yet to show this picture to anyone who didn’t agree with my opinion. Why am I sharing it with you now (other than to brag about the good genes in my family)? I wanted to share a few thoughts about inspiration and my grandmother is one of the biggest sources of inspiration in my life.
Gramma inspires me to be a better person; to carry on through adversity; to be industrious; and, useful to family and friends. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized her inspiration could also carry over into my writing. While re-telling one of her stories it occurred to me that in those stories and my reactions to them a novel was waiting to be written. I was not just interested in her stories, I was inspired by them.
A few months ago I began to put my thoughts to paper and recently completed the first draft of a novel (Riveted) inspired by Gramma’s stories and experiences building bombers for Boeing during World War II.
The realization that I was inspired opened a flood of creativity that powered my ability to write my first novel. It also opened my mind to look more closely at my interpretation of the word ‘interesting’. What I discovered is that for me, interest leads to inspiration. Since that time I have kept a journal at my side day and night. In the journal I jot down things that I find interesting and thus inspiring.
Inspiration can come from a beautiful landscape. It can come from an interesting story or fact or the bold question of a child. Inspiration is all around us just waiting to be realized.
Inspiration is all around us waiting for that moment of discovery when we are ready to accept what is being offered. Are you ready to be inspired? Search your photo albums, a history book or the internet for a photo that interests you. It could be a person, a scene or an object. Then, tell the story of that object. Why is the person in the photo smiling, or not? Who built that barn? Why is there a path through that field? Don’t stop to research. There is no wrong answer. Just look at the picture and let the story flow onto the page. Aim to fill one sheet of paper (both sides) with the story of that photograph.