A common question people ask writers is where we find our inspiration. Regardless of your trade or career, you find inspiration for your craft from somewhere or something. The source, however, isn’t always remarkable and doesn’t have to be.
Inspiration is all around us. I’d like to share some places I find inspiration to help encourage you to seek out your own.
The Genesis record of creation repeats the words “And God saw that it was good” multiple times (Genesis 1:31). Although man’s sin corrupted God’s flawless design, we still see the intentional purpose God crafted into His creation.
No wonder when I run, hike, or otherwise adventure in this world, I constantly find beauty that stimulates the imagination. When I visited Italy last year and explored several settings in my upcoming novel, I was overwhelmed with the the colors, sounds, architecture, culture, and cuisine (including pizza and gelato)! The experience doesn’t have to be international or exotic to provide inspiration. Wherever we go, God’s nature provides boundless possibilities for subject matters and settings.
No matter what we do, creation can inspire us. The sheer wonder of it alone is enough to give us hope. In fact, Jesus Himself tells us that creation sings the praises of God and point us to His sovereignty and glory.
“‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'” Luke 19:40
Our Father is the master Artist. He is the source of all beauty and all that is good. Whether you yourself are an artist, a writer, a business man, a mom, a minister, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, on and on, His Creation is made to inspire us, to give us vision and purpose, and to remind us that the King of Kings is on our side and will support us in the things He has set on our hearts to accomplish.
This February, the final novel in my young adult, dystopian trilogy publishes. Some people have asked why I decided to write dystopian fiction since it can sometimes be a controversial genre.
The simple answer? I felt convicted to write a dystopian thriller from a Christian worldview with an overarching message of hope. So many dystopian books are dark with bleak outcomes, and while mine still includes many common characteristics of the genre, it offers a twist. It suggests that for a futuristic society to survive and thrive, its people need to rediscover heritage and the Source of true hope. As a result of my convictions, this theme underpins an otherwise classic dystopian tale.
Related Post: Inspire a Shared Vision
We all have things we strongly believe in or a cause that’s close to our hearts. When we work with our passion in mind, we find seemingly unending droves of inspiration. What is the thing that keeps you up at night and gets you on your feet in the morning? What subject could you talk about for days with a hope and a sparkle in your eye? Listen deep within yourself for a minute. With the Holy Spirit inside of us, our convictions are sourced from God. Take your convictions, your passion, and find inspiration in them.
I’m not the only person who likes to people watch at airports or tune in to random conversations, am I? Sometimes, a mere word or phrase catches my ear and suggests perhaps a title, a unique character name, a nugget of truth about human nature, or a humorous story to tuck away for later. Even if those snippets never find their way into my writing, they certainly make me a better observer, conversationalist, and listener–all of which are necessary for being a good writer.
When we engage in conversation or observe the conversations of others, we put ourselves in a position to learn and look at life from a new perspective. We were made to live life in relationship, so it’s no wonder that there is so much inspiration to be found there. When we lean into conversation and relationships, life becomes so much richer. The truth is, we can live our whole lives having never gleaned anything from relationships, our own or those we observe. When we choose to go deep and take in all that is there in a conversation, we stand to gain an infinite well of inspiration not only for our work but also for life itself.
What Inspires You?
Inspiration is all around us. It’s in the air we breathe, the people we interact with, the music we listen to, the things we see and touch, the words others say and the words we say ourselves. It’s in the food we eat, the books we read, the roadways we drive on, and in the very quiet in between it all.
No matter what life looks like around you, there is something that can get you inspired. All you have to do is look up and listen. Take in the world God has placed around you. He is there, in the midst of it all with a deep presence that whispers newness and life.
Where do you find your inspiration? Please leave a comment and share! We’d all love to hear.