Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Defining Inspiration

What is your writing inspiration?

Sources of inspiration vary from day to day and even piece to piece.

For my historical novel, The Distant Shore, my inspiration was the amazing true story of the life of Katherine Harrison, grandmother of a friend. Katherine (Emma-Lee Palmer in my book) penned a memoir at age 85 of an extraordinary year of her life when, in 1904 at age 6 (evolved into 9 in TDS because publishers won't touch a 6-year-old protagonist), she was mysteriously sent away from her family to live with an aunt who didn't want her on a remote, untamed Florida island.

The dark family secret she discovered there and the ensuing life-or-death climax just begged to be told as I read Katherine's account in her old lady scrawl on notebook paper.

Inspiration for Grit for the Oyster:250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers was the felt need for a combination devotional/how-to for those just starting out as writers, and even more experienced writers in need of a spiritual motivation boost. Suzanne Fisher conceived the idea and shared her vision with her three co-writers (including me) at a California writer's conference and the concept was gestated and birthed over the next 9 months.

The motivation behind my recent release, Mom NEEDS Chocolate, was to share with future generations of my family that Great Grandma Debbie was a living, breathing person who had a faith that was real. I want them to know, long after I'm gone, that it IS possible to live out your faith and that Papa God can truly be your strength through the muck of everyday craziness.

So what, then, is your inspiration for your recent writing project?

If you haven't defined it yet, give some thought today to pinpointing your inspiration. Why are you sinking countless hours into this project? What is the life force behind your words? Identify and embrace your inspiration. It may very well be the single driving force that propels you forward on the road to publication when inevitable potholes threaten to flatten your tires.

Happy writing and Happy Thanksgiving!