Author Inspiration

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Oddly enough, no one mettions the muses specifically, but I'm under the belief that they are describing what the muse shows them...

What inspires you as a writer?

Kola: "Love...suicidal feelings...loneliness...fear of being invisible."

Hanne: "I tend to write things I want to read, but which don't seem to exist. I find it inspiring to build things that (to my eyes at least) need to be built."

Laurel: "Thinking, observing, analyzing, talking to people."

Jason: "Vanity, I think. Ask me if I were trapped on an island in a faraway sea and I had everything I needed, including my laptop, and Iíd tell you that Iíd only write if I thought somebody would find what Iíd written and read it. I think about that sometimes, and about how Iíd stop doing situps, too."

Angela: "This is going to sound really corny...but her goes...ann sexton has a poem titled...THE AWFUL ROWING TOWARDS GOD, and in another poem, COURAGE, she talks about courage being the everyday stuff in everyday people that keeps them going despite their scars and bruises. Now, I am not religious, but am spiritual....and it is this nobility, this courage. this spirit, this "awful rowing towards god," that I continually see in others...that inspires me deeply."

bard: "wants needs and desires... for art, it is best to want... it is not logical, but it is a true driving force... an emptiness within becomes a very good motivator to write, or draw. then there are reactionary moments when my pen becomes restless."

Gwen: "Iím inspired by the smallest things. A single sentence in a conversation will often become the opening line of a short story or novel. I once wrote a story that was inspired by the sound of a sheet snapping on a clothesline in a good breeze. Anything works, anything at all...itís such a thrill to wonder, what will I write about today?"

Stephen: "The fear of sinking into ordinary inspires me to do more. Having an unfulfilled yesterday and the underdog possibilities to make a difference today inspires me. My inspiration is to escape my confined world and grab a bit of extra, cheating mundane life."

Rose: "I'm influenced by inquisitive readers and insightful workshop participants. And by all the talent that I read. Philip Roth. Alice Munro. Too many to name."

Heather: "Everything. Inspiration is everywhere. But if I had to pick one thing, I'd say that people inspire me most of all. I love to people-watch and wonder what their secrets are. Those musings usually lead to the page."

Kim: "Everything. Anything. I write quite a bit about my personal experiences, so everything in between waking up and going to sleep is fair game. Actually, that's only partially true. I've written about my dreams, too."

GaŽlle: "The world and society in general. People who hate because they are told to. A word, a moment, a sex-toy."

Katy: "Everything around me. Every person has a story (or ten.) Every one I meet has a characteristic that will just perfectly into some story or article. Life, and the people who live it, inspires me.

Oddly enough, part of my inspiration comes from the desire to do good in my lifetime. Whether Iím helping other writers succeed or being pro woman in my porn stories or writing about people that matter, it makes me feel good to know Iím helping someone.

Iím also inspired to learn. With almost every story and article I write, thereís something new to absorb. Before I wrote about swinging, for example, I had no clue as to what the lifestyle was all about; like many I just assumed it was kind of a sleazy, wife-swapping, orgiastic thing. But as I researched the subject I came across couple after couple who were completely devoted to one another, couples who communicated about everything.

I experienced the same thing when writing about how disability affects sexuality or the discrimination and difficulties that transgender people face. Then, of course, there are all the fetishes Iíd never heard of before; definitely a learning experience :)"

Ina: "Life. Life is huge, complicated and wonderful, even when it's hard. How can one not be inspired by it?"

Jude: "Anything and everything. One of my favorite short stories came about from a news story. I've had others come to me from a piece of music or just the thought of an instrument playing. Sax comes to mind. I'll see a piece of artwork, or the curve of a person's neck, or a sexy ass, and be inspired. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Parties, restaurants, sitting at stop lights, memories of experiences I've had, conversations with people can spark a story."

Bee: "I write out of an obsessive need to put facts in order and create a world that makes more sense than the chaotic, difficult, brilliant one that I experience."

Kat: "My life and the lives of others."

Josh: "I love TV. Serials in particular. Especially shows that explore their characters. Getting everything done in two hours or so is great, but getting twenty-two hours a season to mess around with characters and stories? Whether itís good or bad, as a writer I can always walk with something. ďHey, thatís neat how they did that.Ē ďI wonder why they didnít try thisĒ ďTheyíre de-railed.Ē Thereís a reason I have a Tivo. The one downturn is Iím always critical of everything I watch. I just wish I could sit back and enjoy more stuff. Itís obviously easier with TV and movies, nearly impossible with theatre."

Who has inspired you?

Bee: "I've had to fight hard for simple things like an appropriate education. In a constant state of siege, I learned how important it is to know and understand your enemy. I was damaged but also inspired to make a lifelong commitment to seek justice and equality."

Jude: "Oh this is going to be an interesting list. In no particular order: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Spider Robinson, Anne Rice, M. Christian, Simon Sheppard, Jaymie Joy Gatto, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Sage Vivant, Greg Wharton... and I'm sure I'll add more as I go here."

Gwen: "Many people have inspired me. My grandfather, who taught me to be true to myself. My grandmother, who taught me to be thankful for everything I have. My children, who have taught me to see the world through new eyes, every single day. The men I have loved have been supportive, understanding and have been the focus of more than a few of my writings. Itís wonderful to be surrounded by such inspiration!"

Jewel: "I think the writer who has most recently influenced me is Maxine Kumin. Her recovery from an almost-fatal accident gave me hope and determination to overcome what I had recently experienced. I felt, if she could continue to write so eloquently after what she had been through, I could, too. For her story, see her Inside the Halo and Beyond: The Anatomy of a Recovery."

Hanne: "As a writer? Ursula K. Le Guin, Vikram Seth, Georges Perec, Margaret Visser, Isabella Allende, Tom Robbins, Denis de Rougemont, Peter Gay, Peter Brown, Angela Carter, Marge Piercy, C. J. Cherryh, Lester Bangs, Terry Pratchett, Charles Dickens, Frances Trollope, Mary Wollstonecraft, Barbara Ehrenreich, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, W.H. Auden, Halldor Laxness, Dylan Thomas, Ray Bradbury, Lisa Alther. Quite a few others as well. I've taken some really good lessons from a lot of writers, some of whom are also historians or theorists as well as being fine writers, others of whom are not also historians or theorists but are still fine writers. I tend to like writers who are keen observers of human beings and human behavior, which I think is the single connecting thread in the list above."

Heather: "My grandmother was a poet and I've been in awe of her creativity since I can remember. My older sister, Dawn, has been a big influence on me as wellógiving me my first real glimpse at a strong, independent women. And my husband, who truly believes that I've got "it"Öwhatever "it" may be."

Kola: "Well old films of the 1920's and 1930's had a huge impact on my style of writing...and then so many writers inspired me, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Nawal El Sadaawi, the great poet Mari Evans is responsible for me writing "Nile River Woman"...Richard Wright and James Baldwin. Sherwood Anderson, Gloria Steinem, Abbey Lincoln, so many people."

Ina: "As a writer? Hard to answer but I think I'd have to say the authors who touch my heart and mind are those who make you feel their words - those who can create empathy in their readers."

Jason: "James Salter. Charles Bukowski. Leonard Cohen. Cormac McCarthy. These are writers. In the real world, in my real life, if anything, the people Iím around inspire me away from writing. My friend, the poet Daniel Gula, told me once about sitting at a park watching a game of softball and trying to write about it and how finally he just chucked the pen and paper and asked if he could play. He described that moment as one of relief."

Kim: "My mother. I know, I know, that sounds corny and sappy, but when I was young she was my first and only audience and critic. She's stuck by me and instilled in me an undying respect for writers and books. She's passionate about the written word and believes that books are valuable. Professionally, I'm inspired by other essayists, from Nietzsche to Sedaris."

Angeala: "Everybody and anybody. You, Gracie, because of your loving, open, supportive spirit. Writers such as Parker, Irving, and --dare I say it?-- Stephen King. People that "do it" despite the odds. Catherine Graham (PERSONAL HISTORY), Quentin Tarentino, Jim Carrey, Dave Eggers (A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS), Ray Charles. ...and so many friends, teachers and employers over the years."

Kat: "Those who said I couldn't do it, and those who say I suck at it."

Katy: "Valerie Kelly, author of ďHow to Write Erotica,Ē was definitely an inspiration; I sold my first letters after reading her book. But by the time I read it, it was already outdated, which pushed me to write my own book.

Other than her - and my seventh grade English teacher, thanks Mrs. Parnell! Ė Iím inspired by other working writers. Writers who donít give up after the first (or hundredth) rejection, writers who constantly grow in their craft. Hey, if they can do it, so can I :)"

bard: "women I could never have... people who have made me do double takes at their behavior... women I have wanted..."

Laurel: "I don't respond much to 'inspiration.'"

Stephen: "Jesus, MLK, JFK, and Ali are my biggest inspirations. I hope to one day have initials or to be recognized with one name."

GaŽlle: "My therapist."

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© Gracie


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