This week I saw a fabulous film at The Santa Barbara Film Festival, called “Skin.” It was about a white couple raising their biological American daughter in South Africa during Apartheid. The trials, tribulations and too infrequent joys of that experience were conveyed in a compelling and creative way. I highly recommend it.
For me, one of the best highlights of the evening was hearing the Director speak afterwards about his inspiration for making the movie. “Interesting question,” he said to the woman in the audience who posed it. “It was as simple as me sitting at my kitchen table listening to the interview of the girl as an adult. I was captivated by the story and decided right there that I was going to find out more about the story.” We never know when ideas will excite and stimulate our psyches which is one very good reason to always carry a journal.
The journal captures not only interviews, but snippets of conversation, dreams and writing ideas which could be particularly helpful during times of literary drought. I have often turned to my notebook for guidance. Other details gathered in journals could be the source of future stories, such as creative musings, images, dreams and synchronicities. Spontaneous inspiration may also come from the body and this can also be written in the journal.
Inspiration can also come from nature, listening to the silence, listening to the voices of birds and water. Something I also enjoy doing is instead of listening to what people say, I listen to their individual words and the cadence and tone with which they speak.
What ideas do you have about writing inspiration?