May 16, 2011

Reaching for inspiration

      Inspiration is the one thing all writers can agree has to go into any work. We're all on the lookout every moment for something more, something to give us that drive. Finding what inspires us to keep pushing out pages has become an art form in itself. Some writers use music, movies, discussion, scribbling on paper. I've even spoken to a few who can't seem to break outside the box without a heavy drink or two under their belt.
     As far as being inspired, I think I'm the luckiest person in the world. I live ten minutes from the most inspiring place I've ever known. It's not a castle made from diamonds or a wonder of the world. It's a creek. It's where I grew up.
    Most laugh at the name - Jigg Water. I'm surprised that it's kept that name in the face of desegregation. In my great-great grandparents time, that creek was the place where blacks would go and wash their clothes. I sit on the bank, listening to the falls in the distance, hearing the cranes give me their warning call; they don't trust me. There are no lights, no telephone poles, no interruption to the purity of nature. I can almost see their outlines, the hardened faces of the scorned and abused, singing "All God's chillun got wing...", and beating the tattered cotton made blouses against the rocks.
    I love having the ability to watch them, those souls that linger, as though a movie plays out right before me. I'd be lost without my imagination. They fade. There's no better inspiration to me than knowing through what oppression others have persevered. I can write this page. I sit on the truck bed and watch the muddy water slothing by me, watch the sun peeking at me through the valley, and stare in awe at the bluest grass you've ever seen. I feel blessed to know my way around the maze of creeks and paths. The water is open to the public, but unless it's the weekend, there's not another person in sight.
    If I can't make it out there, I always have my coffee and my sunrise on the back porch. I work best when it's quiet and I'm not distracted by the noises of everyday life.

Where do you get your inspiration?


  1. People. It's something of an irony, really. I despise most people, yet their lives inspire me to write. I listen to their conversations when I sit in cafes. I watch the emotions pour over the faces. The love. The hate. The sadness. Everything. I give them stories.

  2. It's funny that you mention that. A friend of mine suggested we go "people watching" soon.