Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Mystery of Inspiration

Every now and then I'm asked what inspired me to write, and the truth is, I don't know.  I often wish I had some ready-made anecdote, complete with an "aha" moment where I could look back and say, "yes, that's it, the moment I decided to make up characters and stories and whole worlds and write them down."  

But I don't.

There are clues, sure, little nuggets of ideas, stops and starts along the way.  If I look closely, I can find insight into when I started writing, or how I got a particular idea, or why I'm attracted to certain kinds of stories or themes.  Still, there's a bigger mystery out there that I can't quite get my arms around.

What made me want to write in the first place?

My go-to answer is reading, because I've loved to read since I could string two letters together, and there's no question that I'm constantly inspired by the worlds and stories I read about.  But lots of people love to read, and I'm not convinced that all readers are destined to become writers themselves.  I know that I made up stories long before I could read or write them, creating lives and drama for the stuffed animals in my room. So for me at least, the desire to write and create came before reading.

I love to share my stories with other people, and love it when someone connects with a character the same way I did, or even better, connects with her is a way I didn't imagine.  But the more I write, the more I realize that as much as I want to share my stories, I don't write for other people (there lies the path to crazytown), I write for me.

There is a certain amount of control that comes with making up the rules to your own universe, and I can't deny that I enjoy having the ability to shape and change what happens, to craft the perfect line of dialogue (it helps to have months to think about that quick comeback) and to resolve conflicts from within the safety of the page.  It's fun to explore different experiences and world views through characters, and I almost always discover some truth that I wasn't even aware I believed until it showed upon the page.

But that's not why I write either.

A lot of times, writing is hard, so it's not that it's easy.  I don't consider myself a tortured artist, but I do know that writing isn't always fun.  It's mostly fun, so maybe that's part of what keeps me going.

In the end, I think that I write for no other reason than because I can't not.  Now if I could just figure out why...

Talia Vance is the author of SPIES AND PREJUDICE, described as Veronica Mars meets Pride and Prejudice, as well as the BANDIA series (SILVER; GOLD) based on Celtic mythology.  You can find out more about her at www.taliavance.com


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...