Do you stay open to inspiration from unexpected sources, or do you close yourself off? I hope you keep an open mind and careful watch, or chances are, you're missing out.
Inspiration can come from any number of places. Random images or landscapes can fuel ideas for settings or elements of a story. A snippet of conversation or an article you chance upon might give you an idea for a story or a subplot to one you're already working on. Elements seen in a documentary might fuel your world building.
I've been busy stitching together several hundred tiny granny squares to make a blanket, and I use that time to rewatch favorite series or listen to documentaries. It just helps break up the tedium, and it makes it seem like the sewing takes less time. Anyhow, that's how I came to start watching Human Planet, a documentary series on Netflix that details how humans survive in some of the most demanding places on Earth.
As I watched, I started getting all sorts of ideas for ways Tekarans might cope with some of Yekara's extreme weather and landscapes. Other times I notice bits and pieces of cultures that'd work extremely well for cultures within a series I have percolating away in the back of my mind. Is there anything we creatives have to draw upon more inspiring than the ingenuity of humanity with a problem to solve? Some of the things people have learned to do throughout the centuries are just astounding and seemingly impossible.
The point is, I had no clue I'd find such a treasure trove of inspiration within this documentary. I just figured it would be an interesting thing to listen to while I stitched squares together. Then I began feeling inspired by the ingenious ways people found to cope with one issue or another, and I immediately made a note to go back to key episodes and take notes for farther research. If I hadn't been open to the documentary as a source of inspiration, I would have just shrugged, thought it was neat, and kept going.
No matter what your creative outlet, keep an open mind. Inspiration can come from any number of sources, expected and unexpected.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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