Baths, Books, Rules: Authors Share Their Inspiration

Writers Recommend is an online exclusive at Poets & Writers that asks authors:

“What Inspires You?”

For Heather Sellers, author of “You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know” (Riverhead Books, 2010), it’s a bath, a pile of magazines, lavender oil, and as much time as she needs.

Aimee Bender, author of “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” (Doubleday, 2010) says, “Rules. I’m a big believer in structure, and the idea that creativity loosens up when constrained a bit.

Stuart O’Nan, author of 14 novels, reads pages from his favorite book.

With responses from more than 100 authors, the answers are as varied as these three examples, yet there are a lot of similarities, too.  To read all the responses, and find some inspiration of your own, read  Writers Recommend from Poets & Writers.

Resources: Poets & Writers, The Daily Post.

5 thoughts on “Baths, Books, Rules: Authors Share Their Inspiration

  1. So, what is it for you Olivia? For me it’s a 70 degree breezy day with a lawn mower full of gas and several hours of riding unimpeded. I don’t know why it is but I have my best ideas while riding the lawn mower, so, naturally, I wear an apron with my notebook and pen in it and I stop every few minutes to write down those ideas, (yes, I waste a lot of gas doing this). That’s the only bad thing about it.

  2. Good question, Deanna! For me, it’s silence. Hence my love of The Silent Writers Collective. If I have silence and no Internet, I find I can pretty easily slip into that creative/productive zen head. Now to contradict myself, I have been incredibly productive in the middle of noisy, busy cafes, airports, and Motor Vehicle. I guess when the muse wants to strike, it’s going to strike. But it’s nice to know I can sweet talk it out with a little quiet time.

    I think maybe all that jostling around on your lawn mower makes your ideas bounce right out of your head!

  3. LOL, that sounds about right Olivia. 🙂 You’re right, our muses could care less where we are or what we’re doing when they want to shout. I try to be grateful, but my muse IS a snotty little Brat, so sometimes I have to knock him upside the head and put him back in line. 🙂

  4. For me, inspiration comes simply out of the blue! The idea for a plot comes to me in an instant, and it’s rare that I feel the need to change it afterwards. The idea for my first story which was broadcast on the radio came in the middle of the night; I just got up and wrote it. The plot of my (hopefully) soon to be published novel came during a conversation on a tram.

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