Inspiration. It's something that comes easily to some and harder for others. It's a fickle beast. It's nice to have.
BUT it's not necessary.
I'm going to start this argument off by making a point. And to make that point, I'm going to have to tell you a little story.
My current WIP? It's probably the best thing I've ever written. I'm not going to reveal the entire plot here, because I'm not an idiot. I know people steal. But I will say that I'm the most easy person to get inspiration, ever. I came up with the main plot idea for this project while listening to Florence + The Machine and going through a car wash. It's that simple.
People who struggle with coming up with ideas ask me one thing, repeatedly. "Where do you get your ideas?"
The best answer that I can come up with is: Everywhere.
It's not as if I walk past the corner, waltz into the inspiration store, and buy out all of their ideas. The thing is, ideas and inspiration aren't that important. What's important is your thoughts. I know some will argue that those are close enough to be called the same thing, but not in my book.
Inspiration is an excuse, a reason to put off working on something. It's a pretty good one, too. A lot of people with sympathize with you if you tell them that you can't write because the ideas are coming out stale and utterly wrong. But some, writers who have gone through quitting things because they were shiny and new anymore, will know inside themselves that you are making excuses, even if it's subconsciously.
People tend to make excuses, sometimes for others, sometimes for themselves. They need to be able to say, "I can do this because of that." and "This keeps me from doing that."
In a conversation I had with a good friend, Jamie, she compared inspiration to a faucet. I'm paraphrasing, because this was a while back, but I remember this, for the most part.
"Sometimes it's a flowing faucet, sometimes it's a weaker trickle." "And sometimes it's as if someone has stuck their gum onto the faucet and it's stuck completely."
I don't think that could be any truer. When people say that they are not inspired to write something any longer, I get so confused. I just can't think of it as logical. I can understand someone putting something down, because it's holding them back. But they aren't inspired?
Look around you, my friends! Between music and books and photography and art, I don't see how the world could be any more inspiring. Look in the simplest things. Your surroundings are much more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
Take the quilt that your grandmother made for you. It's a bit old and it smells of mothballs, but really, truely look at it. Can you see the stitching and the texture of the fabric? Look for the tiny things. It's always the tiny details that make a work of art, the brushstrokes, the look in someone's eyes that lasted for a few moments.
If you're interested in getting a small look into what inspires me, you can check out the tumblr blog I set up for things that inspire me here. It's a compiled list of pictures that I adore, have stumbled upon across the internet, and have inspired me. Look for the little things.
Here's a challenge. I'm going to include a few pictures below. I want you to examine them and find something beautiful, but small. Don't say things like "I love this picture!" Here's an example:
I love that she has freckles, and that there's one that's slightly darker than the rest.
The small hole in the dandelion is interesting.
I like that her pinky is sticking out, like people supposedly do with tea. It makes me thing of tea parties.
Here are your images!
Good luck! I look forward to hearing what you notice about the pictures. Remember, it doesn't have to be something that you like. Just something interesting.