Creative Inspiration: Where does it come from?
By Editorial Intern, Anjali Ajmani
Being a writer, I can say most of my creativity surfaces from my own experiences. If I’m writing a short story that features a dog, the dog is probably going to look like one of my dogs: blonde with floppy ears and a curly tail. If I’m trying to decide the setting for my story, I’ll probably pick a city or a town that I’m familiar with, like Albany, Georgia, which is where I was born. This way, the setting for my story will be believable and realistic. When focusing on my characters, I usually fashion them to look like people I know or people that I’ve seen before. Writing is easiest when I can see what I want to write in my mind.
Plot ideas often come from events in my life. If I’m having a bad day, I’ll write out what I’m feeling easily because the feelings are fresh. Vacations that I’ve taken serve as strong inspiration for stories. Thinking back to my childhood soccer games and playground days serve my creativity well. Sitting in a library surrounded by books helps me best get into a creative mindset. PetSmart is another place that gets me thinking creatively. All I have to do is look at the birds being silly, and I become inspired to write.
My creativity also stems from my imagination. I once wrote a short story featuring talking apples. A mother goes to Publix and buys several different kinds of apples for her and her daughter. I got the idea after visualizing food, in this case, apples, having feelings and telling stories. I wanted to write a story about apples that feared being eaten. I based the names of the apples off of their types. The Granny Smith apple was named Smith. The Pink Lady apple was named Lady. The McIntosh apple was named Mac, and so on. Smith and Lady share a night together while the other apples tell each other the stories of their lives before they arrived at Publix. The following morning, the daughter decides she wants to eat the Granny Smith apple as part of her breakfast, and Smith dies. This story is really a story of what ifs. What if apples could talk? What if apples had dreams and fears? Asking yourself questions can provide inspiration for a story.
If you’re struggling in the creative department, try not to become frustrated. Brainstorm through your life. How have your own experiences shaped your creativity? What are your sources of creativity? Are you a traveler? Are you an athlete? Are you a foodie? Are you an inventor? Everyone has their own unique creative inspiration. I’d like to hear about yours.