“You can find inspiration in everything. And if you can’t, look again.” -Paul Smith
I could totally write in an outdoor cafe in Paris. I know I could. Each. And. Every. Day. It would most definitely feed my inspiration.
Inspiration to Write
I can envision the scene perfectly. I have just ordered a cup of Café crème, along with one of those not-so-good-for-you, but oh-so-delicious pastries. Chocolate, of course.
There is a tiny pink rose bud in a crystal vase sitting in the middle of my table. I bend over, gently breathe in its delicate fragrance and lightly run a finger over one of its velvety petals.
People are strolling down the cobblestone path in front of the cafe, doing what people do in Paris: lovers holding hands, ladies meeting up for coffee, men and women browsing the nearby shops.
I decide to go ahead and set up while waiting for my order. First, I pull out my iPad, which is covered in a luxury-purchased pebbled leather case, which was hand dyed by the artisan to the most vibrant color fuchsia I have ever seen! I’ll admit, I purchased it more for its beauty and inspiration than for its functionality. Next, I pull out my favorite Cross writing notebook (in a softer shade of pink) with its accompanying pen.
The waiter arrives soon afterward, holding both my coffee and pastry on a silver tray which he is balancing high above his head with just the tips of his fingers! With expertise, born out of repetition, he quickly transfers my fare to the table and asks me in French “ Est ce que tout va être madame?”
Ah… such a beautifully inspired setting.
Yes, I am absolutely certain I could find the daily inspiration to write that I crave if living in Paris.
But I don’t live in Paris. I live somewhere else in the world, where the rest of us live, and the senses are not as easily stimulated. And therein lies the challenge for me as a writer; I need inspiration and beauty to write. But inspiration isn’t always a willing participant. And beauty sometimes seems to be playing hide-and-seek.
Sometimes inspiration finds me, other times I must go looking for it.
When it does find me, it most often comes in the form of a word. I will hear that word in my mind and then begin to think about it, examine it from all sides, and look at it from both a practical and a creative viewpoint. I get into my writer’s mindset (which begins with the thought process) and live, breathe, and think about that word, and the ideas that flow from it, before I ever sit down to write about it.
On days, when inspiration eludes me (as it often does), I have to look for it or create it.
One of my favorite quotes is by fashion designer Paul Smith which reads, “You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t, look again.” Yes, always, look again.
Because I know I am inspired by beauty, I have carved out a creative space to write which is located in a nook in front of our home and is furnished with beautiful things I love and cherish. My lovely white marble-topped writing desk, which my husband purchased for me as a birthday gift, is centered in front of the largest window in our home, which overlooks our front garden. The window is flanked on both sides with plum-colored satin draperies. My desk is bordered on each side with delicate ivory bookcases, which hold sentimental gifts from family and friends and a few of my favorite books. It may not be in Paris, but it is such a beautiful, inspirational spot. I love creating there!
Another favorite spot where I find inspiration to write is on my back porch. I take out my ironing board, set it up as a table, and sit and write as I look out over our back garden, listen to the calming sounds of the water fountain, and watch for feathered visitors.
As a writer who is an extrovert, I get a bit antsy with the whole isolated writer life, and I have to go out to connect with people. So, I will often trade the comfort of my home for a seat at the local coffee shop where there are people to observe and conversations to listen in on. Being around people always infuses me with a new creative stream of ideas. There, it is easy for me to invent lives for other people, lives that are not their own, but, rather, “made-up-in-my-writer’s-mind” lives; lives that may be more interesting to me than they are to the people who own them.
My creative places to write are the places where I find myself most inspired and productive. It is in these places that I am best able to capture the thoughts swirling around inside my mind, and transfer them into black and white print on a page. It is in these places that I am best able to go about the process of molding 26 characters into words, those words into sentences, and those sentences into paragraphs that convey both meaning and emotion.
It has taken me a long time to discover what process works best for me and to learn to work with that process, rather than against it. But here’s what I’ve also learned: that while this is my preferred process, life is never perfect. I cannot always write in one of my favorite places, or wait for the perfect time to write. Neither can I wait for inspiration to find me. More often than not, I have to find it.
Because the most import thing a writer can do is write.
Hi, I’m Terry Gassett, Jesus Follower, Wife, Mother, Nina, Life Coach, and Writer. I was born and raised in the “Deep South” and I still live and work there. I have been married to my heartthrob for over 30 years, and we have three grown children, three granddaughters (two who are twins!) and a Chi Chi/Jack Russell perpetual pup.
I am a Life Design Coach and I work with Creative Christian Women to design lives of purpose, passion, and joy!
When not listening to women’s hearts through the coaching process, I am expressing my own through writing. Currently, I’m writing my first book – “Breathe, Just, Breathe: Breathing in the Extraordinary Gifts of God on Ordinary Days.”
Published posts on Two Drops of Ink:
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
More on Grammar More posts about Writing Advice Our site is accepting submissions. Read our submission guidelines and climb aboard the Two Drops of Ink literary train – it’s on the move! Looking for a summer read? Check out The Book Shelf Poetry has found a new surge of interest. Read some great poetry on our site. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook