Inspiration—“affected, guided or roused by divine influence.” That would be similar to actors performing in Beckett’s play "Waiting for Godot." Writers can't afford to wait for divine influence, we sit down at our computers and begin. At the end of the day, we may tap the delete key, erase every word we wrote and growl at the dog but when the sun rises it’s time to write again.
Sometimes that ah-hah moment occurs when I try to sleep—perhaps a little tossing and turning jogs and unclogs the creativity in my brain cells—this usually happens long before the first rays peep through the Venetian blinds and I reach for the ever present pad and pen to make a few notes. It’s dark—naturally—the moon is hiding behind a cloud. Do I dare risk turning on a light and waking my mate? I listen...is that a gentle snore I hear? Nothing will wake him now. On goes the light. Wrong—the mate wakes “What?” he asks. “What? What’s wrong?”
“Oh, god, sorry,” I respond, jump out of bed, throw on a robe, and add—softly and sweetly—“I’ll be right back.”
I turn on the computer and a flow of words gushes forth like a forgotten magic waterfall. An hour later, I close the office door before his snores--rising to a crescendo--interrupt my work and I return to the keyboard.
Or stuck, I decide it’s time to take the dog for a walk. On goes his leash, on go my shoes and I look forward to a brisk walk that will dust the cobwebs from my thoughts and enable me to find where I’ve gone wrong. We’re walking briskly, the dog stops short and begins to commune with nature. I wait patiently, I hum a tune and then...Eh, Voila! I have the solution to my problem...where’s my pad? Where’s my pen?
In an urgent tone of voice I tell the dog “Time to go home.” The dog looks up at me, disappointment and—is that hurt shining in her enormous, long lashed eyes?
“I’ll make it up to you, I promise, extra walkies tonight.”
The dog sighs—she’s been through this with me before. We return home, I take off her leash, and toss a handful of biscuits in her bowl before I dash to the computer discarding my coat as I go. I sit down, kick off my shoes and find I’ve retained every word, every sentence that came to me while walking the dog. Ah, inspiration...could thy name be D-O-G?
I finish a chapter and decide to celebrate by restocking the refrigerator and realize I need everything. I grab my coat, refill my wallet, take the shopping cart, lock the door and—the opening sentence
of the next chapter comes to me. What’s food? I unlock the door, throw off the coat, and kick off the shoes. Back to the computer—I’d rather be a starving artist typing away and living on two slices of bread and a lonesome orange.
Have solutions that propel your story struck you at unexpected moments?