Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A lot of people have been writing about inspiration lately, considering the monumental tasks before us this month (NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo).

I get my inspiration first and foremost from my kids.  I think if you write for children, and you don't have any of your own, you at least need to borrrow some for awhile.  Hang out at the library (as long as you don't have long hair and tattoos), volunteer at your local school (see exception previously), or observe children at the playground or park (okay, if you do have long hair and tattoos, you're going to have to borrow some young relatives).

I also get inspiration from my own childhood.  In fact, my one published story to date (well, its under contract, but I consider it published for my ego's sake!), was based on some childhood memories of raising geese.  Take the time to do a journal of your childhood.  I basically took each year of school and wrote everything I could remember about those years in a diary.  When I'm at a loss for ideas, I shuffle through the pages and find some funny tidbit just waiting to be fleshed out.

Like most writers, I think the most important element of inspiration is openness.  Just be open at all times to what's going on around you and the potential it holds for a story.  I've gottten some ideas from unlikely places: National Geographic articles, posters of animals in the school hallway, conversations overheard at a restaurant, you name it!

Finally, don't forget your own imagination.  Dream up your own characters.  Think of something you've never seen in a children's book.  Ask the "what if" questions.  (Like, what if I got off my blog page and actually started working on my story!!!)

Okay, I get the hint.  Get at it!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Yes - openness is a crucial part of writing for kids. Partly so we don't miss those moments of inspiration, and also partly because our readers - kids - are so open themselves. We have to be able to tap into that emotional availability when we write, to get that connection with our readers.