I recently started to teach a creative writing course. During one of the sessions a student asked where I got my inspiration. They asked because this was something they struggled with. Once they had a story line everything else fell into place, however that initial spark was a problem. My first instinct was to reply everywhere. However I was aware this was not a good enough answer. I listed off newspaper clippings, song titles, poems, people watching, an over heard comment, TV and film etc. etc. but then decided to analyse where my ideas had really come from.
I thought about the three picture books I’ve been lucky enough to have published. The first ‘A Book For Bramble’ evolved from my work with a not-for-profit organisation that rescues sick, injured and orphaned hedgehogs. I began to wonder what (if any) dreams hedgehogs have whilst they hibernate. Slowly the story of Bramble the hedgehog and his friend Teasel the mouse evolved.
My second book ‘The Best Jumper’ grew from a conversation with a friend. We were discussing putting on weight and no longer being able to wear that favourite garment. We agreed at least we had the chance to lose the weight and squeeze back into that garment. Unlike children who would never be able to squeeze back into their favourite piece of clothing because they’d grown out of.
My last book ‘Dog Did It’ came from owning a dog. Anyone who lives with a canine friend will know they can sometimes suffer from flatulence. This aromatic problem can sometimes result in a statement along the lines of “the dog did it!”
So my three books have come from:
- An idle question
- A conversation
- A life experience
The latest story I’m working on is one about friendship and what it means to be a friend. I’ll be honest I have no idea where the idea came from. I can only assume my brain cell picked up an idea and ran with it. I was then gifted with an almost complete story, which I’m now trying to get onto paper.
So this got my wondering about where other authors get their ideas? So if you’ve read this and would like to share, I’d love to know who or what has inspired you.