Inspiration 101
J.V. Jones
June 15th : 2007

People often ask where my ideas come from. Itís a hard process to pin down, but I believe that spending time outside and experiencing nature contributes in a variety of ways. First and foremost it gets you out of the house (please refer to my last entry on this point). Second, it gives one chance to observe nature firsthand. While I was on the kayak I watched cormorants dive for fish and ten pound croakers jump out of the bay. When I trailed my hand in the water, I caught seaweed as tensile as nylon cord. It appeared green until I took it out the water. Without refraction it was yellow.
Of course, we can always read about these things, but nothing is quite as striking as experiencing them firsthand. Plus thereís always a chance weíll observe something special, a tiny detail that no oneís written about before. Reading nonfiction for inspiration is essential, but whenever one picks up a book or an article it arrives pre-filtered. The writer makes choices on our behalf, eliminating extraneous details, highlighting others he deems important. By getting outside and observing nature we can make these choices for ourselves. We can decide whatís worth writing about.

And who knows...we might see something that inspires a description, a crafty plot twist, or even an entire storyline.