By Joyce Jacobo
[Author’s Note: I wrote this short piece a while back for a publisher called BQB Publishing: https://bqbpublishing.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/stories-are-everywhere-finding-the-inspiration-to-write/, but I thought it might be nice to share it here as well. Hope you like it!]
Discovering the bright spark of literary inspiration can pose an overwhelming challenge at times, especially when you don’t know where to begin the search. If this sounds like you, please listen to my story:
One autumn morning, I was having trouble finding anything on which to write. The blank sheet on my computer screen had taunted me for over two hours, and it seemed there was nothing particularly interesting in my life at the moment to discuss. At the third hour, I decided to take a break.
I got up and pulled aside my bedroom curtains, which looked out on the fenced-in backyard and sweeps of golden countryside meadows beyond
—and a whole rabbit warden feasting on the sparse grass turned their tiny button eyes at me. We considered each other in frozen silence for several moments.
You should understand at this point that sighting two or three rabbits (as well as numerous squirrels) foraging right outside my window wasn’t unusual, since the local wildlife had come to accept the enclosed area around the house as a suitable haven. Actually, it had been an unacknowledged fact between us, made all the more believable by mutual avoidance.
But now we clearly saw one another, and as you can imagine neither side knew what to do next.
I sneezed, and the rabbits scattered into bushes, holes, and fields
—leaving behind a quirky little memory to later share with my family and friends.
What exactly does the above have to do with writing or finding literary inspiration?
Well, the incident with the warren reminded me of something important for every writer to remember: Stories are everywhere. They surround us as ordinary moments and things, waiting for someone to notice their magical qualities. A good tale doesn’t need to arise from some epic struggle for survival or dire strife. It just needs to be sincere and connect with your readers on a personal level.
So if you are having difficulties getting started, or uncovering that next story idea, get up and explore the world. Watch life happen. Take notes. Strive to see even familiar surroundings from fresh angles. For instance, imagine what it would be like, in your own home, to see the place for the first time as a visitor. You might even come across some unusual and unexpected sights.
In this way, you will always have a way to find new ideas.