Friday, October 22, 2010
I was at the Texas Book Festival this past weekend. I was lucky enough to be on two panels. One of them, in the picture above, was a panel with fantasy writers called Portals to Imagined Worlds. It had Ingrid Law, Cinda Williams Chima, Carolyn Cohagan, myself, and was moderated by another accomplished writer, Greg Leitich Smith.
It was a fun panel. One of the questions was about where we got our inspiration. The others on the panel gave thoughtful, wise answers and I said I bought my inspiration out in a small town in West Texas. I didn't mention that it came in small tins and looked a lot like Altoids but I'll tell you. Very tasty.
No, the truth is, in my humble opinion, that while inspiration is very real it seldom just appears out of nowhere. It usually comes to someone who is working every day. That is, you have to be engaged in writing your novel, struggling with each problem, trying to work it out, get the story out, get it right, even on those days you can't actually get to your computer. That's when inspiration comes. It comes because you're in a place where it can come to you. And I believe the way you put yourself in that place is by showing up.