Jeff Goins challenges us to steal today. No, not from a convenience store or anything like that. From the people who inspire us to write. It may be a quote or a picture, some other idea that makes the wheels of creativity turn. Don’t be afraid to use them. (Always give credit, of course.)
“You can’t steal a gift. Bird [Charlie Parker] gave the world his music, and if you can hear it you can have it.” —Dizzy Gillespie
When I perform on the flute, I always listen to a recording to get ideas of how greater players than I have played the piece before. I listen for musical phrasing, style and tone quality. Anything that will help me in understanding the piece.
If I’d never heard a flute before, how would I know what it was supposed to sound like?
Creating Something New
As I learned to write novels, I did the same thing with my favorite authors. I read their books, analyzed what was going on in the scenes. If a particular passage blew me away, I reread it and figured out why. Then I tried some of those tactics in my own pieces.
The end results were completely different, but inspired by others. An idea here. A plot line there. I learned structure, scene-building, character building and how to develop my voice from those who were pros.
- If you’re stuck for a blog post or article, find a great quote to write about.
- Read a novel this week that inspires you and write about it.
- Talk about something different at the dinner table. I get tons of ideas talking to my husband and friends.
- Watch an old movie or TV show. Maybe there’s something in it you wish was more exciting or funnier. Maybe you could write a scene about it.
What inspires you? Have you stumbled across anything truly inspiring? Did you write about it?
(quote from 25 Quotes to Help You Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon