We all feel passionate about the things that entertain us in our free time. Many of us dream of a day when we can either enjoy these things at our frequent leisure, or create them ourselves. Film, television, video games, music, so many different things we engage in artistically leave us with beautiful reactions. We are scared, we are excited, we are impassioned by the stories and emotions generated by different forms of artistic entertainment. Those of us that spend huge chunks of our time creating things of our own examine the arts a little differently. We takes pieces with us, slivers of things that have impressed us in one way or another. These things cultivate within us, and the many, many pieces of fiction and art we engage in become an investment of time that can pay out in very creative ways.
While I write I pull on my inspiration from many different fields. As a writer, it’s very important that I read every day, so that I can see the uses of my craft and learn new words, see sentence structure, etc. Reading keeps writing sharp. However, I’m often inspired and motivated by things outside of books. The stories contained in other mediums are just as inspiring, and sometimes seeing different creative slants can be a wonderful thing to bring back to the keyboard. As I’ve written The Kognition Cycle, I have been inspired by Final Fantasy, .hack, Xenosaga, Neon Genesis Evangelion. With other works I’ve been inspired by Saga, Firefly, Star Wars, Cowboy Bebop. Sometimes I even write while I have a movie on, just for a creative change up from music. Broadening your horizon and spending time with many different types of fictional medium is not only good for your creative output, but it can also really help your motivations.
When writing and crafting your story, it’s important to take the pieces of those things you love and mold them into something new and interesting, something creative that you can be proud of. Being motivated by other works and taking inspiration from them is important, and it’s equally important to realize that your originality stems from thousands and thousands of years of other stories. Taking the pieces of things you love, especially if they are very different on their surface, and combining them with your own creative slant is how the best stories are made. Think of those moments when you’ve been truly impressed and awestruck by a scene in a movie or a book, or lyrics in a song. Think about why they made you feel that way, then harness them into something for yourself.
Eventually you will find that you are creating something that other people will take inspiration from, something that will hopefully motivate others in the same way. You become an important cog in the machine that helped create you, and join the ranks of storytellers since the beginning of human history. As you craft your stories, as you write your novels, as you make your poetry and your songs and your screenplay, you become an important piece in the spine of motivation for all artists. In a way, we end up helping each other by not only pushing our creative boundaries, but by creative new tropes and stereotypes in fiction, by inventing new archetypes, by adding to a strong menu of stories and inspiring tales.
So while you write, think about what you love and why you love it! It’s important. Push past the simple act of enjoyment and really think about the working pieces of story, the characters, the emotions. Use those things to generate your own works and make them good.