Friday, 7 September 2007

An Inspired Coffee Morning

Well it's Friday again. The end of the week and for some of us the end of Summer and the start of the new term. Over on my blog I have been musing about what the end of the school holidays means for my writing. Will I be able to get back into a routine come Monday when son is at school? Or will I sit in the silence of the house, hands poised over the keyboard, not knowing what to do first? Conveniently I finished my first draft at the beginning of the summer holidays and it is now waiting patiently for me to get out my multi coloured pens. I am looking forward to next week (once the tearful bit at the school gates is over) but I'm also a little nervous in case the creativity doesn't flow.

So I've been thinking about those that have got on and done the job and been quite successful with it. People that inspire me. Like Emma Thompson. Actor (actress? I never know the correct term) and screenwriter. She is someone I feel who hasn't betrayed who she is from starting her career in Footlights to writing the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility then later Nanny McPhee. Another Footlights actor and writer who also inspires me is Stephen Fry. Enormously clever and funny and creative but battling with depression.

I could go on. Hillary Clinton is another example. I may not always agree with her politically but I like the fact she is extremely driven and focused despite negative criticism over things only women are criticised for in politics (like her hair and dress sense). She is achieving her ambitions. Another one. Paula Radcliffe (British runner) - for her drive, focus and energy. Again despite criticism from the media.

So my question is quite simple. Who or what inspires you?


liz fenwick said...

Helen, it's a good question but I will confess to being too jet lagged to think straight!

So I'll have double expresso and and hand held fan. it's hot here :-)

Look forward to hearing who inspires who!

Leatherdykeuk said...

The people that inspire me are not as lofty as those you mention, Helen.
In writing, I am inspired by the tenacity of Terry Pratchett to write every single day, no matter what, and Iain Banks, who writes in the same style that I do.

On a personal level, my partner Kat inspires me to be better than I am and to trust people more than I do.

Flowerpot said...

I'd agree with all of those and add Jane Tomlinson. Sadly no longer with us. But what a role model for everyone.

NoviceNovelist said...

That's a very thoughful question Helen. I feel inspired by thinking about how I feel when I don't write - which is lousy, grumpy and unbearable to those around me - this usually drives me on to just keep the bum in the chair and write. I also feel inspired by friends who write and who share the journey with me. Our website here keeps me going and helps me focus. It's good just to know at times that you're not the only one sitting alone at home in front of a computer.

The shallow side of me feels inspired when I read good reviews and fab sales figures for published authors - that's my fantasy world - which usually inspires me on those dark, insecure days!!!

ChrisH said...

The best incentive I have to get down to it is when someone I 'know' through writing networks gets the break through. My reactions are 1.throw myself on the floor wishing I was the bride not the bridesmaid 2. pick myself up and allow my better self to come through, after all it's a big writing sea out there with plenty of opportunities, so I'll then congratulate them! 3. get back to work!

Lazy Perfectionista said...

After yesterday I think I'm going to have to say travelling by train inspires me... But generally I think the best inspiration can be found either in reading or talking to people - anything to expand your viewpoint, or give you insight from a different angle.

CTaylor said...

I'm still inspired by the authors who got me into reading when when I was a child: Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Lynne Reid Banks and Monica Dickens.

They taught me that words can transport to to magical worlds where you can disappear for as long as the book lasts. They taught me that you can fall in love with, hate, adore and want to be best friends with the characters in those books. Simply by stringing words together into sentences, paragraphs and books those authors made me feel sad, hopeful, afraid, desperate, excited and scared. And they inspired me to do the same.

Now what inspires me is any author who can inspire the same reaction in me as an adult as those authors did when I was a child.

Kate.Kingsley said...


Great topic, Helen:

I'm inspired by poeple who pursue their goals, whatever field that's in (arts, sport, anything) because they stand out from the poeple who *say* that they're going to do x,y&z but don't actively seek it out or expect it to just fall into their lap.

Anyone who recognises that the only things standing between you and your dream are
a) yourself &
b) A LOT of hard work and determination
are inspirational to me, especially in this era of big brother / x factor "instant success".

Oh, and its back to school (maybe) for me again, as I'll be hopefully embarking upon an Msc in Counselling psychology, space on the course permitting as I'm a late applicant ~ very excited about going back to uni, even if it is only part time!

Best wishes
Kate K

Rowan Coleman said...

Hello Everyone

This is a great topic Helen and right now all of you are inspiring me.

Jane Eyre inspires me because it was the first book I read where I understood that writing could be abuot more than telling a story, that it could tell you something about yourself as well. A beautiful day inspires me, music, buildings, an overheard conversation, the way one person looks at another. I keep writing becuase the very fact that I am a writer inspires me, and I think if people are willing to publish and read my work then I have to do absolutely the very best I can for them to do justice to the opportunities I have earned. I agree with Kate, persistance, hardwork and determination can be exactly the recipe you need to create 'luck.' So if you're not there yet keep going and when you get there keep on keeping going because the race really only starts once you've won it.

Jen said...

Oddly enough, it's the little things that inspire me most - reading the successes of people who are starting out like the majority of us Novel Racers... people who keep on keeping on despite the rejections and hard work we put in with no guarantee of success.

We rock!

A. Writer said...

Hello All!

Great topic! Love it!

Real life events inspire me. Things that have happened to me or my mates or the old woman moaning behind me on the bus. I love hearing about people's problems, successes and anecdotes. Nothing beats it!

The Novel Racers inspire me to keep going!

Graeme K Talboys said...

I'm not sure I'm inspired by anyone, but there are a number of folk (mostly writers) that I admire for different reasons - those who stick to their principles; those who are generous to others (especially with time and expertise); those who wear their status lightly and with responsibility.

Lane said...

This is a tough one as inspiration can be drawn from so many areas.
In terms of germinating ideas...the following
-beach walking.
-Song lyrics
-Eavesdropping and people-watching.

In terms of inspiration to 'get on with it' rather than be specific I would say
1) People who have succeeded later in life. It gives me hope:))
2)People who have had some semblance of success and are generous with their time to help lesser mortals.
3)Fellow Racers who share a common goal and communicate with generosity, insight, knowledge and humour.

Oh and wine.

Sarah*G* said...

My children inspire me as the book I am writing (or attempting to write) is for them for when they are older. I also get inspired by the feeling I know I will get when I start writing and when I get on a role. You know the feeling when you say to yourself, 'I will just write for 30 minutes' but a hit of inspiration gets you and you just can't stop. The when you do finally come to the end of the burst of writing it is such a cool feeling to know you've done all that when you didn't think you had it in you? Does that make sense?

Sarah*G* said...

Plus Novel Racers is great inspiration cos it lets me know I am not alone when I do find myself looking at that damn blinking cursor on the computer screen and I have no words to make it move a bit quicker across the page!!

Fiona said...

Anyone who's had doors slammed in their face and still carried on - JK, of course, Bob Geldof, Rocky...please don't tell me he's not real?

B.E. Sanderson said...

I like seeing people who genuinely earn their success through their unflinching integrity. I find that seriously inspirational (and unfortunately in so short a supply among the famous these days). I just have to grab inspiration from the other writers I meet online. Allison Brennan inspires me. Also, Karin Tabke. All the gals at Murder She Writes, and Good Girls Kill for the Money. Erica Ridley - although she's as yet unpublished - inspires me because we're both marching forward toward our ultimate success. And of course, my fellow racers. =oD

B.E. Sanderson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caroline said...

Hi everyone.
The Brother's Grimm inspire me and after watching 'Becoming Jane' this week, I do feel that I want to be Jane Austen(!)

It's been a tough week for me this week and next week I begin the submission process for Black Boxes. Wish me luck. Please.

KeVin K. said...

My day job is in what's called "community support." I'm a case manager with an agency that supports people with special needs and teaches them skills and stragegies for living independently. Who inspires me? People I work with every day who are overcoming adversity I can only imagine.
You ever hear me complaining about anything, slap me upside the head.

JJ said...

Having wiped out the whole of Friday while I lay in a darkened room, I am inspired by anyone who knows when to stop consuming beer ;-}

I'm inspired by those writers, published and unpublished, who just get on an do it. That appears to be the hardest thing for me to do.

I'm also inspired by people who stick their heads above the parapet with new ideas.

sheepish said...

I'm with JJ on being inspired by writers who get on with their writing. I am having a real motivation problem at the moment so it does me good to see that it's not always plain sailing for other Novel Racers.
Oh and I'll try Lanes suggestion of wine, maybe it will loosen my tongue.

Nichola said...

Anyone who's published! Well, anyone who can write and is published...;)

Let me just say this: I heart The Fry! :D