You're My Inspiration

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Administrator1
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You're My Inspiration

Postby Administrator1 » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:06 am


Administrator1
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You're My Inspiration

Postby Administrator1 » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:06 am

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a thought-provoking question related to the writing life. In the April issue of WD, several authors share stories about the people who inspired them to become the writers they are today.
Who inspired you to be a writer and how?


To be part of our monthly Conversation, e-mail your brief response (up to 50 words) to writersdig@fwpubs.com with "You're My Inspiration" as the subject line or post it here.


loudermilk
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RE: You're My Inspiration

Postby loudermilk » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:24 am

My English Comp 101 teacher with the University of Maryland got me started. How? By threatening to give me a failing grade. Later, the Army forced me to get better by makiing it my job. When I thought about failing, they threatened to make me a cook or a truck driver. Time and ego took me from there.

ihatepeas
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RE: You're My Inspiration

Postby ihatepeas » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:28 am

I've wanted to tell stories for as long as I've been able to read them. And the person who inspired me the most inspired me to read. My 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Bishop, read to my class every day. She was an expressive reader, using different voices to make the stories seem real. I looked for the books she read at the library, and those books led me to other books. That was where my love of reading really solidified. By reading voraciously, I learned more about the craft of writing than anywhere else. I learned more about my own tastes and the kinds of stories I wanted to write myself. Mrs. Bishop started me on that path with Beverly Cleary's Ramona books, and books like How to Eat Fried Worms. These days I never have enough bookshelves for all the books I read and want to read. Mrs. Bishop is no longer living, but I hope she knew what a big impact she made on the children she taught.

--Sarah P.

KarenRankowitz
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RE: You're My Inspiration

Postby KarenRankowitz » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:33 am

My high school creative writing teacher inspired me.  He is an author of several published novels.

He had us all begin a daily journal which he graded, and so often he would put notes of inspiration, encouragement and he'd also let me know when he thought I was being funny with my writing.

That was over 20 years ago and I still have kept in touch with him.  I was so excited when my first article was published, I called him and made him read it.  I was estatic when he sent me a note about how he enjoyed it.  (I also still have that journal and many, many more)

Karen Rankowitz


dfletcher
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RE: You're My Inspiration

Postby dfletcher » Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:19 pm

My daughter and my two sons have been a major source of inspiration. Both boys are toddlers and want to be read to all the time, and my daughter, the teenager, loves to write poetry, songs and little journal type stories. Also, my twelth grade english teacher pushed a button in me that would later become a need to write.

OmenSpirits.com
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RE: You're My Inspiration

Postby OmenSpirits.com » Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:42 am

no one inspired me. I do what comes natural. First it was art, then writing.

jasipper
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RE: You're My Inspiration

Postby jasipper » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:24 am

From Merriam-Webster online:

Inflected Form(s): in·spired; in·spir·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French inspirer, from Latin inspirare, from in- + spirare to breathe
transitive senses
1 a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration b : to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on c : to spur on : IMPEL, MOTIVATE d : AFFECT
2 a archaic : to breathe or blow into or upon b archaic : to infuse (as life) by breathing
3 a : to communicate to an agent supernaturally b : to draw forth or bring out


Based on these definitions, I'd say that inspiration has to do with the breath of life. There are too many people to mention who've had a part in breathing life into my writing. However, if I had to give a recent example, it would be the knowledge that my wife and I would have a child. Once I found out she was pregnant the first time, I knew that I had to write my first novel. In a way, it's my legacy to my children. The fact that life had already been breathed into my child breathed life into my writing and fueled the flames of my prose.

KarenRankowitz
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RE: You're My Inspiration

Postby KarenRankowitz » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:07 am

[I'd say that inspiration has to do with the breath of life. There are too many people to mention who've had a part in breathing life into my writing. However, if I had to give a recent example, it would be the knowledge that my wife and I would have a child. Once I found out she was pregnant the first time, I knew that I had to write my first novel. In a way, it's my legacy to my children. The fact that life had already been breathed into my child breathed life into my writing and fueled the flames of my prose.[/QUOTE]

Joshua

One of the most beautiful expressions of inspiration I have ever heard.

Karen :)


Jamesaritchie
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RE: You're My Inspiration

Postby Jamesaritchie » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:58 pm

In a sense, I guess you could say two people inspired me, one fictional, one real. I always loved The Waltons, and John-Boy was a writer, so there's him.

And even though I started writing before I read it, the real life inspiration came from Erskine Caldwell. Many years ago, WD published a book called The Creative writer. One of the articles in this book was an excerpt from Erskine Caldwell's autobiography of his writing life, Call it Experience.

Never before had I read about a person that I related to, and empathized with so strongly. It made me see the writing life in a new light, and I immediately went out and bought the full book.

There were other articles in that WD book that were also very good, and on the whole, it remains my all time favorite book on teh subject of writing. Sadly, someone borrowed the book about five years ago, and I never saw it again. I really do need to get another copy.

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