BWW Blog: Inspiration to Tell Your Story
Where do you get inspiration from for your art? As a sophomore dramatic writing student, I decided to take three dramatic writing classes this quarter, which could be kind of ambitious, but I've loved the challenge. I've also enjoyed getting to create so many new stories and analyzing television shows, films, and plays throughout the quarter. The struggle to find inspiration for your art, especially as a writer, can be extremely difficult at times. You sit at the computer and stare at a blank screen and want to pull your hair out because you can barely form an idea. Once you do then you realize it sounds like something that's already been done before and you try and figure out how you can make it fresh and unique.
This quarter, my most difficult class would have to be my intro to playwriting class. I love getting to craft a play and try and find my voice in my art, but I've been in a whirlwind of multiple ideas and inspiration. Because this is what I'm most passionate about I've been extremely critical of myself. I've been writing a thriller and every time I write a new page I am thrown into a new direction and the story changes with each draft. The inspiration for my play has come from so many crime television shows that I looked at and wanted to spin my own direction. That's what every writer wants to do; create something new from what came before.
Inspiration can come in many different forms and mediums. You want to write a television show? Look into those shows you adore and try and figure out what genre and characters you want to give light to. Dive into those television shows you can't stand and learn from them what doesn't work and how to make improvements. Pull up the scripts if they are available and devour them, word by word. It's a saying as old as time. To become a better writer, in any field, you must read as much as possible.
You want to write a film or play? The same guidelines apply. If you look up to a certain screenwriter or playwright research their work, read their scripts and plays, and watch their interviews to get an insight into how they write, why they pick certain stories, and why do they want to tell them. This will help you figure out your voice, your story, and the reason why you want to tell it.
Inspiration can also come from the people in your life, your own experiences, and stories. You can take what you've gone through and share it with others and inspire them to come to terms with certain events they have gone through themselves. Sharing stories that impact others and give light to certain issues in our world and giving others the strength to tell their own stories is the most beautiful and powerful thing a writer can do.
You want to write about a person that inspires you? Do your research. If you're going to tell someone else's story you must make sure it's authentic and true or it isn't worth telling and you're the wrong person to do it. You need to ask yourself if you're the right person to tell a certain person's story and sometimes that can be difficult. You may love someone and want to share the reason why with everyone else, but you may not be the best representation and most knowledgeable person to dive into their story.
Inspiration can come from so many sources, more than anyone can possibly realize. Even sources that may have nothing in common with what you want to write but sparks an idea in you. And if you want to write a play you don't have to just research plays and vice versa with scripts. Just because a television show inspires you doesn't mean you have to take that inspiration and put it into a film. Whichever medium and form fits best for your story and your most comfortable with is what you should lead towards with your heart. The formatting and grammatical errors can come later. What you must do is get your story on the page. Spit words out and don't look back. Edits will come much later. Your story may not even look the same in the end, but it will still be your story and your words. Don't doubt your work and look to your inspirations because there are so many stories out there that still haven't been told and are begging to be explored. Tell your story because I guarantee there's at least one soul out there that will be touched by your words and you will become the inspiration for another creative mind out there.