Inspired Writing


I found myself writing furiously, excitedly again two months ago, when San Franciso-based J was just a new presence in my life. The thought of him inspired me to write–he gave me a boost by telling me he thought I was such a brilliant writer, and of course, I fell for it. I would rush home in a jiffy, ideas and characters melding in my mind.

Masterpieces! I would tell myself. And I would bang furiously at my laptop, oblivious to the sometimes-missing punctuation, birthing something–300 words here for this idea, 250 words there for that other idea.

The inspiration peaked in September and went downhill late October (I wonder now if I should have checked the expiry date). And I found myself staring at the screen for minutes, hours, days, weeks, not knowing what to write. Blogging fatigue, maybe? I asked Armand. Lack of sleep, perhaps? It could be both, I told myself. Or some other thing.

Yesterday, as I walked home, I thought, I cannot anchor my writing on someone–what if this person goes away? Should I stop writing then? “I cannot!” I wailed dramatically. “Writing is my bread and butter. Without it I am nothing!” And that punctuated it.

I resolved last night that I will not find inspiration in people who might not constantly be there for me (San Francisco, we have a problem–I am not getting any reception from you).

And so I drew up a list of things that inspired me:

1. Jake, my ever-loving child. I wake up sometimes, look at him, and say, “Damn, you are one good-looking boy, and I gave birth to you?”

2. A good book. I confess to this sin of not instantly finishing a book I start to read. That’s because when the text stops to move me, I move on and find something else that does. I’ve resolved to read anything and everything I can get my hands on, to expose myself to other people’s writing. I think it does a lot of good to a writer. (Although I must say I was surreptitiously reading Kris Aquino’s magazine at Powerbooks last Sunday, not for some showbiz gossip but because I was curious about her vocabulary.)

3. Flowers. I love sunflowers! I love yellow flowers! They’re like Lexapro to me, making me happy, making me write.

4. A good work of art. I almost missed this artist’s exhibit Sunday night, but I told myself I needed some inspiration and put on the best decent casual outfit I could put together in under 60 seconds, plus my new gummy white footwear, which I love to death.

I loved Plet Bolipata’s paintings featured in the Looking for Juan exhibit at the Ayala Museum. There are works whose messages sink in instantly when you look at them. And then there are works whose details you study carefully, and you think them over your mind for days, and then you go back and look at them again, and you understand it a little more. Plet’s works are the latter: there’s always a discovery each time you look at her pieces, like you’re slowly putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

5. Chocolate. A girl’s best friend is shoes; next to it, chocolate. Seeing pieces of Bizu chocolate balls nestled lovingly into dainty little boxes makes me melt. One piece and I am back to writing again.

6. Starbucks coffee. The smell of mocha intoxicates me so, and I write as soon as I put down the paper cup. (Psst, the Starbucks Christmas Tradition has begun! Are you in?)

I have a long list, but I don’t want to bore anyone. Writing inspirations, anyone? Share, share!

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About Karla

I am an e-mail marketer, editor, and writer. My passions are yoga, food, and Filipino arts and culture.

3 responses to “Inspired Writing”

  1. musanggala says :

    music and movies. i’m such a pop culture baby. but being alone in a distant country also gets your imagination working. 🙂 i suppose surrounding yourself with good friends who are writers helps, too.

  2. Karla says :

    @Abby: You’re right. Traveling and living alone in a foreign country and not having anyone to tell about your fantastic new exploits and discoveries is a good inspiration as well. I’m missing out on the “surrounding yourself with good writer friends” part, but I try to make up for it by reading good books. 🙂

    P.S. I’ll e-mail you back! Promise!

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