Wednesday 12 December 2012

I - Inspiration

We’re all inspired by something, someone. We all have an image of the perfect life, the way things would be in a perfect world. I’ve had a lot of inspiration in my life, from those around me and characters in books and I too, have an image of the perfect life for me.

Inspiration doesn’t come solely from other people; it comes from objects and ideas too. It’s woven into our lives, because without unconsciously searching for inspiration, we couldn’t function. Inspiration gives us a reason to get out of bed in the morning, a reason to live. Depending on our inspiration, we can be lead down different paths in life and achieve different things. Harry Potter was inspired to do good by Albus Dumbledore and this inspiration gave him the will to fight the losing battle against the embodiment of evil in J.K.Rowling’s world, Lord Voldemort.

Emotions can be our inspiration too. Hitler’s hatred of the Jewish people inspired him to orchestrate the genocide. Inspiration is not necessarily a good thing, if it leads to something wrong. I, too, have been inspired by my emotions, and I have wanted to do things that are wrong, but I recognised that they were wrong and I refused to be inspired to do wrong. People view inspiration as something good, but like anything, it isn’t all good.

Among the many inspirational things in my life, the people I know from my writing hobby inspire me the most. The monthly meetings of the Writeen Scene, a young adult creative writing group (my idea) that is coordinated by my mom and two fellow writers, lets me be around people who inspire me and I think that I inspire them too. My mom’s friend, and someone I count as a very close friend of my own, inspires me every time we meet, telling me that I’m going to be great. I owe a lot to these people and to everyone who has inspired me to do what I love.

When I was younger and my circle was very small, I got my inspiration from books and book characters, and then the authors of these books. Harry Potter was one of the first characters that inspired me. Harry shows how someone with ‘no extraordinary magical powers’ can defeat ‘the greatest dark wizard of all time’. In my mind, that translated into that someone with no extraordinary intelligence can still do great things. I owe a lot to the authors who inspired me, especially J.K. Rowling, who said, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”.  

Inspiration can make or break us; mostly it’s a bit of both, but how we choose to be inspired is what’s really important. Me, I chose to be inspired to write, and that’s what I do, what I am. Still, it’s also important to make sure you aren’t inspired to do something you don’t want to do. Just because you’re mom or dad is an amazing neurosurgeon does not mean that a career in medicine is for you. Equally, you have to go with your heart, and if you do love medicine, you have to do what you love regardless of how great your parents are.

Inspiration is something powerful; it is and always has been a driving force in the world, what makes people do what needs to be done. In ancient times, that meant being inspired by the threat of a beating or death to get up and work. Now, people are inspired by their ideas or what they love, and many are driven by the threat of unemployment. Me, I’m inspired by both my ideas and what I love; the rush of adrenaline that comes with a new idea, and reliving that moment in the excitement of your scrawled sentences and groggily scripted notes; the thrill of writing about characters you feel passionate about.

It’s magical, this sense of elation that comes with the right kind of inspiration, of a feeling of being infinite, watching your ideas trail blinding lines of light in your mind as they whiz around. Before I discovered my own kind of inspiration, I got my sense of purpose from characters and from my imaginary worlds; from teachers and friends and most keenly, from my parents.

I remember imagining myself in forensic science or something similarly ‘glamorous’ in the science field, but my mind immediately provided the massive road block of, “How do I write books on two weeks of holidays a year?” I want my life to be writing, and other jobs always seem to get in the way; even the ones that I like the sound of.
No matter how many times I wanted to be a surgeon or a forensic scientist, my mind always came back to writing. That’s how I know that I’m inspired, that’s how I know what I’m meant to do.

That is inspiration. 

©EmmaTobin 2012

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