Once upon a time, we lived in a small awkward house that had issues. When we pulled up the mustard yellow carpet, we found makeshift spacers in the wood floor where walls used to be. Who knew there were walls before? The hallway had a a random bend in it. The kitchen cabinets were layered with paint, the linoleum was worn through to the layer beneath at places. That’s just a few of the non-standard features. It was our first house, affordable and what we gave up in finished and pretty, we gained in space and potential. Then we had our second baby in fifteen months.
We were in that house a bunch of years without changing a thing except the windows, which were a must since in the winter a sheet of ice formed on the single panes. One day, my brother in law whom we rarely saw, stopped over with his latest girlfriend. She came in and walked around surveying the house saying things like, “how cute”, “is that an original stove?”, “there’s a lot to be done. How long have you lived here?” She was a stranger to me who acted as though we were familiar which I thoroughly rejected. I’m glad because in those days if I took offense, I would not keep quiet about it.
The only thing is, her comment that insinuated that we were sitting around and doing nothing to improve our surroundings didn’t fade from my consciousness. She planted a seed whether she had the right to or not. I admit, she inspired me, woke me up, gave me a perspective I had lost sight of. I looked around and realized we had settled for ugly as though it were the only option. We got going on several projects after that. I never told my husband what sparked the initial ‘why don’t we put up some tile?”.
I learned something through that random visit. Inspiration can come from many sources and it should never be shut down. I needed something outside of me to get to the place where, a bunch of years later we sold that house for double what we paid. Not everyone has family that guides them to know how to live well. Some of us have to learn from others. That’s okay.
It’s also okay if you’re writing away and someone comes along and says, “why don’t you fix this?” or “maybe the character should not win the race. How about he trips and falls and eats dirt instead?”.
It’s okay if your writer’s block is broken by some random person who takes your story concept and solves the riddle plaguing your brain coming up with an idea that screams blockbuster. It’s still your book to write. Inspiration doesn’t have to only come from your creative wealth. It can be granted to you. You’re still worthy of the credit as the author for the finished product.
Write on! Grab inspiration or trip over it, just go with it every time.