I have to confess to struggling a bit with these prompts as I don’t consider myself a “writer,” but rather someonewhose job requires a fair amount of writing. I do, after all, spend large chunks of my day writing something (reports, funding requests, grant proposals, scholarly articles, email, what have you). In other words, while I certainly write (and read) a lot, most of it is not what most people consider to be Writing, which makes it difficult to figure out who my inspiration is as I can’t claim the usual suspects. Lots of fiction writers want to write like Jane Austen, but who wants to write like most academics? Sure, we may all agree that Judith Butler has been terribly influential on gender studies, but do you want to write like her? I think not.
Thinking more deeply about that, I think that I would have to say it’s my readers who inspire me as my kind of writing depends on its ability to communicate with its readers. I tend to do a lot of what I think of as “persuasive” writing (fund my project, agree with my interpretation, approve that extra position, etc.) — which means if I’m not feeling inspired by the people/agency to whom I am writing, I will fail in my task.
Note: This is my third post for #swinspires, the Give the Gift of Inspiration campaign hosted by She Writes. Between December 13 and 24, 10 She Writers who inspire *us* will share a writing prompt. Writing Prompt #2 is: ”Who Inspired (and inspires!) You to Write?” It is cross-posted, as all of my swinspires posts will be, on my She Writes blog page.
[Creative Commons licensed photos by Flickr users lo83.]