AKA we are what we eat
Inspiration is everywhere, it's all around us... it's in music, and movies, and books, and people. Every minute of every day brings us another moment of potential inspiration, another moment of possible greatness. We are what we eat, figuratively speaking. Everything we consume becomes a part of us.
It reminds me of this quote from one of my favorite authors, Chuck Palahniuk, from his novel "Invisible Monsters":
(Nothing of me is original. I am a combined effort of everyone I've ever known.)
Everything we see, everything we watch, everything we read, everything we do... it stays with us. It becomes a part of us. We take it in and it alters us, it helps us form opinions and reaffirms our beliefs, and it gives us ideas. It inspires us. Everyone we meet affects us in the same way, too. We're always learning, whether we realize it or not... just by waking up in the morning, just by breathing, we're growing. And because of that, we're constantly creating, recycling old ideas and making them new by combining different things we've picked up along the way.
French movie director Jean-Luc Godard said "It's not where you take things from--it's where you take things to." Everything inside of us we've picked up along the way from somewhere else, but what truly counts is what we do with what we've learned, with what we've been gifted from others. It's how we embrace it, and change it, and make it our own that truly defines us at the end of the day. There's really no such thing as originality... everything has been done before, everything has been written, everything has been created... but it's possible to recreate things in a fresh, enlightening way.
People ask me often about what inspired me when writing Sempre, and I can list dozens (maybe hundreds) of things, some obvious while others extremely subtle. Of course I can site other writers, like Stephanie Meyer and Mario Puzo, for giving me the courage to write, and I can name songs that ignited feelings within me, like 18th Floor Balcony and Outcry, and I can even name people whose lives affected me, like Annalisa Durante and Al Capone. I can credit my high school English teacher, or my student club adviser who first told me about human trafficking. I can even name my parents, my family, and my friends, but it wouldn't be enough, because it was more than just all of them. It was more than that. It was everything.
So what inspires me? Life. Love. You. Every single one of you, whether you know it or not... fuck, whether I know it or not. The world inspires me, inspires all of us. It's truly a beautiful thing.