Sunday, March 18, 2012

Unlikely Inspiration: The Bottom of the Barrel

I have read some amazing books in my life. Tolkien, Rowling, Herbert, McCaffery, Rawn, and Asimov have fueled my love of fantasy and science fiction. Old classics like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and new classics like The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Kite Runner have left me spellbound and hungering for more. There are so many great books and talented writers in this world and I will never have enough time to read everything that I want to.

But I have a confession: Great writing and great writers are not what first inspired me to write.  

Great books inspire me to read.

What first inspired me to write was an urban-fantasy paperback I bought at a used book store. I actually don't remember book's title or author (20 minute google searching didn't help) and I guess it really doesn't matter. The story line was disjointed, the characters were shallow, and the climax frustratingly ridiculous (some previously un-introduced character shows up and whisks the distressed main character away to another dimension). In short, it was the worst book I've ever read.


Not only did I read it but since I bought it at a used bookstore, presumably at least one other person also read it. The fact that this book had not only been published but actually purchased and read by at least 2 people completely blew my mind. I'm not trying to be negative or judgmental but the simple fact of the matter is that when I read that book I said to myself, "I can do better than this. If this book can get published and read, then I can get published and read."

I started writing shortly thereafter. It turns out that I love to write and that it's something I hope to do the rest of my life. And I owe that initial push that inspired me to a book that I hated.

What's my point?

It doesn't matter what inspires you as long as your inspired. Take your motivation in any form it may come it. Welcome it. Use it. Build on it.

And get writing!


  1. You rock! I am so glad you commented on my post. I can relate! Being isnpired to write is completely different thatn being inspired to read.

    PS My inspiring novel is an ebook and I downloaded and re-read it after 30 years. I am amazed at how impressionable I was when I read it and how much it relates to my values and ideals now. I hope you find your book. Even if you just get a good laugh from it!!

    1. Thanks Melissa. I've recently re-read a couple books from my early teens and I was amazed how much more I appreciate them now that I'm writing.


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