Thursday, November 27, 2008

100th Post: on Inspiration

The books I rate most highly in my life are the ones which inspire me to write. It's sort of like the Olympics voting - there are marks for characterization, language, plot, and inspiration. Does the author's voice make me want to write?

Among those authors that rank high in that last category are Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Atwood, Geraldine Brooks. If I'm in the right mood to be inspired, one of these three (well, Atwood especially) will do it for me. Reading their novels is like drinking the kind of $100/bottle merlot you splurge for on your anniversary. Their stories, their language, are intoxicating, and make me believe I can write anything - but particularly that I can write something fantastic.

If I'm not in a mood to be inspired, there's just one author that gets me going - Tamora Pierce. Oddly, I've only discovered Pierce in the past couple of years. Reading any of her Tortall books is more like drinking a solid, tried-and-true table chianti. There's a nice taste, it complements just about any mood, and I get just enough of a warm glow to pull me out of the writer's block I didn't know I was in.

A few other authors I turn to for inspiration, rather than enjoyment only, are Jasper Fforde, Diana Wynne Jones, Charlotte Bronte, Robin McKinley (and, of course, many of my blogosphere buddies.) How about you? What authors inspire you?


  1. I could read Jane Eyre forever. I JUST discovered Margaret Atwood, just finished Cat's Eye a day or two ago. WOW!

  2. You don't mention your computer, I hope it's all healed - along with your files.

    The authors I think are brilliant tend to scare me more than inspire me, because I think I can never do what they have done!

  3. Thanks for listing your inspiring authors, I'm going to check them out!

    I just received the book I won from you in the mail. Wow, you really did me a favor by sending it international! That was over the top and I wanted to say thanks! Can't wait to read it!

    Hope your computer hunt is going well (maybe you can get a great deal on this black Fri. if you're shopping for a new one!)

  4. Hmmm! I honestly can't answer this one. I don't know that there is any one author that has inspired me to want to write. There is however much writing that has inspired me to drink!

  5. (Prose) C.S. Lewis, Wendell Berry, Marilynne Robinson, G.K. Chesterton
    (Poetry) William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Blake

  6. I find the authors who inspire me change constantly, but it's either those who write with terrific humour, or those that write lyrically, realistically and honestly. As a child and even as an adult, I've been inspired by Elizabeth Goudge, amongst many others.
    Hope your laptop is better?
    And your ankle?

  7. do you like Tamora Pierce's vampire series? What was it called again? Man that was an awesome trilogy!

  8. Funny, but the pressure I put on myself to blog M-F every week is kind of a warm-up writing exercise (in theory, anyway...)

    And making 100 posts should totally INSPIRE you! Congratulations!

    thanks for sharing,



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