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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

RTW: On Inspiration

Road Trip Wednesday is a blog carnival, where YA Highway’s contributors and readers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s take on the topic.

This week’s prompt was: Who in your life has most inspired your writing?

Once upon a time, I wanted to write a novel. I sat at my parents’ giant computer—the one that sounded like a creaky old man when it was forced to do more than one thing at a time—and wrote. I shared my story with my sister, who told me it was really good. (I’m sure she meant “good for a 13-year-old.”)

And then I grew up. I went to journalism school. I decided writing a book wasn’t realistic, that I’d be living my dream if I could be a magazine editor. And I was partly right. I love my job. But two years ago, when I was visiting home and my family was discussing an article I had written, my sister offhandedly said to The Man, “Have you read her fiction? She’s great.”

The thought nagged me for weeks. What if I could be good? Was I willing to give up my dream just because it seemed unrealistic? So I started researching the industry. After a month of following agent, author, and unpublished writer blogs, I knew I had to write.

When I told my sister, she jumped with joy. (At least, that’s what I pictured her doing. I mean, her email had at least three exclamation points.) Through the entire process—the first draft, the first round of revisions, brainstorming ideas—she’s been cheering me on. So if I had to name one person that inspired me to write a novel, it’d be her.

As for continuing, my parents, husband, and writer friends inspire me daily. So do authors who write so beautifully I want to give up. But I don’t, and I walk away motivated to make my manuscript better.

Who inspires your writing?

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