Sunday, August 28, 2011

When Inspiration Knocks

I write in my sleep.

And when I awake, I think in paragraphs.

For I'm a writer, an observer of the world. Though I carve out time daily to scratch out my thoughts, inspiration knocks at the most unexpected times.

I hear the rap when I'm peeling potatoes, boiling eggs, spooning mushy carrots into my baby, or telling my preschooler to eat his broccoli. At those moments, I search for bits of paper. Anything. Even a crumpled napkin will do. I must answer the door even if water spills over or the kitchen is left amiss.

Inspiration enters when I'm plucking tomatoes from my garden, folding laundry, driving to play date, or seeping tea for my hubby. And sometimes the tea never makes it to the table, because the idea speaks louder than the whistling kettle.

When I rest my head on my pillow, a light bulb illuminates my mind. I've got the answer to my protagonist's dilemma. I know if I roll over, or push the muse away, I'll lose the thought. My hero will die. So, I ransack the room for a journal. A writing instrument.

And where are the pens when I'm in dire need?

Oh, I love to bake, put meals on the table, and spend time with loved ones. And if you come over, I'll even make tea.

But, if a sliver of light falls on your cheek, forgive me if I ask you for the back of the receipt in your pocket or purse.

For I'm a scribe.

And when inspiration knocks, I'm compelled to answer.

When does inspiration knock for you? Do you answer? When do you get your best writing ideas?

Melanie N. Brasher is a full time mama of two boys and wife to an incredible husband who understands her bicultural background. She moonlights as a fiction and freelance writer, crafting stories and articles toward justice and change, and contemplates faith, family, and writing at her personal blog. Though she’s an aspiring author, she’ll never quit her day job.


  1. For me, inspiration comes from listening to music.

  2. I think best when I'm on a motorcycle, or outside. I haven't figured out yet how to jot those ideas down, because I'm usually doing something.

    When I'm sitting at my computer, I first read a little to get me started.

    But I know what you mean when you need a pen and some little paper to jot something down.

  3. if you are using an ipod Nano or higher, you can just voice record a voice memo...

  4. WOW, this is SO beautiful, Joy! It's poetry, actually -- free verse (just not paginated that way). Thanks for the word treat! And on a topic we writers love. . . :-)

  5. I get some of my best ideas in the shower. :-) I think that's because it's about the only place on earth I can be by myself (if I'm lucky!)

    Love your post!

  6. Some of my most creative thoughts strike me when I'm driving down a road or interstate. Yes, I do scrounge for a piece of scrap paper to capture the idea before it evaporates, but I promise to keep at least one eye on the road!

  7. Darren, I agree. Music is a powerful form of inspiration. :)

    Crystal, reading books is a huge source as well, and God's creation is incredibly inspiring.

    Darren, of course, that makes just too much sense. :) I need to get more technologically savvy. :)

    Millie, thanks for your encouragement.

    Karla, that's great! I'm glad I'm not the only one who needs to retreat to the restroom for a few moments by myself...oh the joy of little ones..and they are a joy. :)

    Rick, interesting! I'm glad you keep your eyes on the road. :)