It's an active debate among people I know: "What inspires you to write?"
Every author has his or her own answer to that. When I think introspectively, I could up with several responses.
Firstly, I tend to get inspiration from other writers in my writing group when they say things like, "You know, you should write a story about X?" I think the idea of working from such inspiration is addictive. It's as if I'm writing for an already waiting audience and who is not inspired by a waiting reader-ship?
Secondly, I love to play with the "what if's" of the world. I like to turn the tables. Make the victim the killer. Make the child the evil genius. Make dark light. Make light dark. It's my love of debate. I just had a four email exchange with another manager at work over a company policy. I had to play devil's advocate because one side of an idea is never enough for me. Personally, I think the concept behind the upcoming movie, "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" is brilliant. It's that idea of bringing the 'what if' of an age-old story to life.
Thirdly, I find inspiration in my fantasy world. Since I was a child, I loved to imagine alternate realities and alter egos. I still love to imagine them and now I give them a new life on my pages.
Fourthly, I get energy for my writing from music. The sound of the swells, the beat of the bass, the lyrics that speak to me - all of these create characters in my mind. I hear a song and I imagine a character who would have that in his/her life's soundtrack and voila, a new story idea is born.
Fifthly, the world around me inspires. Sure, a lot of authors and artists say that but it's still true to me. I love to travel and everywhere I go, I try to capture a picture of a location or an event that can appear in a future story of mine. I also love to take pictures but I am not a photographer as much as I am a writer. I always loved the idea of both but writing is more a part of my soul. I love in Washington DC and I travel a lot. I have a series of places yet to be used. My characters don't know where they are going yet, but I do.
Lastly, I think the idea of creating a story that will hopefully be immortal, one that will live long past me. I want to birth an idea that inspires others for many years to come. As sappy as that is.
So what inspires you to write?