Take a look at what you write.
What is it that influences you the most?
I find I am inspired by the day-to-day actions of other people. When I worked in a coffee/ sandwich shop inside a bank, I would analyze people by the sandwiches they ordered. You had the case of any number of stories. Some people had to have the cheese melted on the meat, and others wanted meat, tomatoes, and then cheese. What made them chose that way?
In the midst of raising two children–one with autism–graduating with a Master of Arts in Teaching, being married, and beginning a teaching career; I still write. While I am not as active here and on social media, my writing still grows. I have worked on two projects: Elliot McSwean, my middle grades’ book, and my poetry memoir, now called I Never Saw Jesus in the Mirror.
While they are different genres, they share something in common. There are characters who have something interesting in the everyday world that becomes a part of the person in the book. For example, Elliot’s parents are old school. He has to share a lap top with at least one of his three sisters. Here, I’m constantly inspired by kids.
Now, I’ve been reading Famous Last Words by Katie Alender as I prepare for teaching seventh graders. She does two things I admire. She gets in touch with paranormal world–something I’ve never been comfortable with as a writer. She also writes some of the best, least repeatable comparisons to everyday life. When the parents go out of town, the character, Willa, has a cupcake for breakfast. I know teens who would do this.
In I Never Saw Jesus in the Mirror–the new title and the joining together of all the weird pieces of my family’s journey over the last few years–I touch on Mommy Wars. In fact, the poem I’m currently working on is called just that. I look at the question: How do we go from every day people to all of the sudden ready to take on another mom? This is something that, while not every day, has become a new experience for my husband and I raising our son.
Luckily, those wars end with writing. Not someone getting arrested.
Look at your writing. What is something intriguing from your everyday experiences that finds its way into your writing?