Inspiration is important, but so is the ability to write without inspiration. Last year, I started a book with little to no inspiration. I knew I needed to write a book, and I wanted it to be about a sixteen-year-old dragon slayer. I don't know where I got the idea, but it wasn't really "inspired." I simply sat down at the computer and thought of ideas until I found one that I could turn into a story I would want to read.
Later in the year I tried the same thing again. I came up with a couple of concepts that showed real promise, but as I started to flesh out the characters, I started to hate the setting, the characters, and the idea. So I jumped back into revisions for both of the books that I had already written.
Well, last week I started listening to A Game of Thrones on my iPod. I barely got through the prologue before my brain went to work on a new book. I haven't started writing it yet because I haven't had time. I'm going to mull it over for a while, too, to make sure I like the various elements. I also need to figure out how to make the first volume stand alone. As much as I like the idea of writing a huge series, I don't want to put effort into one until after I'm published. The two books I've already written stand on their own, and until I have an agent, or a publishing contract, that's how I'm going to approach every project.
My point? Inspiration is everywhere, but you can't just sit around and wait for it. Write when you have the time, even if it's a silly blog post. When you feel uninspired, create a character, or write a short scene about something interesting. Take time to read. Listen to books on CD, or Audible.com. The man who narrates A Game of Thrones is amazing! James Marsters does a great job with the Dresden Files (except the newest one, apparently. They got another guy because Mr. Marsters couldn't do Ghost Story). Check out the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger. Find inspiration where you can, and GO WITH IT! Take notes. When I had this idea, I was driving. I used to think, "Oh, I'll remember all of this." And I do, but I think it's because my brain made a memory trigger out of the fact that I took the time to pull out my iPod and record a message to myself.
Speaking of inspiration, please go donate! The situation in Africa is getting worse. Samaritan's Purse needs all the help they can get.