Days like today are my favorite kind.
I love the dark sky, the thunder, the sheets of rain. I love this weather because I find it inspiring, and everyone needs extra doses of inspiration on Mondays, right? Some people want to sleep through this weather; I (almost) always want to get up, drink a latte, and get down to business.
Lately, I’m reading Pretty in Plaid, by Jen Lancaster. If you’ve never read her stuff, you should – at least, I think you should. This is her fourth memoir, and her voice is refreshing, genuine, and absolutely entertaining. As a writer, I aspire to – like Jen Lancaster – have a distinct voice. I long to bring something original to the table; something fresh, yet classic; something that will emerge from the furnace of critical opinions and easily-distracted minds in one solid piece.
I can easily think of a handful of people who do this with admirable dexterity:
J.K. Rowling, who creates a magical feeling in the reader merely by her words, and whose very first novel was wildly successful. I’d say she’s my number-one inspiration.
Patty Griffin, folk artist whose skillfully woven voice, lyrics, and melodies create music like no one else. I want to meet her and have her disciple me in the ways of improving my song-writing skills.
Jeff Jensen at EW.com, one of the most well-researched columnists I’ve ever read, consistently delivers articles that transform my weekly addiction to LOST into mental yoga.
Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, writers of LOST, who have skillfully paced their addictive plot and juggled an ensemble of intriguing characters.
Michael Slezak at EW.com, who is not afraid to put his opinion out there on all things Idol-related (and by the way, if I ever make it on the show – totally giving him a shout-out).
Jen Lancaster, who puts her life on the page in such a familiar, yet totally distinct, tone. (www.jennsylvania.com)
Jodi Picoult, a master at conveying tension, emotion, and the intricacies of life-destroying situations, all through the use of written words.
Evangeline Lilly, an actress who seems to have retained her humility and uses her resources to make a difference in the world.
Jonathan Larson, who wrote the Broadway masterpiece RENT, its music and cast deftly woven together.
These people inspire me, some more than others. It is my hope that their various influences will trickle into my own creative work to make something wholly other – something wholly me.
So, on this inspiring, rainy Monday, I wonder – who inspires you? Someone famous? Someone not-so-famous? And, what are they inspiring you to do? I look forward to reading your comments!