“If there are no doors open, the go find a window! Don’t take no for an answer.”
“There are inspirations and ideas everywhere you look.”
When I was writing Birthing the elephant, my action guide for entrepreneurs, one of the women I most enjoyed interviewing was make-up mogul, Bobbi Brown. She was incredibly passionate and endlessly creative — she was always searching for new colors and fresh style ideas.
In her Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, Bobbi observes that “One of the best ways to train your eyes and encourage your creativity is to keep a scrapbook. Think of it as a visual journal for thoughts, images, and completed work.” She herself finds inspiration in people’s faces, the play of light on skin color, magazine articles, gourmet food stores, logos and labels, architecture, and in nature. She uses her scrapbooks to keep track of all these inspiring images and as a historical record of her ideas.
What a great idea for us as writers! Since so much of what we share through our stories are visual images, why not borrow a leaf from Bobbi’s book and gather together sources of visual inspiration? The form this visual record takes can vary — it might be a binder or a
bound notebook, or an inspiration board you can look at while you work. Or, as Bobbi notes, you can create a virtual scrapbook using Pinterest or a Web site to capture ideas.
The possibilities for us are endless! Just as we can collect bits of dialogue we hear on our travels or quotes we see, we can gather visual images that will find their way into our stories: images of a face in a magazine that “looks” like one of our characters, or a dress a character might wear, or a piece of jewelry, or a scene we can recreate.
Inspiration and ideas everywhere. Bravo, Bobbi! Let’s look for them — and write on!