I was in Borders today, researching a non-book, non-writing related project, but that didn't stop me from checking out the writing section. At first, I skimmed the titles, my eyes naturally drawn to the books I recognized from my own shelves. I thumbed through the latest edition of The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler, I eyed the massive hardback Story by Robert McKee, I noted that Nancy Kress has a new book out (or was it a new cover on Janet Burroway's Writing Fiction?).
Then I got serious about my examination of the selection. I pulled out books with interesting titles and thumbed through their table of contents. I read back flaps and front bursts. I found a book on how to write memoirs (and though I've searched Borders' site and Amazon, cannot find the book's title now). It was filled with writing suggestions to prompt memory: write ten minutes about your happiest memory; write ten minutes about ice cream; write ten minutes about an unexpected trip or a trip you never took.
I immediately wanted a pen and paper or my computer. I was inspired to write. Now!
I don't know if it was the memoir book or simply being in that section, reading through all the books that promised to teach how to be a better writer, but I was ready to write. If I thought it was the result of the memoir book, I would have purchased it right then, but I wasn't completely sure. A source of inspiration is not something to idly pass up.
It's always satisfying to find a new source of inspiration. Just knowing that the writing section is there at Borders (or the memoir book) to prompt me into literary action is soothing. If ever I run out of ideas or gumption, there it is, ready to goad me forward again.