What is the source, or what are the sources of a writer's inspiration? We often say that a writer has a gift.
Certainly a gift. A gift of God, as we had nothing of ourselves in the beginning but intelligence. In the pre-mortal
world we lived with our Heavenly Father and learned in His presence. We gained skills of different sorts as we made
choices, but we could not have learned or gained anything without Father. We then brought with us into
this mortal life certain skills as an eye for beauty, a love of music, a knack for words, etc. To this we added by
learning to use whatever materials came to hand. As to these "materials", some are physical and some are not.
As to the physical, writers have written with chisel on stone, with impressions of pointed sticks on wax tablets,
with scratchings on sheets of metal, with pigments (inks) on animal skins and papyrus with ink. In the last couple
of centuries we have invented typewriters, and more recently, computers for word processing. We have learned to mass
produce our writings by ever more efficient printing methods and disperse the results to the point where we have
litter and junk mail. We can now send our writing around the world without ever putting it in a permanent form by
As to the non-physical tools, we have our language, our remembered experiences, our subconscious symbolizations (dreams
and daydreams), and our imagination. As a race (human), we have learned to read, write, and speak in innumerable
languages. From my perspective, I am glad I know English best as English has borrowed so thoroughly from the other
languages as to make it the most comprehensive.
Memories of our past experiences give us details of the settings and characters for our stories.
I am not a psychologist, but I have noticed that dreams and daydreams show us things, not necessarily as they are,
but in symbols. My first story, Sam and the Sea, began as a symbolic representation of experiences and
feelings I have had. I did not recognize that for almost three years.
Our imagination helps us put the details together into a coherent story.
And finally, I cannot rule out that God may touch us with thoughts and images that do not have anything to do with
our experience. I know that I have had a few such moments in my life.