Posted on March 29, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
I draw inspiration from a lot of different sources, but when I am having a particularly tough time sitting down to write, I love to look at imagery. This can come from visiting a certain place, or just looking at a photograph of a beautiful location. If you saw the amount of “coffee-table” style books that I own filled to capacity with photographs of the most beautiful places in the world.
I’m a very visual person, in case you can’t figure that out just yet. The photographs that I use to get the writing juices flowing, are very particular. They have to speak to me somehow. When I get lost in a photograph it is often the medicine I needed to get down to business and start writing. The writing that follows after viewing certain photographs, is very often my best. This includes, but is certainly not limited to actually being somewhere beautiful. However, the photographs work just fine too.
I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you and tell you why they inspire me. I do have to admit, that upon looking at my 1000′s of photographs so I could choose some of my favorites, I discovered a common theme that I am sure a psychologist would have a blast picking apart. I seem to have some kind of thing with doors, windows, tunnels, bridges… anything that seems to lead to something else. I’m serious, take a look.
Doors – Yes, I love doors. I have no idea why. Especially the doors that look really old, like they have withstood the test of time and obviously have amazing things on the other side. I guess my reasoning behind this, is that the story is left unwritten until I create the “story of the door” – Who’s on the other side? What’s on the other side? It seems to be all about what’s on the other side for me. I don’t know.
Alleys - It’s the darkness, the confined space. The beauty of wondering where it takes you. I’m not sure. I have almost 100 photos of different alleys. How weird is that?
Bridges – I love bridges and this was the hardest folder to choose favorites out of, because essentially any bridge seems to inspire. I also really love dilapidated bridges – or those that are naturally made.
Paths and Walkways – I guess because its one of those “Where does it lead?” kind of things.
Spiral Staircases – I am sure there is some psychological dissection that could go on here alone – I love spiral staircases. These photographs don’t even begin to show the ridiculous amount of photographs I have of staircases – mostly spiral. But some really amazing outdoor and antique staircases.
Single Trees – I have 100′s of photographs I have taken myself when we’ve been all over the country, showing a single tree – standing alone in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know why I love them, but I really do.
Lastly, abandoned houses. Why do I love them? Because there is a hidden story behind why they are abandoned and I dream of discovering what that is. Sometimes when I am looking for something to write, I use one of these photos to write the story of the now dilapidated state of the home. I’m always on the lookout while driving around for houses that appear to be abandoned or just very run down. There is one in particular that one of these days I will stop and get that picture I’ve wanted for years.
And that my friends, is it. So show me your inspiration. I love looking at what others glean inspiration from, so give it to me. Leave me a comment or link to it.
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