by BJ Robinson
How do you find inspiration to write?
Faith spurs me on as I find inspiration in scripture from God’s Word, locales from vacations and nature, life experience, family, friends, and history. Born in the Bible belt, I grew up on country music my mother loved which impacts my writing. Various country artists write gospel music or songs that relate to their faith, and I enjoy listening to them. Some have signature songs that show their faith, and some have entire gospel albums.
Alan Jackson and Carrie Underwood come to mind since I have CDs of both listened to them while driving back and forth to work. From my mother’s world, I grew up listening to Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, Norma Jean, and Kitty Wells. I still listen to Dolly and Loretta. I know many churches say country music is not the type to listen to, but I was reared on it, and believe it or not, it is God-inspired when country artists let Him work, just as when a writer lets Him work. As with anything else, it depends on what you listen to.
I love old-fashioned gospel music and hymns, but from the Christmas day I lost my father at four years old, I remember my mother singing the song “How Far is Heaven” by Kitty Wells. A favorite sung by Alan Jackson is “In the Garden,” and I always loved “Church in the Wildwood. George Jones sang “Flowers for Mama,” and Charley Pride sung so many beautiful songs. I loved the Statier Brothers and the Oak Ridge Boys. There are just too many beautiful songs and artists to name, but I love them all. There’s faith in my music, my writing, and my life. I love reading God’s Word, watching faith-filled movies, and reading Christian novels.
Some of my favorite movies have been the Sherwood ones. My husband and I watch them over and over and enjoy them every time. God moves through movies, music, novels, nonfiction, and His Word if you open your heart and mind and let Him, and He inspires my writing and my soul through them all. He moves through the breeze as leaves whisper in the wind, through the skies as they reflect His glory and creativity in beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the sun sparkling on the water of rivers, lakes, and the wide, blue ocean. He is everywhere and can be found in everything if you open your eyes and ears and listen and hear. I hope you find Him as you go about your day from the morning to the sunset. Jesus is my best friend. Let Him reach your soul and steer you through life. There have been so many times in my life that I knew it was literally Him who saved me in more ways than one through His mercy and grace.
As a product of the South complete with an accent that announces it, locale plays an important part. If it’s about the South, I’ll be inspired. If you’re stuck, read other authors in your genre or who write and set their books in a locale that inspires your muse. I read as much as I write and enjoy books by other authors in various genres, but my favorite ones are romantic suspense and historical romance. There are so many wonderful Christian authors I have enjoyed through the years. Eva Marie Everson, Chris Fabry, Naomi Musch, and Danielle Thorne are a few of my favorites.
As a teen, I loved Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, and as a younger reader, I read every Nancy Drew mystery I could get my hands on. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder were also a favorite. From the depths of my faith, mind, imagination, life experience, family, friends, and history, I create characters that will transport you to another era or another time and place who enjoy scenic vacations. Growing up, we never could afford family vacations, so I find it fun to write about the places I have been.
One thing I am thankful for is that we don’t have to wear the yards of material and layers women did during the Civil War era. Gardening had to be pure drudgery. The South is too hot and humid to wear layers of clothing while gardening. I love the outdoors and working in my flowers, but I don’t know how much I would have enjoyed it back in the day.
My novels are character driven, and I’m a morning writer. I’ve always felt I did my best writing then. Once I get into a novel, the characters tell their story. In the wee hours of morning, I’m perking with the coffee.
So, what inspires my muse? Faith, locale, life experience, family, friends, history, research, learning, listening to music, the news, and reading other authors all enhance my creative mind and inspire me to create other worlds through characters who lived in the past and tell their own stories or through modern-day characters who enjoy living stories from my imagination in vacation spots I’ve visited. I am inspired each time I gaze at the ocean, rivers, lakes, the sky and clouds, sunrises, sunsets, and the majestic mountains He created and through them all, I am inspired to create with His help, guidance, and direction. God bless you.
B. J. Robinson is a multi-published, award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty books as well as short stories and novellas. Blessed with her faith, husband, children, grandchildren, and pets, she finds inspiration and hopes to introduce people to her best friend, Jesus. For a selection of her work, visit her at http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1460500513&sr=1-2-ent