I love the songwriting cliche of lyrics scrawled across a dinner napkin that go on to become a hit song. Inspiration waits for no man, let alone the check.
(Speaking of inspiration and songwriting, American Songwriter had a great interview last week with legendary songwriter Bobby Braddock, the man behind a little ditty called “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”)
Between working, freelancing, blogging and attempting to indulge obsessions with fashion and design, inspiration can ebb and flow. Technology helps – I’ll jot out a lede sentence in Gmail and bang out shorthand on my Blackberry notepad – but piecing all of those ideas together is hard, and trying to remember exactly what that seemingly brilliant idea was from my morning commute is even harder.
Enter my inspiration notebook. About three years ago, I started it to house magazine clippings, cards and notes. I still write on the back of receipts at stoplights and bang out shorthand on my Blackberry notepad, but this book houses lists, pictures and brainstorming I want to hang onto in the months and years to come. There’s everything from a long, multi-color Missoni dress (that I later came across in an NYC consignment store) cut out of Vogue to the notes for my first contributions to the Independent Weekly as an intern in 2007 – and a lot in between.
So that’s where my inspirations are housed – but where do they come from? If there’s one thing I’ve about PR and writing, it’s that you often have to be an expert on a wide variety of things. Quickly. In the same vein, my sources of inspiration come from a range of places.
Here are just a few online sources pulled straight out of my reader:
- I Suwannee – Great (local) design blog turned Glenwood Avenue design store, even better story.
- The Bad Pitch Blog – Inspiration for PR types on what not to do. Or, if you’re Borat – on what to do, NOT.
- That Lonesome Song – A ridiculously depressing album that never fails to remind me that there are some seriously talented artists making music today.
- WhoWhatWhenWear.com – Celebrity fashion, without any awkward Perez Hilton gossip.
- My co-writers at The 9513 – Never have I seen country music so intelligently discussed, berated and championed.
What about you? What Web site, artists, people, magazines and places inspire you – and how do you keep them from falling through the cracks?