Heyo! So, my family and I are on a lovely trip to Florida. Ah, what a wonderful life! Warm sun, hot sand, chilly ocean water, and a relaxed mind. I’m not going to pretend I have a calm life back home. Quite the contrary actually.
I’m a sixteen year old girl. That means I’m living some of the most important years of my life, AKA the years the will impact my future more than many other years. The stress of this age isn’t exaggerated, despite the popular belief that we’re all just hormonal teens desperate for attention.
Okay, I’ll admit, there are plenty of people I know who are desperate for attention, so they create stupid drama. Sadly, I often get caught up in this drama, because I consistently make the idiotic move of being their short term friend. I say, ‘short term,’ because these attention seekers do that whole, ‘push people away so they’ll ask me what’s wrong’. Unlucky for them that I’ve never been one to put up with that nonsense. Therefore, that’s often what causes the fall of our friendship.
Anyhow, with my hectic home life where I’m trying to get great grades in all honors and AP classes (so I can get an academic scholarship in the future), attempting to add in a social life & time for writing stories & blog posts, and let’s not forget that I’m adding in a currently nonexistent love-life (hoping that changes soon, but that’s for another post). Overall, trying to balance that whole equation can be a challenge. So, a nice break in Florida is certainly warranted.
Now, back to what this is actually supposed to be about. I really wanted to discuss the inspiration I’ve come to find in this place.
With how much I write, being inspired is necessary. Sure, my mind is crazy and as out of the box as it gets, but I still have creative limits every now and again. It’s not like I can just say to myself, “I need an idea about this topic right this second!” Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. My mind spits out ideas when it feels like it. That’s why I write down my ideas when they come whether it be on my phone or in my History notebook. I make sure to have them somewhere.
But, I don’t always have the idea I need already thought up… That’s where inspiration comes in handy.
Most often, I can close my eyes and imagine somewhere that will give me the inspiration needed to come up with a best selling idea. Sadly, my mind is not an exact copy of a real life beach or blue lagoon (not that I’ve ever been to one). Instead, I’m showing myself faux images of a place conjured up by a movie or a very descriptive book. Simply put, no matter how realistic my mind makes them, those images are nothing compared to the real thing.
Florida is the real thing. This beautiful place is as real as it gets. Palm trees every which way I turn! And something crazy that my mind wouldn’t have randomly thought up in a million years, but now sits on the tip of my tongue just waiting to be written in vivid detail: the feeling of seeing Christmas decor in a warm and sunny climate! I live in a state with cold winters and snow. Snow is a classic Christmas thing for me! So, seeing a lit up Christmad tree in the park leading up to the beach is just crazy! And don’t get me started on Christmas lights spiraling up the trunk of a palm tree!
Besides the wacky Christmas stuff here, there is so much else that I couldn’t have so easily pictured in my mind.
If I were to ever write about a girl living in Florida, I would have messed up on countless details! But now, those details are noted for future use.
Other things noted are the ideas spawned from the sights I have seen while I’ve been here. First, Florida is not paradise. It is a state surrounded by ocean, with a warmer climate, and different locally grown fruits. But, it’s not paradise! Anyone who lives here must know that.
Where my family is staying, it’s kind of touristy, but not primarily. It’s not a resort! Actually, now this is kind of comical, it’s a retirement area! We’re staying in my retired grandparents condo! (They only stay here in January till March) The average age is seventy! So this is just normal Florida. And normal Florida has pigeons and seagulls on the beach, lots of loud, distracting construction, some food truck festivals, normal beach bars, and normal places. There are grocery stores here that are also in Tennessee! And right up the street is a Wendy’s!
Still, Florida lives up to its beachy reputation when it comes to the local cuisine. The docks are so close, therefore, seafood galore! Personally, seafood isn’t really my forte, but I can always get on board with a good swordfish steak! Besides that, Florida is unique with the rest of its beachy culture! There are surf shops on just about every corner! From Beach Wave to Ron Jon’s, you’ll find the classic surf shop every mile (not even). Oh, and everyone here (well, almost everyone) is tan, tan, and tanner!
Plus, the culture here is so different than where I’m from. I’m from a Chicago suburb, so I’m used to everything being done quickly and orderly and planned. Here though, they are so southern! Causal atmosphere, pleasantries to every passerby, and almost every business was closed on thanksgiving. Even grocery stores! I thought that was insane! What about last minute Thanksgiving dinner shopping! The amount of money they must be losing is all I could think about, but to the people here, spending time with family is primary to money. I’m not used to that way of thinking.
See, so much that I wouldn’t have gotten from pictures made in my head. The real deal is ten times more information and inspiration!
Though, I’ve also realized, I’ve certainly missed out on tons of inspiration back home. I’m from a small town community that’s really close to a huge city! A huge city with a very unique culture!
I’ve been out of state several times, and if my travels have taught me one thing, it’s that my home state is mean! It’s not like I was extremely naive and thought Chicago was a bed of roses! Psh! No way in hell I thought that! People in Chicago seem to honk their horn an average of twenty times a day for crying out loud! But, I’ve learned smaller details. For example, religion is of much less importance. Or, a lot of people in Illinios are very open with their opinion, and they seem to think their opinion is some reincarnation of God! It’s, ‘my way or the high way,’ with just about everyone.
Noticing these little details about where I’m from is an amazing form of inspiration in and of itself. These ideas can spark conversation or questions, and those things can lead to a story idea or an idea for the next chapter of a book.
So, if you’re ever struggling for inspiration or suffering from a horrid case of writer’s block, look for these things wherever you are. These questions (and their answers) can easily be the solution for your dilemma.
- What’s the friendliness level of the people here? Are they cold hearted and only out for themselves, or are they caring and considerate of those around them. Or, are they a mix?
- What kind of landscape is around me? What can be done in this environment? Climate?
- Local extreme sports?
- Was anyone famous born here?
- Which is more important, beauty or intelligence?
- Is my town like the cliché towns in the movies? How does it differ?
- What’s everyone’s main priority here?
- Do we see a lot of crime here? What kind of crime? If not, is a lot of the crime small misdemeanors that are kept under-wraps?
- Conspiracy? Ooooo (say the, ‘oo,’ like a ghost).
- Is this a racially diverse community? If not, how are other races treated? Why are they treated that way? If so, how do the different races act towards eachother? Does everyone get along and integrate races amongst groups, or do the different minority races form groups of their own?
- Favorite local sport? (Speaking of, if anyone’s wondeirng, yes I’m a die heart Cubs fan! And, yes, I’m so freaking happy they finally won!) Sports influence on community?
- Student teacher relations (no, I’m not talking about scandalous relations, unless they are scandalous, in which case, tsk tsk to your town!) Do students and teachers get along well? How do they get along? Is their relationship just student teacher or does the teacher ever come over for dinner (as in, does your teacher feel like family to you)?
- What crazy things would make sense to happen in this community? ( I’m talking stuff that’s often considered impossible. Fantasy or scifi stuffs).
These are just some questions. There are loads more that you can probably think of now that you’ve looked at these thirteen (anyone here have thirteen as their lucky number? Mine’s four!)
Did any of those inspire you? If not, tell me, what do you use for inspiration!?
See you next time!
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