• Inspiration and the Creative Process

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    Austin-based writer Richard Crenwelge shares his thoughts on the creative process, and how and where a writer should look for inspiration:


    Finding inspiration for my writing has always been the most important part of the creative process, although I strongly believe that subject matter is not nearly as important as the way it is packaged.  When I first began writing, everything from the subject to the text had to be hard-hitting, shocking, or somehow reveal a universal truth.  I was never in short supply of these ideas, either, because I was young and emotional, and I purposely placed myself in new or risky situations, all in an effort to avoid becoming creatively stagnant.  This covered a large spectrum of activity, also, whether it be the typical sex, drugs, and violence, or simply just traveling to other places without any money or resources.  I was just convinced that everything had to be exciting.

    I hit a certain point, however, where I became bored of that literary pattern, and it became even more mundane than what I had considered mundane before.  It was simply a pre-existing template, and a well-used one at that.  Stories and poems that I had written previously started to appear uninspired to me, or forced, or hackneyed.  Ultimately, in my effort to create original material, I think I had begun to lose some honesty.

    In response, I became a creative reactionary, and shrunk back into the everyday patterns of life to find my inspiration.  When writing song lyrics or music, I would record, quite literally, the details of a specific trip to the laundromat, or a specific person that I ran into at the grocery store.  It was a relief, in a sense, because there was not any pressure to go find a story.  All I had to do is simply live and then write about it.

    Although I am still operating in this sort-of reactionary space, I believe that the perfect environment for my writing would be a symbiosis between the two extremes.  People read fiction or poetry for two reasons; the first is to identify with another human being through a shared emotion or shared activity, and the second is to be lifted out of their everyday existence into something more engaging.  If I could find a middle ground for my writing, I think I would be able to satisfy both desires in the reader, and also cater to my sense of adventure, while tempering it with self-control.


    Richard Crenwelge is a freelance writer from Austin, TX.  His interest in writing began at a very young age, and Richard eventually received an undergraduate degree in English from Southwest Texas State University.  He also has a masters degree in Theology from the University of St. Thomas.  Richard’s other interests include music, martial arts, and strength sports.  He owns a strength-training and martial arts gym in South Austin, and has a writing blog at http://deadindustrialexhaust.blogspot.com.

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