I have discovered the worst place in the world to be inspired as a writer.
It's a bookstore.
When I look at those tables, I think, "There are enough books in the world. There are more than anyone could ever read, and here there are more than anyone wants."If there were still a cafe in the dreary space, I can't imagine anyone sipping coffee and tapping out a novel there.
How many of those books would have been sold, might have been solid successes, had Borders not closed? And here they are, gathering dust, in the very same place that is a graveyard to writers' hope. I'm normally delighted to see my friends' books in the wild, but this was one time I didn't whip out my camera. (If I had enemies, it might be different, as Clive James wrote so well.) Note that my feelings of futility did not prevent me from picking up a few good discoveries.
Fortunately, it's not the only bookstore in town.
Yesterday, I went to Children's Book World in Haverford, a gem of an independent store that carries just about every title I could think of, classic to new, picture books to YA, even a small, carefully curated adult section. I didn't visit CBW nearly as often when Borders was alive, and now I do. And it's CBW's shelves where I long to see my own books, alongside the autographed editions by Kate DiCamillo, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Jerry Spinelli.
Did I start longing again?? That's pretty close to inspiration -- better get to writing!
What settings or situations are motivating -- or demotivating -- to you?