Innovations Roadmap #10

Inspire [in-spahyuhr] verb
Verb (used with an object)
1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence
2. to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.)
3. to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.
4. to influence or impel
5. to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does

TOPIC: What inspires you?

A lot of things inspire me. Music, stories, words, TED talks, videos, nature, and video games, to name most of the ones I can think of. They inspire me all in different ways. One by one, I can identify why they inspire me the way they do, and what they inspire me to do (even though I may not necessarily be capable of doing the thing).

Music inspires me to write stories. I can imagine different scenarios from that a musical piece and I write those scenes in hopes that they make it into the story. Music also inspires me to play the piano and sing. I can’t do either very well, but the ability to feel like I can produce something is empowering. I want to get involved in all these ways.

Stories inspire me by putting my mind in motion. I begin to think of what-ifs. The stories I refer to are novels. Novels make me think ‘what if this hadn’t happened’ or ‘what if this happened.’ Maybe I come up with my own story for it. I am inspired to write either way, to produce something that can be enjoyed by others.

Words are powerful things. In a lot of fantasy stories, there’s sometimes the concept of “this is the true name of the thing, and the true name gives you power over the thing.” So words are able to control, to give meaning. Spoken words have power by those who are silent. They are heard. That’s why poetry readings are effective. Reading a story or a poem gives the poem more heartfelt meaning.

TED talks are always inspiring, if I can find the right one. One of them had a quote I’ve kept. It’s from a talk titled “Why Bother Leaving the House?” by Ben Saunders. The quote I wrote down and have kept for so long reads, “Inspiration and growth only come from adversity and from challenge- from stepping away from what’s comfortable and familiar and stepping out into the unknown.” I needed to hear that quote and I’ve been inspired to one day step into the unknown. One day, I will do just that and I will succeed in stepping out of my comfort zone.

Videos are a big thing for me because of the visual component. I love watching videos that have amazing graphics because it inspires the creative part of me. It inspires the photographer in me to seek out the best locations to shoot, to find the best models, to find the fun props that make the photo pop. It also makes me want to go out and film everything. I’m not a good camera-man, though.

Nature inspires me because of how beautiful it is. I have a wonderful view of the mountains from my dorm window, and when the sun sets, the sky lights up in a wonderful red and I can take the best pictures from it. Over the weekend, it snowed very lightly, and it fell in such a picturesque way that I ended up sitting along and daydreaming about a new scene for a story. Finding instances of nature where everything seems so beautifulinspires me. The sheer beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me.

Video games have the potential to be great visually and story-wise. Game controls have never irked me much because I don’t pay much attention to them. Yes, I do notice if it’s difficult for me to tap out a combination or it’s a rather odd choice to use the right stick instead of the left stick for moving. But if a game has good visuals, I end up paying attention to the detail the animators put into character designs, into moving facials, into everything around the characters. I also notice if a story does or doesn’t make sense. Since I am a very words- and story- oriented person, I pay attention to the story more than everything else. If a story has a main story arch and then several other side quests, I don’t want those side quests to detract too much from the main story line. At the same time, some of those side quests should help supplement the story line. 

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