Finding Inspiration in Weird Places

By Amanda Smyth Connor

I am what they (I) call a mockingbird writer, meaning I tend to write in the style that I have most recently been exposed to.


Case in Point #1: Last week, I re-read “Bossypants” by Tina Fey…for the third time.  I think it gets funnier every time I read it.

After brief episodes of reading, I would go back to my writing assignments to find that I was writing in shorter, more staccato sentences and more often than not I would make some lame attempt at a Liz Lemon-style self-deprecating joke.

Case in Point #2: I finished Bossypants and moved on to a Stephen King classic, “It.” Things took a decidedly darker turn in my writing projects, to which my editor simply wrote back to me:  “WTF?”

I find writing inspiration in odd places, but most notably from the style of book I’m reading at any given time. It’s a gift and a curse. [My editor assures me that it’s a curse. ]

Have you experienced this mockingbird style of writing? Where do you find your best writing inspiration?

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.