Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. It comes from everyday interactions, things you see on the bus on your way into town. It comes from places and smells and observing. That all goes without saying because no matter what writer you ask, whether published or just doing it casually, the will, I believe, say pretty much the same thing. A better question might be who inspires you? Which group of people are your “heroes”? Who do you look up to in order to believe that what you’re trying to achieve is possible. For me there are a few but they don’t just come from writing, in fact only one of them does. So let me go through the people who have and are still making me believe it’s possible.
In my list of recommended books, I name three of Horowitz’s series for children and YA. In fact, Horowitz is yet to write a book I didn’t enjoy and that’s including his adult novels. His stories move along with the greatest of ease and are full of twists and turns. Reading a master of the written word so early in my life has helped me to believe that I’ve had the right literary education and that one day this will work out for me.
The internet, too, has helped this belief because I’ve been able to go online and search for interviews and videos of him talking about the industry he loves. It’s impossible not to feel inspired when you hear someone so successful and can actually hear the passion in their voice.
When it comes to writing, Horowitz is definitely the one I follow closest and draw the most inspiration from. He’s the first author I returned to on a regular basis and I still look forward to anything he produces.
For those of you who don’t know who Padraig Harrington is, he’s an Irish professional golfer. Nowadays it’s Rory Mcilroy who dominates the headlines when it comes to Irish golf and then just behind him are Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry, but it was Harrington who really carried the hopes of of our small country on his shoulders for years.
He’s always had a successful career but started to be branded a “choker” as he couldn’t win one of golf four major events. Despite a lot of naysayers, he finally made the breakthrough when he claimed his first Open Championship. Note the word first, because he would go on to replicate this feat the following year as well as winning the USPGA Championship. A total of three majors has elevated him among the golfing greats and ensures his legacy will live on forever.
But success is never the sole measure of a man. There are stories of how much he practices. He wasn’t born with a natural golfing ability and he worked harder than anyone so that he could get to where he is today. Aside from the success and the hard work, Harrington is genuinely a nice guy. He doesn’t have an ego and whenever I have gone to watch him at tournaments, he always has a smile on his face. He spends time signing autographs and chatting with fans.
For me, Harrington will always be the champion of Irish golf and one of my foremost role models. His gritty, never-say-die attitude has taught me to focus on what I’m doing. It has shown me that no matter how many setbacks I have with whatever it is that I’m doing, I can make it just so long as I keep working away at it.
Sarah Bolger and Saoirse Ronan
These ladies are two incredibly talented Irish actresses. The reason I get inspiration from them is that they’re both young and quite close to my own age. I started writing when I was fifteen and finished my first manuscript when I was sixteen. My main worry at that time was, “Am I too young?” There weren’t many authors my age getting published with mainstream recognition at the time, with the exception of Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle (the first book, Eragon, was pretty good and was made into a movie though the rest of the series flagged after that).
Since the writing world was letting me down, I turned to Bolger and Ronan and set them as my “peers”. Sarah burst onto the big screen when she appeared in In America along with her sister Emma back in 2002. As for Ronan, she became a household name across the globe when she portrayed a young Briony Tallis in 2007’s Atonement when she was thirteen and was nominated for an Oscar for the performance.
The two have since gone from strength to strength. Bolger went down the route of television and has had roles in critically acclaimed shows such as The Tudors, for which she won an IFTA, and Once Upon a Time. Ronan has starred in great movies such as The Grand Budapest Hotel and gave a sterling performance in The Lovely Bones when she was only fifteen.
So, eh ya…maybe I overestimated my ability a bit by thinking of them as peers but at the same time, I get hope from their success.
Various Successful Entrepreneurs
This is a bit of a random one but I think if you want to be successful in life you have to look at all those who have gone before you, no matter what discipline or industry they are in. So when you see people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs changing the way our society operates or Warren Buffett who has possibly the best investing brain this world has ever seen, you just have to take note. The man I’m taking the most note of though, and really only took specific interest in him in the last four months though I have known about him for some years now, is Elon Musk.
Musk is a real life Tony Stark. He is a billionaire and a revolutionary thinker. He wants to change the world…that’s all he is interested in. He’s involved in everything from trying to fly to Mars to electric cars to renewable energy. He possesses one of the greatest minds of our generation, quite possibly in the history of man. When people look back on him in the future he could well be held in the same regard we hold Da Vinci, Eddison, Franklin and Galileo. He’s a workaholic and used to work over one hundred hours a week though the figure has been reduced to a paltry eighty. He doesn’t know when to quit and will put his whole life savings on the line in order to make his dreams come true. (This has actually happened before!) His commitment is incredible.
All this seems great but we’re here for books and that’s exactly what Musk loves. When he grew up in South Africa he was an avid reader and read anything he could get his hands on. And that doesn’t just mean massive tomes, it also applies to children’s and YA. Two of his favourite books, or at least that I know of, are The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings. Maybe all my reading was justified and if Musk’s success is anything to go by, we should all be reading as much as possible.
Thank you for reading this piece and I hope you enjoyed it. For the sake of keeping the article to a somewhat readable length I’ve decided not to mention some of the other people I look up to including American golfer Phil Mickelson and English actor/presenter/comedian Stephen Fry. Hopefully, in the future, I might be lucky enough to cross paths and perhaps interview some of the people on this list. That’s certainly the aim at the moment so stay tuned…with a bit of luck I might be able to get a big name on the website. Now that would be pretty awesome!
If you would like to comment below with some of the people who inspire your writing or just you in general then you can do so in the box below. Also, if you have any suggestions on what you might like me to write on next then please let me know.