The Creativity Club: What Inspires Kathleen

What inspires me to write?

Well, it’s not global pandemic, danger, distraction, and fear. But even in these bizarre and unsettling times, I have been inspired, and pretty much on the daily.

I’ve been delighted by my friend Lee’s wry, understated, and often hilarious blog posts. She’s been writing on her site for sixteen years now, so there’s plenty of material to explore.

I’m awed by the expert storytelling over six seasons of The Americans, which my husband and I finished last weekend. The writers of this show somehow hit every note, every year, in every arc. Even when they were clearly laying bricks, I felt enthralled by their mortar spreading. I’m going to miss that show. And ditto Fleabag. That conceit with the fourth wall and the priest’s sense of it? Genius, quirky, and completely inspiring.

Last week, I inhaled Kate Racculia’s novel Bellweather Rhapsody, and then I happily remembered I’d purchased the Kindle edition of her latest, Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, when it went on sale last. I’m absolutely inspired by the way she layers her characters and exposes their flaws. I gasped aloud when a favorite from Bellweather showed up unexpectedly in Tuesday. I wanted to keep reading this morning instead of writing this post, but do you know what especially inspires me?

Deadlines, rules, and rule-following. Those don’t sound overly motivational, but they keep me in the creativity club where we make things and joke about life and cheer for each other. Everyone’s in the club; we’re all invited.

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Kathleen West

Kathleen West is the author of the forthcoming novel, Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes, out 2/4/20 from Berkley. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.

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