We're talking about "writing touchstones" this month in the Underground, and you've already seen that different writers need different things in order to stir their creativity: Helen Lowe needs to write freely and loosely in longhand, Amanda Arista uses visual images, while Jocelyn Drake and Pamela Palmer use music to put them into a writing frame of mind.
What I need to write is pretty simple; I need to READ. There is nothing I love more than a great story, well-told. Reading has taught me so much about writing. It's taught me what works in a story and what doesn't, from simple things like the fact that if I, as a reader, don't care about the characters, then I'm not going to care for the story, and more complex things like pacing, plot development, conflict and resolution.
I've been an avid reader since grade school, and I have never, ever stopped. I read while I'm on the treadmill. I read while I eat my lunch. I read while I'm on a plane. I read while I'm at the beach, or in a waiting room, or at the hair salon. I read, read, read, and then I take the lessons I've learned from that reading and I try to craft a few great stories, well-told, of my very own, for others to enjoy. Basically, if I'm not writing, gardening, exercising or sleeping, I'm reading!
So basically, what I need to write is inspiration, which I find in great stories that goad me into becoming a better writer. And speaking of great stories, what was the last one you read that really wowed you? Go ahead, give me some reading suggestions... I'm always looking for a few more great stories, well-told!