From where do you pull your inspiration to create? Is it from personal experiences? Desires? Fantasies? Something else entirely different? The great thing is that it doesn’t matter what inspires you to create, it only matters that you are inspired and are thus creating. It makes no difference who you are, we all need inspiration. It creates positive energy and allows us to channel it into creating our own projects that can in turn inspire others.
I am currently sitting in my office, a glass of wine in my hand and a mince pie on my desk. My office is my place of inspiration. It is full of movie posters, action figures, memorabilia, autographs and photographs. It is my space for creating. I look around and I see inspiration, joy, dreams and achievements. I see reflections of where I’ve been and hints of where I’m going. It’s like a living scrapbook of my life.
I am staring at an empty Word document. This is my blank canvas. In a few hours, the painting will start to come together as the page fills up with ideas and thoughts. Characters will appear and plots will grow. I will flesh out story lines and start forming the basis of a story. This is the first day of starting a new novel. I’ve just come home from our annual family visit to Disneyland and am basking in the glow of having seen my three year-old daughter walking around with a look of wonder and excitement on her face. In her world, the princesses we had breakfast with are real, the Mickey Mouse she sees on television gave her a hug and signed her autograph book and she almost made Thor cry by thanking him for saving the day. We were only there for five days, but we’ve made memories that will last us a life time. Every step brought us something new. She cheered when she saw Jack Skellington in the Haunted Mansion and let out a loud yippee when we made the jump to light speed on the Star Tours ride. Seeing the impact Disneyland had on her is wonderful. The best thing is that she is no different than any child walking through the front gates. Walt Disney has touched the lives of countless people young and old and even fifty years after his death, his legacy is stronger than ever and continues to grow at an astounding rate.
Disneyland is a huge inspiration for me and is proof that one person can change the world. I leave the park feeling invigorated and inspired to create. Sure, the Disney Corporation is frequently attacked for being a faceless and greedy business entity, but at its heart, the core product of Disney is making people happy. And that it does, tens of thousands of times a day. Be it through new movies, toys or theme parks. There is barely a child in the United States, indeed much of the world who has not been affected by Disney in one form or another. These children grow into adults who hold fond memories of Disney movies and family trips to the Disney resorts and they in turn share these memories with their children. Each new generation continues to build new moments of joy.
We left the park after closing and were on the road by 10:00 p.m. It was a five-hour drive back home to Phoenix and my mind was racing for the entire drive with how I could make my stamp on the world. Despite the late hour of the commute, I was wide awake forging ideas and stories. A week later, I have characters and a plot in place. The same thing happened to me last and I am over a hundred and eighty pages into that novel which will be released in 2014. It is a tradition I hope to continue long into my career.
I don’t understand the negative energy that is directed towards Disney and its various brands. There are millions of families whose lives have been touched by Disney. I am now able to share the movies I grew up on with my daughter. The same way my parents shared the movies they grew up on with me. Disney creates so much more than just movies and toys. They create memories and traditions. These hold far more value than any doll or movie ticket. The more recent movies provide strong female role models for little girls that I am happy for my daughter to be inspired by these characters.
So why does Disney inspire me so much? Walt Disney has been responsible for more smiles and memories than any creator in history. If I can achieve just one one-thousandth of the joy that Disney has created, then I will consider myself a success. While it may be aiming high to follow in the footsteps of such a large brand, I am a firm believer that if you don’t aim high, you will never reach those heights. You are only limited by the top of the ladder that you set for yourself. Why not start climbing up the highest ladder? Walt Disney didn’t and neither will I.
I’ve just placed a framed photograph of my wife, daughter and myself with Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas on the wall in my office. As my wall fills up one memory at a time, the inspiration brings me one step closer to changing the world and maybe one day becoming the inspiration for someone else to create.