"Inspiration? A sleepless night helps, when my mind has nothing to do but wander. I'm also inspired by stories—hearing, seeing, remembering—by events that get stuck in my head. When the muse is quiet, however, I give myself permission to 'write badly' (so badly that anything I write has to be incinerated). Throwing internal editors aside, I write. Like building a fire with a few twigs and a single match, it takes a while, but eventually there's smoke and maybe a flame. This writing leads to more writing, which leads to inspiration."
—Janice N. Harrington, author of The Hands of Strangers: Poems from the Nursing Home (BOA Editions, 2011)