Earlier today, I was thinking about writing, which is something I still think about on occasion, even though I don’t even pretend to do it anymore. While there are many aspects of writing that I could’ve been mulling over, today I was thinking about things like inspiration and influence. For writers, I think inspiration can come from just about anywhere, but in the case of influence — what shapes the way the writing flows into lines, sentences and paragraphs — something deeper happens. It’s more than liking something, at least I think so. There’s something, a connection I suppose, that comes about, something that clicks, that makes sense, that helps us as we work at gathering disparate thoughts, images, sounds and smells into written form.
In thinking about this, I did a little digging to find out more about writers who influence other writers. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Alice Walker calls Zora Neale Hurston a major influence, nor was I shocked to find that Mark Z. Danielewski (the writer of the twisting and bizarre House of Leaves) and Umberto Eco were both influenced by Jorge Luis Borges. Gabriel Garc