Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: What REALLY inspires you?

I recently Googled "Writer Inspiration", and you know what I got? Over 1.4 million results that included (but was not limited to) images, blog posts, quotes, art, and books.

Should I say that again? 1.4 MILLION!!
Now, some of you might think that that is a neat thing. I agree! How cool! But it got me thinking... Why do we need things to inspire us that are specifically written to inspire us? I'm not sure it's supposed to work that way, is it? Shouldn't we, as writers, already look to the entire world to inspire us?

I think the answer is no... And yes!

Here's what I mean:

I don't go looking for inspiration on my computer. I usually go for a walk, play with my kids, or sit outside one of their bedrooms and quietly listen to their conversations. It does wonders! I love to cuddle by the fire when it's cold outside. I treasure family trips, and the quiet hush that falls over my house when the boys finally drift to sleep. However, I can understand what writer's block truly does to a person. I've been there.


So I can get to the place where reading all the wonderful blogs of other people's ideas on what might inspire me, could work. But, I think I'd end up feeling like I was cheating. Was it really MY inspiration that got that character out of me? Am I being a bit pessimistic and strange? Yeah, I know I am. Especially since I disagree with myself!

We are creative thinkers. No, I am definitely NOT crafty (Seriously. Come back for my post this upcoming Friday, where I'll share pics and talk about my first school visit. You'll see what I mean.), but when it comes to other parts of the creative brain, I do okay. There are others who can create an entire life-sized elephant using some Q-Tips and "easy" directions they found on Pinterest. Creative thinkers have the ability and honor for thinking for themselves. And when they get stuck, they turn to the like-minded friends they might have for help and inspiration. And I love that. It doesn't take much to get us going. It's as simple as seeing a font on someones email. Or the motivation that comes from watching a 3 year-old play Beethoven on the piano, like it was the theme song from Barney. Whatever it is, it helps! And it's insane that there are so many things available.

So, what am I saying? I have no clue... Maybe it's that I am so baffled by our need to be inspired, that we search self-help books instead of walking around in the sunshine. Maybe I am, once again, thrilled to have a community that embraces each of our individual panic attacks when we absolutely cannot think of what to do or say... Or maybe it's both. But, either way, I want to hear from you-

What REALLY inspires you?

And, no, I don't want to hear about which blogs are great (though that sounds like a great idea for another post!) or which quotes rock your socks off... I want to know what it is that gets you, or got you, out of a slump. What is it that cut you to the core, and made your frozen creative juices flowing!

Remember- as "Creatives"- we understand that each project
we're on, starts somewhere...

All it takes is one spark of inspiration.

Happy writing!


  1. Good morning Bethany!!! You are a busy body this week aren't you?! :)

    This is a tough question for me. Lately, I've been having a hard time getting inspired to write. When I first started to write my ideas just came whenever; in the car, at the park, playing with the kids, etc. Sometimes I get inspired to write after I hear a sentence that sounds like a great title for a book. Other times I feel inspired after I read a terrific pb. I don't know, I really can't pinpoint it.

    1. I think we all go through those periods of Idon'twannawriteitus. I, personally, hate those times. You feel lethargic, unmotivated, and irritated that you feel lethargic and unmotivated. BUT, you just have to keep going!

  2. Reading a good book inspires me to write. I often turn to my favourite books to get me over a writing slump. By the time I'm done reading a chapter, I'm ready to start writing again.

  3. The one thing that ALWAYS inspires me is travel. There's something about being outside of your normal environment and routine that just gets the juices flowing.

  4. This was a tough question Bethany.

    I don't know if I really know where my motivation comes from. Many times I think the "idea" itself is motivating. Sometimes it pops around inside my head long enough that just have to write it down.

    Without an idea, there usually is nothing.

  5. Bethany, the wonderful thing about inspiration is it comes in many different forms. It shows up in unexpected places and usually when we are not looking for it. Lately my inspiration has come from taking pictures...of things that catch me eye or make me wonder something. Sometimes we just need to slow down and enjoy life.

  6. Quiet, nature, and the ups and downs of life inspire me...or a good hero book!

  7. Getting my hands dirty always inspires me. There's nothing like digging in the garden or having paint dripping down my elbows to get the creative juices flowing. :)