What Inspires You?

My mom was working on her blog today, a food blog about her travels and recipes and her love of cooking and baking. I was helping her remember some things from our trip to New Orleans this last week (more on that coming soon) when she started talking about how I should start a blog. Like her, I wouldn’t do it for money or sponsors or even followers, just something I would do for myself and my writing.

See, I’ve been an aspiring author for years, since I was a teen. I’ve started projects and lost steam quickly so many times, I’ve lost count. I’ve had two short stories published in a local magazine and everyone seemed to love them and I admit, I’m proud of them as well. I work well on short projects, quick stories on a specific topic. Sometimes, it feels like the more I plan and plot, the less motivation I have to do the actual writing. I love planning and plotting, but it seems to suck all the creativity out before I actually get to writing. Many people would say (and have) that I should just write without all the plotting and planning. Ah! A perfect solution! You would think so…however, I also have a pretty limited memory and amazing ideas disappear as fast as the pop in if I don’t write them down. If I stop to write them down, then I come up with more ideas and keep jotting, then I find I’m plotting and before I know it, I’ve roughly planned an entire series that I set aside and never return to. If I don’t write down the fabulous ideas, I lose them and in trying to remember, only come up with okay ones.

It’s a vicious and mind-numbing cycle that regularly sucks much of my motivation to write away. Not to mention my struggle with depression (which is another story altogether that I’ll discuss at another time) that often saps any energy I have after work and raising my son.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. In thinking about my Mom’s suggestion for writing a blog for myself and using it to work on my writing skills and keep my motivation for writing without any pressure to write FOR someone, I started thinking about what it might look like. My ideas always come from bits of inspiration, things that I love to be around or look at, things I enjoy wondering or learning about. I figured I could start with pictures. Ones that I or my family have taken, that have struck me while scrolling through the internet, that illustrate a theme from the day, or of things that inspire me. I then started to think about all the things that inspire me and my creativity:

  • My family, especially my son
  • Traveling, seeing new places and learning about them and the culture
  • History (I have a degree in the subject along with education). Something about the stories behind people, places, and events inspires me.
  • Where I live in the Pacific Northwest
  • Nature, which is abundant here in the PNW. The life, flowers, trees, and mountains soothe my soul. We’re trying a garden this summer, which
  • Food. Trying new foods and comfort foods.
  • Learning. I’m a life-long learner. I love to learn about things that interest me or new things I’ve been exposed to, especially other cultures and people. Watching documentaries is a hobby of mine.
  • Teaching. I’m a teacher and I love my job (especially as an online teacher since I get to work from home)
  • Embracing my geekiness. I’m a huge nerd and I’m okay with it. I love Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Outlander.
  • Photography. My Mom and I share this interest. I enjoy taking pictures, though I am not even close to being an amateur. I occasionally get lucky and get a good picture, but I love looking at beautiful pictures as well. The photo above of the forest trail was taken by my Mom. She’ll probably have a lot of pictures featured here.
  • Books. Books are my life blood. I love delving into stories.

My life is full of inspiration, from the rare amazing trip to the everyday occurrence. I constantly have ideas for stories based off the people I see/meet, things my son says, conversations I have, places I go, and things I see. Why not use this inspiration to spark my creativity and write something. I’ll hone my writing skills and maybe find that illusive “great idea” all authors continually seek out. And maybe, along the way, others will be inspired too

Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take if where you find it. — Bob Dylan


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