Finding Inspiration from Unlikely Sources
Happy Friday! I have a real treat for you guys, but, first, let’s have a quick chat. Be honest. We writers wear a lot of hats. We, of course, have the Writer Hat, but then comes the Mom or Dad Hat, the Employee Hat, the Maid Hat and Taxi Driver Hat, the Therapist Hat, the Friend Hat, the Police/Enforcer Hat (especially if you have small children, teenagers or needy pets), and on and on. We have many roles, and switching personalities so often and so many times a day can wear us out. In time, we might find that in the pile of all the “hats” we cannot find our Inspiration Hat anywhere. Likely it was put in with the whites and now everything will be pink. Sigh.
So when we do lose our inspiration, what can we do? How do we find it? My pal, and very talented writer Natalie C. Markey has some amazing solutions and is here to teach us to find inspiration from even the most unlikely places.
Take it away, Nat!
Thank you Kristen for having me back again! Last time I spoke about balancing writing with burp rags and Sesame Street. Today I’m discussing writing inspiration. A topic that interests all writers, but still the toddler mom in me will sneak in a “Sesame Street” reference. Can’t you tell what plays on my office/playroom television more than CNN or the very fascinating History Channel?
I love quotes about inspiration. Dan Poytner once said, “If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” I also love, “I write when I’m inspired, and I see that I’m inspired at 9 am every morning,” said Peter De Vries. Or in my case, I’m inspired each morning at 4:30 am but everyone has his or her own routines because we are all different.
Writers are people. We have jobs, families and many other obligations. With that being said we must write whenever our schedules dictate, unless you are lucky enough to have tons of free time. I didn’t think so ;).
So what if a lack of inspiration is keeping us down? In truth, inspiration is not this complicated object that many have made it to be. Inspiration is all around us. I have found that sometimes the answers may be easier to find than you believe. “Relax, don’t over think it,” says my husband. And he is right but don’t tell him I said that! You can easily find inspiration or discover the answer to a troublesome scene by just living your life.
Just the other day I was stuck on a particular scene in a young adult fantasy manuscript. I write from home with my 19-month-old daughter so my writing breaks are always spent with her and the fun little monsters on Sesame Street.
Just the other day Snuffy (short for Mr. Snuffleupagus) said a simple word that lit a light bulb in my head. As I watched my daughter hum along to “Elmo’s World” in her cozy coup (because it’s more cool to watch “Sesame Street” drive-in Little Tikes style) I grabbed my iPAD, tapped on the notes applications and began jotting down ideas. It’s not the word that counts but the smallest thing that can set off your inspirational writer mojo.
My dog, Oscar is also very inspiring to me. Since I am a published author of a non-fiction dog book and working on another, he reminds me everyday about my audience and how I can make a difference. And he make a fantastic foot warmer while I write!
Always keep your eyes, ears and senses open as you go through life—not just when you’re in front of a keyboard. And I say senses because yes I was inspired by the smell of manure once but that’s another LONG story!
Staying open to your surroundings is especially important for the busiest of writers. Writer’s that must make the most of the precious writing time they get. If you’re a writing mom like I am, then I’m preaching to the choir. I’m returning to teach my month-long course presented by Write It Forward Workshops next month. It’s titled, Writing Moms: How to have it all without losing your mind. Hopefully it can help you manage the chaos and learn how you can fit your writing career among diapers, tantrums, homework, concerts, games, and your “paying job” if you have that too. Click here to learn more or to register.
I am giving away a FREE “seat” to someone who comments on this blog. Simply share your story of how something simple and seemingly unrelated created writing inspiration for you. I will put your names in my virtual hat and announce the winner on February 28.
Natalie C. Markey is a seasoned freelance writer including popular columns like The Mortal Instruments Examiner and Special Needs Dog Care Examiner. She is the author of “Caring for Your Special Needs Dogs.” Follow her on Twitter, Pen to Publish blog, and her website.
Thanks so much for taking time to help us out! I hope you guys will share your thoughts, feelings, stories because not only can you win this really cool prize from Natalie, but you also still get a chance to win my contest.
I LOVE hearing from you!
And to prove it and show my love, for the month of February, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of February I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.