The Push-Pull of Being Inspired
When Misha asked me to contribute something today centered on the topic of INSPIRED, I had to really stop and think. I mean a lot! Inspiration is such a broad topic, which is a good thing in one respect because it gives me a lot of leeway, but on the other hand it’s a topic so expansive, so impactful, that it can be daunting. So what I decided to do is not discuss what it is that inspires me, at least not directly, but rather how it is I become inspired. And staying within the context we all can relate to, I’ll be concentrating on writing-related inspiration. What I discovered after careful consideration is this…for me, it generally happens from two totally different directions.
First and foremost, there’s the pull. When I become aware of a author I want to be like, or I come across a novel, short story, article, or even a well done blog post that I yearn to emulate in my own unique way, I am drawn…pulled…towards that goal. I become imbued with the spirit to do something beyond my current reach, to re-define myself in order to align with that purpose. Feeling pulled by inspiration via the accomplishments of others motivates me to expand my boundaries. I may not ever demonstrate the skill or touch I aspire to, but I will be end up in a different spot than I started. And maybe that spot will even be better than the one I originally aimed for.
But I also respond to a different sort of inspirational influence. This is more of a push…or a better description would be a nudge. I draw inspiration from the people around me who urge me along my writing path, who’ve invested in me, who sometimes believe in me more than I believe in myself. My family, who’s unconditional support should never be taken for granted, the CP’s who can’t wait to see the next set of pages, the beta readers who don’t understand why my book isn’t published yet, this awesome community of bloggers/writers who actually care whether I succeed or fail. An example of this happened to me just a couple weeks ago. I left a comment for one of the regular bloggers I follow and she responded with a thank you and an inquiry about where I was with a new YA project I had previously mentioned. It had really piqued her interest and was looking forward to reading it. Not a day or two later my CP asked me the same question. These are both people I admire and respect, so naturally I was inspired by this. It invigorated me enough to write the first three chapters this past weekend.
For me, being inspired is all about movement and progress. If your open to it, that can come from all sorts of different directions.
I want to thank Misha for giving me a chance to talk to ya’ll today. But before I head on back to my own roost, I’m curious, how do you draw inspiration?