A couple of days ago I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger award by the Book Polygamist, which was lovely – if a little unexpected, given the deterioration of the blog over the past couple of months.
I will do the requisite post with 7 facts and blogs that inspire me this week, but today I thought I would say something inspiring to help you all through this miserable Monday (seriously, it’s horrible today, like living inside a bad cloud).
Naturally having reached that decision, I couldn’t think what inspirational thing to say. We members of the blogging world don’t have much need to fight them on the beaches, we eventually got freedom over death and, because the internet protects us in the cape of anonymity whilst allowing us to troll like it’s going out of style, bloggers also have considerable freedom from fear.
In lieu of having A Cause to rally people round (I decided on balance that the fight to abolish Mondays would prove impractical – I already have two calendars and a diary for 2013, crossing out the Mondays would be a headache), I went to my default position of looking up ‘inspiration’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Apparently the literal meaning is a physical action, that of “breathing in or inhaling; the drawing in of the breath into the lungs in respiration.”
The notion of inspiration as something that helps the creative process, then, is “a breathing in or infusion of some idea, purpose, etc. into the mind; the suggestion, awakening, or creation of some feeling or impulse, esp. of an exalted kind.”
I rather like the idea of acquiring inspiration being like taking in a deep breath and letting it fill your lungs (which presumably then distribute it to the other parts of your body in a warmly glowing manner reminiscent of the old Ready Brek advert). In fact, after reading that explanation I sat and inhaled loudly to myself for eight solid minutes*, then fell over because there was too much oxygen in my brain and I was worried I might go mad from the creative power.
You can get much the same effect by drinking several cups of expresso in one go, of course – but breathing the inspiration in is probably more cost effective.
Other things I like to do to gain inspiration include, in no real order:
- Read – books (although you need to be careful with those lest you find yourself setting your stories inside other writers’ tales), newspapers, blog posts and Twitter – particularly things I disagree with and things that force me to think about something in a different way
- Watch dramaturgically satisfying TV, such as The Clangers
- Go for walks with my camera
- Talk to other humans about stuff
- Look at Pinterest, particularly boards themed around things like literature and theatre, and photography blogs
So, what inspires you? Please leave a comment and let me know, or if you have any links based on that list that you think I need to know about, post those too.
January 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm
HAHAHAHA This is FANtastic, Ali! What a way to start my week!
Inspiration is a hard one for me to pin down because I live so much in my head that things come and go at frightening speed. However, I do find myself coming up with my best, most viable ideas when I’m active. It must be all the inspiration I have to do to keep from passing out from my exertions.
So, I love to take the dog out for walks, swim, hike or just pace around my apartment, mumbling to myself and stick pages of mad scribblings on my walls. I’m like a wild-haired mad scientist without the bubbling beakers and phosphorescent test tubes.
You have achieved your goal. I’m inspired and ready to tackle a week full of challenging daily word count goals. Thank you!
January 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm
Hooray! I like the image of writer as mad scientist… Glad to help 😉
January 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm
You’ve inspired me!!! hahahaha and my students, my dog and the music…and the boy singing that music… enjoy your inspirational process 🙂
January 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm
Are you serious?! That’s amazing! Thanks for the link 😀