Staying Inspired = Knowing Yourself

Well, not a whole lot of time for a blog post this week, but that’s because I’ve been writing . . . A LOT.

Truth: I like to feel inspired when I write.

Thought: Stay inspired by knowing yourself.

Question: How do I keep enjoying what I’m doing?

Answer: I study myself. Continuously.

I keep a running tab each week of what worked and didn’t work, or in other words, what drained the mess out of me and what gave me life again.

Life-giving moments fuel the inspiration needed for my writing . . . among other things (it’s hard to enjoy anything you’re doing when you feel “kaput”). I have to study myself because I am ever-evolving, so the things that inspire me are constantly changing.

So, what gives you life? What keeps you inspired to continue doing what you’re doing?

I suppose it’d been unfair for me not to at least share two of mine from this week.

1) I laughed. I find as many opportunities as possible to do this. (It helps that I’m extremely ticklish)

2) I sat in the sunshine . . . aka I turned off the running “to-do” list in my head.

Spilling water all over your manuscript for the SECOND time is not inspiring, but after I take a deep breath, I do find it funny . . . and I laugh.

Stay in the game. Stay inspired. Know yourself.

Chains, Voices, and Revelation

The Inspiration: Photo taken at Jackson Square in New Orleans, Louisiana. Fall 2008.

The Scene: This gate is wide OPEN, but rusted, immovable, and enchained.

What The Scene Said To Me: “I’m free but I don’t know it.” 

The Question The Scene Provoked: “How many people feel this way?”

The Truth: It’s hard to break free if you don’t recognize that you already are.

The Story: As a fiction writer, I see stories everywhere. This gate is no exception, and I jumped straight in by identifying it as a person beat up by life. You know, life’s wear and tear stripping away at the individual’s shiny personality, or perhaps he or she feels stuck – immobilized by fear . . . which inevitably leads to feeling locked up inside themselves. I could on and on, but this isn’t why the picture inspired me.

The Chain Revelation: “What if you fail?” If you read this question and it sounds familiar, then the anxiety building, “what if” set of “chains” needs no introduction. I’ve had this thought and several more like it. Yep, those horrible voices that shout identity crushing, life-sucking lies into your head, and I hate them. However, I wasn’t able to break free of these “chains” until I realized I already was free – my gate was open . . . in fact, I eventually understood that I held the key to the padlock.

Sure, I heard the voices, but it was only after I chose to believe the statements that they grew powerful enough to enchain me.

So, back to the picture. Maybe I’m crazy, like my main character Joel, but as I studied this image I couldn’t help wondering how many other people like me didn’t know their gate was open . . . that we are free.

The Impact: As far as writing Book One goes, “chains” turned into “voices;” however, I was able to throw a set of chains onto the book’s cover. (see “story” and “buy book” website pages)

It was only after I recognized I was already free that I became empowered to face the chains that were holding me back. All my characters got a full dose of this revelation, and I truly hope their stories will inspire you to break free.