Posted: June 8, 2014
Ailment: Writer's Block Again???
Once again, I’m lost in that dreaded land of writer’s block. One suggestion is to write lists, so the following A to Z list is a list of things that inspire me:
A Abundance – By looking around and taking stock of all the blessings God has given me, starting with my family and friends, and then realizing that all the abundance of having decent jobs, nice homes, reliable transportation, etc., is inspiring. I look at how incredible my daughters turned out and what good husbands they have and I feel God’s hand. I see how God has blessed us financially and I am in awe of His goodness towards my family and I. It inspires me to be a better person and to work hard at my God-given talents.
B Books - One of my favorite pass-times is reading. Whether it be historical fiction, a biography about someone I admire, a faith-based book or self-help book, a dramatic novel or sweet romance, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that didn’t inspire me in some way.
C Covers – Being cozy under the covers and just taking a little snooze refreshes me and often gets the creative wheels spinning – most often a good idea will pop up right as I’m waking up. Experts suggest keeping a tablet by your bed or where you nap, so you can write these moments of brilliance down before you forget them.
D Dogs – Petting my dog relaxes me and helps to free my mind of all the chatter that goes on in there. A ten to fifteen minute session of loving on your dog is healthy for both the animal and its owner and any healthy activity should keep the brain cells in good working order…so they say.
E Exercise – While I know it’s good to exercise every day, I am proud of myself if I can walk or dance for a half hour at least four to five times a week. Exercise helps keep you balanced and the more you feel balanced and at peace in your life, the more inspired you will be.
F Friends and family – Spending time with friends and family sharing stories, laughing and joking around, giving and receiving advice, showing affection and sharing in the celebration of special occasions can be the most therapeutic times – they leave me revived, refreshed and inspired in the moments when I am alone and need to be creative.
G Girlfriends – I don’t have a ton of girlfriends. I have a few close girlfriends (including my daughters and my sisters) – some I see often – some I see only occasionally any more, a few I haven’t seen in years – but each and every one of them inspire me with their gifts of themselves. Each one has offered me advice, love, companionship, laughter, and a compassionate shoulder to cry on. Without them, my life would be nothing. Their own personal stories inspire and enlighten me and I am so lucky to have them in my life now or to have had them in my life in the past – each one of them has helped shape me into the person I am at this moment and I thank you all. (Aimee, Angel, Amber, Arin, Arline, Arnell, Carla, Carrie, Cheryl, Donna, Jodi, Joni, Karen, Melinda, Melissa, Michele, Patty, Susan, Sylvia, Tammy, Vickie, Vicky – thank you girlfriends of the past and present – no matter how long it has been since I’ve seen you, you still mean the world to me and I was in some way inspired, motivated and most of all loved by you and am so thankful for the gift of your friendship.)
H Hearts – One of my new “mindless” past times is spending time on Pinterest pinning things to my boards. Boards are displays of photos of things that inspire you, things you desire to have one day, great ideas that make you think about even more great ideas, recipes you want to try out, etc. One of my boards is called “Love.” I pin just about any photo with a heart in it as a symbol of “love,” the purpose being that the more I pin to my love board, the more other people are pinning from that board and the more “love” that is going around the world…silly, I know, but I like to think it’s my way of spreading some love. This love board is about all the different kinds of love in the world – family love, romantic love, love and passion for doing things and even for things. It can be images, quotes, song titles or poems.
I Images – When I’m feeling down, looking at images (photos) of my children and grandchildren lifts me up and makes me smile, because I can’t help but feel blessed by God, because of each of them and what joy they bring to my life. I also love to pull up images (photos) of scenic places I’ve photographed. I find getting out in nature uplifting and inspiring and spiritual. I also enjoy spending time “pinning” on Pinterest and viewing hundreds of images a day….see “H.”
J Journal – I have an online journal that I often type my thoughts and feelings into. This helps clear my mind by sorting out some of the clutter. I’ve used my journal to sort through some negative experiences and feelings. I’ve often looked at a blank page of my journal and whipped out a poem in twenty to thirty minutes. Journaling sparks my creative juices.
K Kids – Kids are just plain so much fun to just sit and listen to and observe. You can learn oodles about life by watching them at play or striking up a conversation with them. They enjoy making you laugh, but often their innocence doesn’t understand what you are finding so amusing, but they don’t care, they just love to make people laugh. Kids are so resilient and bounce back so fast. If we could all act like kids again, we could get through anything.
L Love – Giving and receiving love is the most important ingredient in making a person whole and keeping a person’s mind and heart alive and thus, able to function in creative ways. When we feel loved and love others back, there is a powerful force that goes on inside of us, whether it is the love of God, romantic love, family love, the love we feel toward our friends, love is what keeps us going, what motivates most of us and what needs to be felt in order to be truly happy.
M Movies – Whenever I am feeling blah and need a boost I enjoy watching a movie. There was a time that I watched at least 1-2 movies almost every night, but it seems that I came to a point when I didn’t think movies were being made as good as they used to be (does this make me an old fuddy duddy?) However, there are movies that have given me great moments of inspiration – some of the great ones to me are: “A Star Is Born” with Barbara Streisand and Chris Christopherson, “Love Story” with Ryan O’Neil and Ali McGraw, “Billy Jack” with Tom Laughlin, “Shaw shank Redemption” with Tim Roberts and Morgan Freemen, “Roots” the mini serious with a cast of thousands, “Mr. Holland’s Opus” with Robin Williams, “Coal Miner’s Daughter, starring Sissey Spacek, “Forest Gump” with Tom Hanks, “Saving Private Ryan” another Tom Hanks masterpiece, “The Miracle Worker,” (the one with Patty Duke as the teacher, Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller)…to name just a few. I am sure I need to catch up on today’s inspirational movies – I’ll add that to my bucket list, which brings up another movie I love, “The Bucket List” with my all-time favorite actor, Jack Nicholson – which brings me to another item on my bucket list – to see every one of the movies he is in.
N Notebooks – This may sound nerdy of me, but I love a brand new notebook – it represents to me endless possibilities for scribbling down thoughts and feelings, writing out goals and plans, and doodling mindlessly as you wait for the ideas to flow. I like notebooks for making lists, too. A fresh new notebook represents to me a new beginning – a starting over point where the future is wide open.
O Ocean – Taking a walk alongside the ocean inspires many poets, writers, artists and musicians. In fact, currently there are over 12,300 published songs with the word “ocean” in them. Again, the vastness of the huge body of water is awe-inspiring and the sound of waves crashing is hypnotic. It would be my dream one day to take a writer’s retreat by an ocean – maybe spend two or three months living in a beach house and writing almost non-stop (except for the time spent on the beach burying my toes in the sand) and soaking up the sun.
P Pajamas – Sometimes the simple act of climbing into my pajamas and crawling under the covers laying there just feeling grateful for a warm, comfortable bed, with clean, smooth and fresh sheets provides moments of inspiration.
Q Quotes – Reading someone else’s wise words often inspires me to sit down and write more about what their words mean to me and how their words inspire me.
R Road Trips – Road tripping, cruising down the highway with the radio cranked up, windows down, a cool breeze slapping me in the face, now that’s not only inspiring, to me it is rejuvenating, especially if I’m traveling roads I hadn’t yet explored. It’s a great way to come up with fresh ideas.
S Stargazing – Stargazing does so many things for me…it brings back memories of sitting in the driveway in lawn chairs with my three daughters around me, all of us gazing up at the summer sky hoping to catch a glimpse of a falling star so we can make wishes. It puts me in awe of the Creator of the Universe and how magnificent He is. It gets me to pondering on life and remembering the good times. Stargazing is a soul searching activity – we all need to do more of it.
T Testimonials – Reading about or listening to other people share their stories of how they overcame adversities in their lives is very inspiring. It reminds us that we all have problems, but that there is hope that things will work out if we just let go and let God (my personal opinion). Learning about other peoples’ examples of how they were able to do that reminds me that prayers are answered and that good things do happen in this world.
U Unfortunate – Thinking about how unfortunate others are is inspiring in several ways. It makes you appreciate all that you have and it inspires you to think of ways to help the less fortunate. It’s a negative word that conjures up negative images, but it can spur you into action and by doing something for others, you get to feel good thus be inspired by how it makes you feel. We often learn that while helping others is a great thing, we are surprised by how much it helps us feel better.
V Verses – Reading other people’s written verses and/or poems can inspire me to want to create something equally as profound, insightful and inspiring. “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost is my daughter, Amber Towers Petersen, and my top pics for inspirational poems. I also get goose bumps from reading my all-time favorite, “Desiderata” by Max Erhmann. It touches my soul.
W Writer’s Digest magazine – Subscribing to and reading this magazine brings me tons of inspiration and ideas – I especially like reading about new authors who are getting their first novels published and reading tips from seasoned authors. Often there are inspirational quotes that help get the thought processes going again. All writers need to do research about their craft and this is where I begin. It makes me feel like a professional.
X Xantippe – This word is inspiring just by being a word. Who knew that this means a nagging, irritating or peevish woman. This word represents the fact that learning new word is not only educational, it is inspiring. This particular word, just by reading its description in the dictionary, serves as a bit of prompting to work towards not becoming an “ole Xantippe.” After all, who wants to waste time on this earth nagging. Okay, I admit, I do enjoy irritating certain people just a little bit…I find I enjoy the devilishness of it…and it makes me laugh. Laughter is inspiring.
Y Yellow – Each of us have our color preferences and my favorite color is yellow (as some might have guessed from my Pinterest Board titled Favorite Colors. I find yellow so inspirational that my office is decorated in pops of yellow everywhere. I read somewhere that if you want to come up with your best ideas, you should write them down on a yellow notepad. Hmmmm. Maybe that should be a requirement in schools – to use yellow notebooks only. Imagine the possibilities!
Z Zestos – Going to get ice cream is both refreshing and rejuvenating and I can’t think about ice cream without thinking about Zestos. Zestos is a part of the culture in Pierre, South Dakota, where I raised my three daughters. It’s a little drive up ice cream shop. They would open up every year in March and people would hang their hopes on the fact that spring was, in fact, coming, because the Zestos reopened. Going to the Zestos was a social event for many, as you would have to stand in line for some time and during that time end up visiting with ten different people also coming to get a treat. It’s inspiring as a good memory of my daughters and how they loved going to the Zestos. Now my grandchildren get to enjoy the same.