Creatively inspiring you to follow your dreams.

Getting in Touch With Your Inspiring Side

In my twenties, two things happened to me that put me on a road to publication and shifted me to a career I never thought I deserved or believed to be possible.

1. My poem was accepted by Blue Mountain Arts in 2004. When I was in my early-20’s I had a deeply hidden desire to be a writer. But I didn’t pursue it because a) I adopted my parents’ belief that a writer wasn’t a practical or even a real job that could be pursued b) I didn’t think I had it in me.

Though I denied it, I was moved to write. I used to write poems and little letters with drawings on them and leave them hidden for my mom, dad or grandparents to find. And I was still writing opinion pieces for my local newspaper, but up until then I never got paid for publication in a book. {This was my first real experience as a published writer.}

One day I was deeply touched by the selflessness and wisdom of my mother and all mothers-the way she taught me the little things as a child (brush your teeth, look both ways before you cross the street, etc.) and then the bigger things (how to love, etc.) as I got older. I wrote a quick poem, made a copy of it with our photo on it and framed it for her for Mother’s Day.

On a whim, I also sent it into a card company I admired.

Imagine my surprise when I received a letter saying it would be published in a calendar and a book!

WHAT I LEARNED in the PROCESS:

Anyone can write to inspire others. What’s key is finding something that inspires you, that you don’t have to force to create. Think about what makes you grateful, what hardships you endured and how that has given you new meaning or appreciation for your life. Then write about it in detail and let those emotions pour out.

2. A newspaper article touches many. I’ve written a lot since then, but whenever I think about the article I am most proud of, I often think about the piece I wrote in 2003.

What I remember was the fierceness of my words, the tenacity with which my thoughts went from head to paper. I could not write fast enough-There were so many words spilling out of me. I’ve never written that way since then.

The subject was my grandmother. We witnessed the slow peeling of her body and mind as Alzheimer’s took its inevitable toll on her spirit. It was and still is an emotional experience to witness. It’s a difficult balance between gratitude for her life and utter sadness for the pain and frustration she seemed to be fighting every time she tried to remember, or looked in the mirror and “forgot” that she was old. It was heartbreaking to say the least.

I wrote a piece to inspire others to live their life with more soul, appreciation, and kindness to others as well as those suffering from the disease.

The response I got never left me. It’s something that’s motivated me to write to inspire others. One family friend told me to keep writing. Seven years later and I never forgot the response I got and the passion that inspired me to do just that.

WHAT I LEARNED in the PROCESS:

It’s easy to think that your story is nothing special. That a thousand other people have already written it. But there is no other writer like you. And although you may have gone through similar experiences, there is no one who has seen through the same pair of glasses.

When you write to inspire others whether its writers, donors, clients, or the general public, remember that. Remember that your specific situation is unique and that everyone has a story to tell. Tune into your own experience and you’ll be able to find others who want to join you on your journey.

When you first write, write with wild abandon. Use your writing as a gateway for your emotions. Let it be cathartic. Then, come back on another day and read it again. When the emotions have had their day, let your mind go back and visit it at a more cognitive level. Edit and edit again.

These are the tips and experiences that have helped me get in touch with my inspiring side.

But what about you?

What do you do to bring inspiration to your writing?

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