Inconvenient Inspiration

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 No comments
I find myself inspired to write in the most inconvenient moments!

...in the shower...  falling asleep at night...  while driving...  during a lesson I'm teaching and can't take a break from... in the middle of a movie I'm watching with Nick...  

Then, on nights like tonight, when I have plenty of time to sit alone and write and really concentrate, my mind is clouded with other thoughts and I have no motivation to get anything significant accomplished.  Frustrating doesn't even begin to describe how it feels.

Questions to Consider:
  • When are you most inspired?

An-ti-ci-pa-tion

I'm a person who enjoys the anticipation.

I prefer Christmas Eve over Christmas; the suspense over the resolution of a novel; the aroma of a pot roast cooking over the full feeling after eating.  Part of it, I believe, it just because I have an extremely overactive imagination.  Before the impending event happens, I can imagine all of the possibilities associated with it.  I can imagine that anything is in the carefully wrapped packages under the tree.  I can predict the ending of a book I'm on the edge of my seat reading, but still hope my mind will be blown when I read the actual ending.  I can feel my mouth water over the great meal that's cooking instead of finding I used too much pepper.

No, I'm not disappointed when a moment I've been waiting for comes to fruition.  In fact, usually the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction feels much better than the nerves and anxiety that overtake my body when I'm w...a...i...t...i...n...g...  I think I just like the butterflies and blood-pumping, heart-racing feeling that comes along with that waiting.

That being said, I am starting to feel super anxious when it comes to my upcoming wedding.  I feel like now that a majority of the plans are in place, I'm not feeling as overwhelmed as I was when nothing was planned.  Instead, I'm just excited for the day to arrive.  Stay tuned to see how I handle the next five months or so!

Questions to Consider:

  • How do you handle having to wait for something?
  • What is the most difficult part of waiting?

Passionate Writing

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 1 comment


Writing itself has never been an issue.  I can exhaust a topic if I have enough information - or opinions - about it.  It can be a piece about washing machines and I can write it.  I have the ability, even if the interest isn't there.  No, writing has never been the problem.  Letting words flow from my brain to paper through the point of my pencil (or the clicking of keys) comes easily.

The problem, therefore, has always been finding inspiration.  Deciding on the "what" I will be writing about is the tough part.  My objective for a given piece makes or breaks what I write.  Sure, I could write all about the Spanish-American War based on information I've picked up on, books I've read, or television programs I've viewed.  Am I truly passionate about the war, though?  Not really.  On the other hand, the American Revolution gets my mind - and pulse - racing.  A small group of men willing to bring forth the ideas they believed in...  People fighting for independence from a stronger, more powerful, and established country...  The Founding Fathers jotting down ideas and creating a constitution - one that would still be in effect hundreds of years later...  A war fought with the American spirit behind it...  Each of those things give me goosebumps, make me bite my lip, and truly cause me to pause and think.  It's not only a factual event from our nation's history that I could describe with facts I've learned, but it's something that's feeling-based, that provides me with a truly emotional connection to a remarkable event in time.  What is that caused by?  Passion.

If you have passion for a subject, a topic, a person, a place...  Trust me, you can write about it.  It doesn't have to be profound.  It doesn't have to sound smart.  You don't have to spell all of the words correctly.  You aren't bound to traditional English language conventions.  Just write.  If you're passionate enough, the words will flow...

So what am I passionate about?  (Besides Thomas Jefferson and the Constitutional Convention, of course.)  I'm passionate about Nick... Our dogs... My family... Cooking a good meal... Trying new recipes for delicious desserts... Having a clean house I'm proud to invite friends to visit... Making a difference in the lives of the students I teach... Reading books that leave me on the edge of my seat... Being friendly toward strangers in my community (you never know when the stranger you're talking to is your new friend)... Watching TV shows that make me laugh, think, feel, cry... Listening to music of all varieties... Singing along and feeling the words... Sleeping in and relaxing on weekend mornings... Eating breakfast (especially bacon!)... Organizing rooms in our house that aren't quite lived in yet... Finishing a story I've been working on for a long time... Writing thank-you notes to those who helped me or gifted me in some way... Sending Christmas cards in early December to all of our closest family and friends... Expressing myself in a "just because" note to Nick just to let him know how much I love him... And so, so many other seemingly mundane, everyday things that I encounter.

So perhaps I'm guilty of claiming from time to time that I'm passionate about writing.  When, in reality, I'm passionate about writing about the things I'm passionate about.  I think there's a big difference.  How about you?

Questions to Consider:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Do you enjoy writing for the sake of writing, or do you find yourself interested in writing about the topics that you fancy?

Cluttered Mind, Cluttered Desk

Monday, February 9, 2015 2 comments
I'm one of the most organized and anal people I know when it comes to having things just so, but when it comes to my desk?  It's a mess!  I pile up "important" papers on one side; books on another; and have sticky notes covering my computer monitor's perimeter and open areas on my desk.  I have a desktop calendar, but instead of having it full of important appointments or dates to remember, it has seemingly endless scribbles with phone numbers, things to do, and ideas to follow through on.

So why is this the only area in the house that seems to be plagued by so much clutter?  And why is it that I can't seem to keep it from happening, even if I put things away on a regular basis?

I think that my desk is a representation of what my mind is like at any given moment.  I always have something on my mind, whether it be a project I'm working on, my current to-do list, people I need to call, a resource idea I need to design, or an event I want to plan.  I've been like this for as long as I can remember, but over time the "content" I'm focused on has changed.  When I was younger, I was mostly focused on school and my "businesses" - travel agency, real estate agency, restaurant, school.  As I got older, it became more about school, friends, and boys (let's be honest, we all went through that stage).  Then in college, it became mostly about school and extracurricular ways I could be involved in education.

Now?  I feel like it's a little bit of everything mushed together.  I know I've said it before, but my mind is always going in a zillion directions.

I'm always thinking about my wedding plans.  I'm always thinking about what I'm going to be cooking for dinner throughout the week (just in case I need to take something out of the freezer or stop at the grocery store).  I'm always thinking about what chores need to be done and which ones can wait a day or two.  I'm always thinking about which schools I'll be working in this week.  I'm always thinking about how I think my current book is going to end.  I'm always thinking of ways I can extend my business to reach new clientele and enrich people's lives more.  I'm always thinking about what plans I have this weekend and if I need to do anything to prepare for them.

Therefore, when my "thoughts" materialize in the real world, they turn into a cluttered desk.

Questions to Consider:

  • What object or physical "thing" would you use to give others a glimpse into how your mind works?
  • Do you have an "exception" to your personality?  For instance, my cluttered desk goes against my organized and neat nature.  What goes against your "typical" way of being?
  • What's on your desk?

My Writing Goals

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 No comments
There are many things I'd like to improve in my writing, so I know this list will be constantly evolving (as I think all goals should), but off the top of my head, these things come to mind:
  • I would like to become a braver writer, writing about things that scare me and topics I'm afraid to touch upon for fear of controversy.
  • I would like to write every day, no matter what I write and no matter how much it ends up being.
  • I would like to finish outlining the novel idea I've had for a while and actually make progress toward finishing it.
  • I would like to write within genres that I'm totally uncomfortable, just to know I can say I tried.  Genres that would fall into that category include: suspense, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Questions to Consider:

  • What are some of your writing goals?
  • How can you set forth to achieve those goals?

Writing Challenge #2

Sunday, February 1, 2015 No comments

I can't believe the first month of 2015 is already over!  I don't know about you, but it went incredibly quickly for me (I'm guessing it's partially due to the fact that I'm counting down to my wedding!).  With a new month comes a new Writing Challenge...

The End's the Beginning

Start a writing piece describing an event, but start at the end.  That way, you'll have to describe the steps in backward order.  Instead of using the typical transitional words like: first, then, next, and finally, you'll end up using words and phrases like: in the end, before that, prior, formerly, and at the beginning.

Anti-Biography

Write a biography about a famous figure without researching the person.  Describe details such as: birth date, birthplace, parents' occupations, how they became well-known, etc.  Then, do some fact-checking and see how close (or far) you were to the truth!

A Bird's Eye View

Imagine a bird is flying over you throughout the course of an average day.  Write from the bird's perspective, describing what he sees, where he flies, and how long he spends at each location you visit.  You could even have him speculate on what you're up to!