What inspires you?

Please share things that inspire you.

I’ve been searching for inspiration today, albeit unconsciously. It’s been a productive day but the truth is that I’ve been avoiding what I really want to do, which is start writing out a story idea that I’ve been toying with for a few weeks. My obstacle is nothing more than fear–simple, cliche, I know, but it is a big obstacle.

I have a book called Pagefright, by Harry Bruce, which is a collection of interesting facts and tidbits about hundreds of writers. There’s a whole chapter on writer’s block, and from the sounds of it, I have writer’s block. Which really means I’m a writer! I know my excitement may sound strange, but even after getting a degree and working in the industry, it’s hard to have confidence that I am truly a writer. But I am and I know it most days. It’s not even that I’ve chosen to be a writer, but it’s the one thing I’ve done almost all of my life that I know without doubt I will do for the rest of my life. Writing will always be a part of the deep fabric of my existence and I am passionately aware of this fact. It gives me a sense of warmth, reassures me; it’s something I can use to help define myself. I feel sad to think that others may not have something like writing in their lives, that one thing that they know they will do simply because they can’t not do it. If writing was taken out of my life I would simply find another way to do it, or I think I’d go crazy. It’s my sanity, really. And I’m not talking about the writing that will inevitably make me more money–not talking about the corporate writing or tech writing or business writing. I’m talking about the lyrical, poetic words that stream out of me from my heart through my hands onto the page, the kind of writing that makes me feel good during the act, that fills me with energy and inspires me to want more from life. I’m talking about the kind of writing that makes my hand itch if I stay away too long, the kind of writing that creates this unavoidable pressure inside of me if I bottle it up too long. It’s the writing that wells up from inside of my soul and insists on release into the world.

Right now, though, I’m battling myself, that age-old battle I think any writer struggles with now and then. It’s the battle against the fear, against the head that says that what comes from the heart isn’t good enough; it should be hidden away and remain in the darkness where no one can see it and then no one will know what rubbish lives inside.

However, I know none of that is true and it’s just that inner critic we all face and I know I’ll beat the Critic eventually. Today he won, though.

In the meantime, I’m doing research and gathering inspiration and the idea is growing and cogitating in my head. Once I can find a good starting point, I know the story will flow. That’s rarely an issue; I’m never at a loss for things to say once I’ve started to say it. It’s just getting going, getting inspired, getting momentum that proves difficult for me.

So what inspires you? I recently met Cliff Turner, who trains/coaches entrepreneurs. He made a great presentation at the Business Link, which I where I met him. Today I happened across his  blog post about a book called The Alchemist, and the impact it has made on his life. I like what he said and I encourage you to give his post a read, especially if you’re looking for a few hints on inspiration. I also have fond memories of The Alchemist and it’s one of the things that kept me in my writing degree program during one of my moments of doubt. The story really makes a great argument for following your dreams, despite the obstacles you face in daily life.

I agree and I am following my dreams, but I have one question and this is the one I face every day right now in business start up.

What happens when I’m following my dreams and no money comes in? What is the next step? How do I balance the need to follow my dreams with the need to support myself? Why do they seem to be at odds with one another?

I don’t know the answers to these questions but right now all I can do is have faith, although faith is something I’m inexperienced with and I’m not great at. I have faith in myself and my ability to work hard and earn money from my sweat. I don’t know how to have faith yet in following my dreams when there is nothing showing on the horizon.

What I do know is that I need to fight my fear and my desire to give up this start up phase and just get a safe job that pays me every two weeks where I work for a boss that I may or may not like. I need to keep doing what I am doing and forgive myself for not having a paying contract in the first two weeks of my business. I need to find ways to keep my energy up and remain inspired so that I don’t give up before I’ve had a chance to succeed.

So I’m looking for inspiration. What inspires you? What makes you wake up every morning? What excites you and fills you with the energy of purpose and inspiration?

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