I am curious about this wonderful word 'inspiration'. What it means. Where it comes from. How do you get it?
“immediate influence of God or a god,” especially that under which the holy books were written, from Old French inspiracion “inhaling, breathing in; inspiration,” from Late Latin inspirationem, noun of action from past participle stem of Latin inspirare “inspire, inflame, blow into,” from in- “in” + spirare “to breath”.
Literal sense “act of inhaling” attested in English from 1560’s. Meaning “one who inspires others” is attested by 1867.
Everyone is different and I am curious how others find it.
For me, personally, I can find it in many places. Like captured moments in the early morning, watching the sunrise. By reading books, of all genres and watching great movies or clever TV shows. By working with amazing people, and I am in awe of many of them.
I find being in the company of my husband, who makes me laugh every single day (almost) inspiring.
I find inspiration by chatting with other writers, likeminded people, working side by side, throwing ideas around for possible story lines or working out plot holes and having a laugh at each other and not getting bogged down amongst the serious side of things.
Or, people watching while sitting at a café sipping tea or the occasional coffee. I love a good cup of tea. I love its simplicity. There is nothing pretentious or showy about a simple cup of tea. Although, I do love a coffee as well, but it must be good coffee. There is nothing worse than sipping something that tastes of burnt tar. Coffee must be well rounded and flavoursome and have the right amount of milk froth and sweetness for it to be enjoyable. It is also the showstopper, with its chocolate imprint of a well-turned swirl, or a swizzled chocolate cat or leaf artfully designed on top. Whereas, a cup of tea, preferably from a teapot is warming and nurturing.
Inspiration. In its definition means – motivation, spur, stimulation, encouragement, enthusiasm, incentive, revelation, vision, awakening, brainstorm, creativity, illumination, impulse, spark, thought – so many more, the list goes on and on, where does it end. Never!
Inspiration – noun – according to the Oxford English Dictionary - the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Or a sudden brilliant or timely idea.
Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.
I am fortunate and blessed to know many writers; it is an amazing community to be involved. Writers who are well known and well respected. Many writers who are prolific in their work, getting out books each month, and others each year. Some take two years or longer between books, it doesn’t matter the speed with which they work, they are producing wonderful exciting tomes. Writers who have the ability to churn out works of art, in the literary sense, with such ease and creativity coveted by many.
I wonder, how and from where other writers get their inspiration.
Then there are writers like me, who slog away at it, each word, sentence, or paragraph, laced in blood, sweat and tears. Not to mention, anxiety…oh yes, very much so. Oh, I’m sure the multi-published also deal with those fears too, no one is immune to it.
To say that I am envious of those prolific productive creative wonderful magical awe-inspiring produces of work would be an understatement. However, I am not jealous in a spiteful way, quite the contrary. That is my aspiration. They are what inspire me. They spur me on, and encourage me, as a writer, and to get on with it.
Easier said than done.
I work full time. I have responsibilities. Not to say others don’t, but some of us deal with it differently to others. I get home from a long day at the office and my brain is fried. It is full of stuff. Days are not long enough to be able to do it all. It is often a case of getting home (regularly late), getting dinner organised and then sitting in front of the box, zone out, and do nothing at all (purely out of exhaustion).
Let us not forget social media – it takes time, sometimes way too much of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, I get to see what all my wonderful friends are up to, however, it drains time away from somewhere mystical, like a time sucking demon. (I wanted to say succubus, but that is a completely different genre of demon…)
Moreover, weekends are not nearly long enough.
Better days are coming. They are called Saturday and Sunday.
So for me, I grab moments. Snippets of time here and there, fifteen to thirty minutes in the morning. The occasional thirty minutes at night, where I either manage a lot or very little, or I get so caught up in my own little world where time disappears and it’s two am and I’ve got to go to work the next day, zombified.
"If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough." (Mario Andretti)
Or, I disappear to the coast house for some quiet me time and I sit out on the balcony and watch the waves crash, searching the horizon for whales and listen to the sounds of the ocean. I hear birds for the first time in weeks. I don’t notice them at home, in the city. They are there. I know they are. They eat the dry dog food and poop under my pergola. Instead, I hear noise. Just rushing noise. Rushing to fulfil responsibilities. Rushing in the mornings, rushing to get to work, rushing at work to meet deadlines and tight timeframes. Rushing to meetings and rushing home again, only to rush into dinner and rush into bed. Noise. Rushing noise.
"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." (Eleanor Roosevelt)
I try to get through my weeks without dealing with negativity. That’s not always easy. They are there, sitting in the background, waiting to pounce on your every spoken or written word, on how you look or sound, on what you do or don’t do. Negative people are only happy when they bring you down to their level, so I try to avoid them at all costs. There is no room for that nonsense when you’re searching for inspiration.
So, what inspires you? Perhaps it's music? I love listening to music, of all genres… Music soothes the soul. Music is love.
“Music and love are the same thing. And if you have music in your life, there will always be love.” (Whitney Houston)
So, what about you, what gives you inspiration? I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.
Much love, Ruby xxx
In November/December 2017 I was lucky enough to travel to the UK and Iceland, and more specifically to join five other amazing writers from across Australia . We met in Criccieth, North Wales, to attend a writing retreat organised and run by Perth author, Tess Woods. It was a dream come true, our excitement escalated during the 12 months of preparation as ideas were swapped for other places we might visit while in the northern hemisphere.
On arrival at Mynydd Ednyfed, heritage listed and steeped in history, we were given a warm welcome and tour of the home. Each of us had a double room with ensuite bathroom, and a gorgeous view over the diverse landscape - to one side lush green farm land and to the other the ocean. The house itself was beautifully furnished and decorated for Christmas..
Tess and her family, hubby Paul, and teenagers Tom and Lara, went above and beyond in making our stay comfortable. We were indulged in every way possible with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and unlimited snacks. Tess is an amazing cook and put a lot of love into cooking super delicious meals.
A few months prior to the retreat, each writer provided a synopsis and the first 40 pages of her work in progress. Tess immediately gave each author suggestions on how to improve her synopsis. During the retreat, we received comments on our 40 pages at a one-on-one session with Tess. This feedback provided an insight to how Tess worked.
Our daily workshop topics:
Our days usually went like this:
Both sessions were invaluable. Tess was insightful and provided suggestions which made our writing tighter by weeding out the unnecessary.
Tom was intuitive and very creative in his discussions on updating or creating a web page. He had a knack for finding out what we liked and knew almost instinctively what we needed.
After lunch, we spent time writing, or took time out to explore the surroundings.
Day 1 – we woke to a winter wonderland – the continuous snowfall covered the landscape with around two to three inches of snow. Some of us rugged up and ventured outside to play and pat the property horses.
Day 2 – an exceptional day for writing thanks to the rain. Everyone was happy to remain indoors and focus on works in progress.
Day 3 – the snow had all but melted away, and the countryside was again lush and green. Though the weather was chilly during our stay, we were never cold. We ventured into the little coastal town of Criccieth in the afternoon. Some of us chose to wander the streets and do some shopping, while others ventured to Criccieth Castle.
Day 4 – the afternoon was spent working on our edits and/or chatting around the fire. Given that some of us had met for the first time, we all blended so well, the relaxed conversation full of laughter and great stories. We tossed ideas around and have made friends for life.
Day 5 – in the afternoon, we headed out to the bustling town of Porthmadog to mix it up a little with the locals. We wandered in and out of shops, listening to the locals speak their native Welsh language. We met up at a local pub aptly named The Australia for a few drinks. Our new favourite drink is Rhubarb Liqueur and lemonade. If you find it, grab it – you won’t regret it.
Day 6 – we were feeling somewhat melancholy as we knew our week was quickly coming to an end. We spent most of the day at the property, chatting and laughing as we did some craft, or enjoyed free time to work on our stories. We headed out later that evening for our farewell dinner in Criccieth.
Day 7 – none of us wanted to leave, and eventually, around mid-morning, we said our final goodbyes. The drive through the picturesque snow-covered Snowdonia National Park on our way to Manchester, UK, was a fitting farewell to Wales. We were off onto another adventure to Iceland.
Was it worth it? Hell Yes!
Would we do it again? Absolutely!
Would we recommend it? Positively!
Lara created a little video:
Below is small sample from the photo gallery.