Yesterday I wrote about the goal I set for myself when I started this blog. The author of Book Peeps, a WordPress blog I follow, commented. When I responded to her comment, I talked about how my career in advertising, an industry where ‘ideas’ are what we sell, has taught me how to find inspiration.
She then wrote back, suggesting I make that the subject of another blog post. Here it is.
It’s interesting. Whenever I tell anyone I blog each and every day I get the same reaction. “I wish I had your discipline”, is one. And the other is, “I don’t know where you get all those ideas”.
Obviously there’s nothing I can say or do to make you, or anyone else, a disciplined writer. It’s something you have to do for yourself. You either are, or you aren’t. My contention is, you have to want to do it. Whether it’s
working out regularly, not eating junk food, saving money or writing every day, it will not happen unless we, ourselves, make it happen. There are sacrifices involved. It’s hard work. You must be committed to the task. Determined.
So there’s no point in my banging on about it. If you want to make it happen, you can. You will. End of story.
Finding inspiration, finding ideas, that’s a whole other story.
Sometimes I think we try too hard. We want to be hit over the head with an idea. Zapped. Jolted. Almost like a lightening bolt. We want the earth to move. In other words, if we’re not shaken by it, we haven’t had one. Sort of like an orgasm.
We become so uptight, so obsessed, so crazed, so tightly wound, we CAN’T have one. An idea or an orgasm.
And we end up missing what’s right under our noses.
This story is a perfect example of what I mean. A comment made by a fellow blogger provided the inspiration for this blog post. It was right there in front of me. But in order to SEE it, or for any of us to see all the possibilities in front of us, we have to be present.
By that I mean living with our eyes wide open. And also our ears.
Because it didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks. It was more like, “Hmmmm, that’s an interesting idea. That’s what I’m going to blog about tomorrow.” I made a few notes and went on with the rest of my day. Didn’t even break a sweat.
There. Now you know my secret. I find inspiration everywhere.
In other blogs. In books. On television. At the movies. At the theatre. In the lyrics of a song. In the grocery store. On the subway. In the elevator. On the escalator. In the park. At the post office. At the airport. At the dry cleaners. At restaurants. At coffee shops. On the news. While I’m shopping. While I’m waiting in line. When I’m online.
I may see an object that triggers a thought or a memory.
I may watch a couple walking down the street arm in arm, laughing, talking to each other, stopping occasionally for a kiss; and I imagine where they’ve come from and where they’re going and how long they’ve known each other and how long they’ll be together. Or how love feels to me.
I may overhear a group of co-workers gossiping about a colleague they don’t like; and I’m reminded about how much I always disliked office politics.
I may taste something that takes me back to when I was a child.
I may be so taken with the scent of a new perfume, I just have to try to describe it; and how it makes me feel; and how people react when I wear it.
I may have had a fight with a boyfriend or a family member or a neighbour or a friend or a colleague; and just need to get it off my chest.
I may want to share good news.
I may be simply have had a conversation with a friend, who said something that sparked an idea.
The point is, every day, ordinary occurrences are all we need to get us started. Anything and everything you see, hear, read, watch, taste, smell, observe and experience can provide enough material to write a new blog three times a day, every day. There’s a story in what you do, where you go, who you know, what you do for a living, your family, your friends, your pets, your vacations and business trips and on and on it goes.
Just make sure your radar is always on. And in good working order.