Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Inspiration = Perspiration = Success

What inspires you? Me, all it takes is a good thunderstorm or a gloomy, rainy day that sends most people running for the door, grumbling about mud on their shoes and frizzy hair. Sadly, most summers in the south are dry and hot. Until I can conjure up a rain storm whenever and wherever I like, the next best thing to get the creative juices flowing is a simple walk down the street.

I'm fortunate enough to live two blocks from a city park with an exercise circuit. I walk to the park, do a few upper body exercises, walk home sore making mental note that if I did this every day I wouldn't be so sore, now would I? By the time I get home, the blood is flowing and I'm overflowing with inspiration and motivation.

Without pausing to sit and rest those darn sore muscles, I start working. Usually it's getting the wrinkled laundry out of the dryer or turning the dish washer on so we can actually eat out of plates instead of off paper towels (again). Then, and only then, do I sit down. But it isn't to relax. Nope, I'm in front of the computer, either doing school work, research, or writing.

Others have said that physical activity helps to get them motivate, inspires them to plunge ahead into the writing realm. Why is this? A simple matter of inertia, that strange principle that if you don't feel like running a mile but go outside anyway and just jog a bit, you'll end up running that mile and feeling better for it.

How many times have you told yourself "Nah, not today. I don't feel like running that mile/writing that book report/editing that novel"? We want too. Truly. We know running will keep us healthy, the book report is due tomorrow and once the novel is edited we can throw ourselves a party and start researching agents.

In her book, "Book in a Month", Victoria Lynn Schmidt explains that everyone has issues that prevent us from fulfilling our goals, whatever our goals may be. "Any big undertaking," she writes, "will bring those issues to the surface in the form of resistance. Resistance is the way your subconscious tries to protect you from taking risks."

That laziness you feel every time you look at the disheveled papers on your desk, perhaps it's not laziness at all but your inner "guardian" trying to prevent you from taking a risk. Risk equates sacrifice and usually comes with a healthy dose of not knowing. We as a species hate this. But, catch-22, we'll never know if we don't try.

Feeling that inspiration yet? Then get up and go do whatever it is that inspires you. If yes, then start working on that project. Don't let a little fear keep you from achieving your writing goals. Nothing worth doing was ever accomplished without a little fear and perspiration :).

Go forth and be fabulous!


  1. Well you ought to be here, we are expecting thunderstorms this evening. And how did you know I had a pile of paper on my desk? :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  2. Love the end line, "Go Forth and Be Fabulous." Okay. You, too. I get inspired by interesting conversations and people, by art, music, and other great writing. And, yes, a good walk is a sure way to fight off the "I can't do this" feeling.

  3. Going for a walk around campus always gets my inspirational juices flowing.

  4. I was loving this post, all the way, and then GO FORTH AND BE FABULOUS just MADE. MY. DAY.

    What you wrote today is what I LIVE with my writing. However, I've never been able to translate it to my physical life. So I loved how you combined BOTH in this post because it makes me realize what a hypocrite I am. Time to become a risk-taker on the physical side of my life and not only the cerebral.

    Fantastic (no, FABULOUS!) post! Thanks Jen!


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.