Normally, this time of year I’m travelling. Autumn in the northern hemisphere is my favourite time to travel. Italy, France, Norway, Finland, Vermont, Maine, and Canada are all beautiful in the fall.
For the last fifteen years, I’ve travelled for at least two months of every year and every time, my mind was expanded as I experienced new languages, new places, and met new people.
My writing is inspired when I am experiencing new things.
My faith also informs my writing. Ideas that are God-breathed and God-inspired flow out of my soul like no other.
Things in everyday life inspire me–people I meet and things that happen all spark my creativity and inform my writing.
I guess we writers are like magpies. We collect inspiration in so many ways. We catch snippets of conversation, enjoy art, watch movies, see plays, read widely, get intrigued by news items, laugh at, or thoughtfully consider, Instagram memes, and so much more.
Sometimes though, we need to be intentional about inspiration. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdowns, and travel restrictions, I found the well of my inspiration running a little dry.
So, I’ve done a few things lately to try and inject a little more inspiration into my life. Here are four things that have been inspiring me:
1. Volunteer: I’ve begun a volunteer job at my local church in their community services department. In this role, I interview people who need emergency relief. The church provides food vouchers, help with bill paying, fuel vouchers, and referrals to others services if required.
Of course, I didn’t just do this to inspire my writing. Writing is a big part of my life but doing something in my community to help others is something I love doing. I’m sure that a by-product of the experiences of working in this environment will inspire something in my writing.
2. Attend A Workshop or Retreat (in-person or online): Recently, I attended a workshop on the topic of writing your story with self-compassion. During the day, I was able to write a new ending for a novel I've been working on for years.
As we shared our writing in small groups, I was inspired by the other writers in the group. I was challenged when I shared my own work. I still feel nervous tension when reading my work aloud, but I love being challenged to keep stretching and dreaming.
The Omega Writers Conference is running an online retreat on October 8 and 9. Why not consider signing up and joining others to be inspired?
3. Do Something Way Out of Your Comfort Zone: In August, I signed up for a songwriting course. I’m not a singer or a musician, in fact, I’m the only non-musician in the group. Why on earth am I doing this?
I thought it might help me to look at writing in a different way. I think doing the course will help develop my writing brain in a new way. Perhaps it will help make my writing more poetic and rhythmic. Perhaps something will be sparked as I listen to other's stories, songs, and music.
The last week of the course requires us to perform the song we’ve written. I’m not sure how I’ll fulfil that requirement but there are some helpful people in the class who said they will help me.
4. Study Something New: Next term, I begin Italian lessons. Since I can’t travel to Italy at the moment, I thought that I’d learn more of the language before I go back one day.
There’s so much that has been taken away from us during the Covid-19 pandemic but it doesn’t mean that we can’t still be inspired. We just have to find different ways to live a life filled with inspiration.
Do you need a creativity boost? Why not try doing something new that will push you out of your normal routines?
What have you been doing that inspires your creativity lately?