I have been doing a lot of living in the last few years, perhaps I am collecting material for my next writing project, or perhaps I am refuelling my soul after a long depletion. There are seasons of life and seasons of writing life.
When I express thoughts, my desire is to bring hope and light into dark places and because of that I need to be filled with my own hope and light in order to spill out encouragement. When I pondered this month's topic I recognized that what I need for writing is my own source of inspiration. Inspiration is defined online as "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative; the quality of being inspired; a sudden brilliant creative or timely idea; the divine influence believed to have led to the writing of the Bible." While not competing with the writers of scripture, I realize that some of the people I share with will never open a bible and I want my words to draw them into a quest for truth.
When I first retired as a nurse, my mother would usually ask me, "So what are you doing now?" I would tell her about this or that, and say I am also writing. She would then ask, "Are you getting paid for any of this?" To me the message was, if you are not being paid, it had no value. In my mother's defence, her work supported the family in my growing up years, so she wondered how I could make ends meet without a paying job. I have stopped apologizing in my life for taking the time to sit by rivers, or in the presence of nature's beauty. Time spent in prayer and processing life is time well spent, it is also necessary for writing. Now I reformat the question "What do you do for a living?" into what do I do to make life alive. There is no doubt in my mind that our writing improves with passion for living. Simply existing is not enough. I'm after the abundant life that Jesus spoke of in John 10.
But, how do I move from existence to abundance?
♪♪ … when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad. ♪♪ from The Sound of MusicHere are some of my favourite inspiration and writing resources:
Beauty, especially in nature.
Artistically prepared foods.
Artistically prepared foods.
A park bench along the river.
A good cup of coffee. (Goes well with park bench)
Good walking shoes, as one should walk a lot. I concur with
Frederick Nietzsche who said All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.
A place to observe people.
Eyes wide open.
Second hand stores. I used to volunteer in one, and experienced some of the most interesting moments.
A good bicycle.
Kayak or canoe to be on the water.
A camera to create artistic shots for posting.
A positive attitude.
Warm clothing for cooler days.
A good cup of tea, good books, good poetry.
Travel-especially cultural travel broadens the outlook.
Because of where my daughter lives and works, I have visited some interesting countries, and met many wonderful women of varied faith backgrounds.
Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music—the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself. Henry Miller
Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking out of My Head- Grief as an Out of Body Experience. She is on a quest for Beauty in Life.