Tag Archives: nature

Finding Inspiration and Motivation

The holidays are over and everyone is back to work and school. It’s cold outside and the weather is just plain dreary. Homework and other responsibilities begin to pile up and before you know it you’ve stopped writing. So what’s a writer to do? Where does one fine motivation, time and inspiration during this time of year?

For starters, I believe artwork can be a source of inspiration. Maybe it’s  your favorite poster hanging up in your room or a painting at your work. Whatever catches your eye, art can get the wheels of a story turning in the mind that can later be transferred to the page. I have at least a dozen fairy pictures hanging up in my room right now. I bet if I looked at them long enough I could concoct a fantasy story in my imagination that could become the beginnings of writing project.

Another idea for some inspiration is nature. “But it’s cold outside!” you protest. Yes, it’s cold out and nobody likes to sit outside and gaze at nature when it’s freezing. So, instead, open up the curtains on the weekend. Let in all the sunlight you can and gaze out the window from your nice heated home. I bet there is something out there waiting to inspire you. Even if it’s just an annoying squirrel or bird. You could create a dialogue between the bird and squirrel. Yeah your friends might think your nuts but at least you will be writing again.

As for motivation? Heaven knows the last thing I want to do after a long, exhausting day is try and think of something to write. Not to mention I have homework, should be exercising, and have friends to call. Life can seem so overwhelming at times that it can be hard to find motivation for the things we love in life when we get into the busy zone. Sometimes, I find it is helpful to just stop. Stop whatever it is I’m doing. Stop running around like a maniac and just breathe. Give yourself ten minutes to just zone out and let your mind wander. This lets your brain stop the mad race it was running and leaves room for creativity to pour in.

Hopefully life doesn’t get too crazy and we can all find a little time to write during the long winter months. And if we do loose sight of our writing? Well, cheer up! Spring should be here shortly.


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I was simmering, simmering, simmering!

For my American Literature class, we were assigned to read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” and one of the questions to answer afterward asked us to choose a maxim in the text and discuss it. But come on, it’s Emerson.


The essay is full of so many that I agree with. I was simmering, like Whitman, and I too was brought to a boil when reading this. It was a kind of feeling I can only get when inspired by another’s writing to the point of using similar elements in my own works.

Not only did I find these to make sense in the realm of reality as it is, but I began thinking about how true these maxims would ring within the rules of my own world (the one I’m in the process of building in a story of mine).

ImageWorld-building. It’s serious business.

If created by a half-decent builder, a world has many different societies. A few of mine happen to be heavily influenced by Europe – especially northern Europe. Further down my world map are the less defined “Tropics,” the areas near the equator. While I was reading Emerson, all I could think about were my darling, developing island people.  The first main characters present in my story come from what I call the “Northern Lands,” and are thusly built, with their land, to a degree of familiarity at current.

In the meantime, I feel that Emerson has come to me at a time that couldn’t have been any more perfect.  My tropical inhabitants are a natural people, but I didn’t want to fall into the Pocahontas/Avatar cliché often associated with those who live in harmony with nature. Such groups are often stereotyped to emphasize the community, and I thought that that was the only way to go, really… until Emerson opened my mind to the divinity of the self. When he mentions the self, he doesn’t mean to be selfish, but to follow one’s intuition, to be oneself, to follow the actions of Jesus rather than doing what some preacher says to do. And, all this must be done while being one with nature. He spoke of the power and spirit of the landscape.

This, I thought, has to be the basis of these yet-developed people of mine.

From there, I began re-reading lines in the essay, taking notes, and furiously scribbling ideas into my notebook. I took some of Emerson and added a tinge of myself. As stated before, these people I am creating belong to a more natural and less industrialized society. This is by choice. “The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet” (36). And, rather than emphasizing community, they prefer to follow Emerson’s views on non-conformity. “Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to eat shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater” (21). They find principal, power, divinity, and spirit all within nature as well as themselves. These will be an intuition-driven people who are deeply in touch with “the self.” “Your isolation must not be mechanical, but spiritual, that is, must be elevation” (30).

All power and matter can be conjured and manipulated (through equivalent exchange) by the self and not relying on god(s) to perform miracles or preachers/priests to dictate doctrines. Because after all, we are star stuff, aren’t we? We are made up of the heavens themselves.


However, there is no complete lack of group; there will be a sense of society, as there is in the world Emerson is trying to create: “I shall endeavor to nourish my parents, to support my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife, – but these relations I must fill after a new and unprecedented way” (31). These people will find harmony, a goal only achieved through truly understanding the self, because if you don’t understand yourself, how could you possibly ever hope to understand anyone else? “No man can come near me but through my act” (31).

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Self-Reliance.” Self-Reliance and Other Essays. Mineola: Dover Publications, Inc., 1993. Print.

Thanks for reading my craziness,

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