Do You Need Creative Inspiration?

 

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You know sometimes we are so bombarded by where we should be finding inspiration that we can forget to look around us. We become so preoccupied with that greener grass, tempting us from the other side of the fence, that we ignore our own backyard. If you find yourself daydreaming more than doing, wishing more than appreciating, have a look for your inspirations close to home. Be mindful of your current environment, be present, and allow yourself to experience it in as many sensory ways as you can.

  • Your local natural world is a wonder. A garden, a park, a beach, whatever is near you, observe it. Albert Einstein summed this up so beautifully, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
  • Find a possession which you love. A painting, a book, a plant. Something, which every time you see it, you feel lucky to have. Imagine the journey it took to create it, the hours, or the passion which inspired it.
  • Remember feelings of accomplishment and achievement, find the items which remind you of your successes. A photo, a card, a present. They are our symbolic trophies, so stop and reflect on the work it took to receive them. Let them be a source of future inspiration.
  • And listen to your own personal soundtrack. Music takes us to the good times and the bad. It allows the mind to wander which can lead to a new path.

It is often the smallest, most mundane of things, which combined correctly, produce the greatest of things. The details of the world give an authenticity to creative work. And, who knows, your next great inspiration could be a lot closer to you than you think.

Love your thoughts…

Art work by @Dana Kinter- an artist who inspires me.

Seek Out Your Positive People

Now, if I lived in The Hundred Acre Wood, of Winnie the Pooh fame, I wouldn’t be hanging with Eeyore for motivation.  Not that he’s not a nice person, but his glass is always half empty and that’s never a good vibe when you’re trying something new. There’s heaps of research about the benefits of surrounding yourself with positive people, especially if you’re on a fresh journey. We need them. The naysayers are not helping! So seek out your Tiggers, your positive people.

  • They thrive on energy. It’s infectious. Spend time with a passionate, enthusiastic person and you will be inspired. It doesn’t matter what they do or how they do it. It’s the energy that’s important. Don’t waste it, it’s a gift. They want you to have as much enthusiasm for your life projects as they do.
  • They take a risk. Sure, it may be a disaster but at least they try. We all need people who take risks in our lives. They push us to do new things or at the least help us confirm what we can’t and don’t want to do.
  • Motivated people are resilient. Look how when things go wrong they regroup and try again. It’s hard to dig deep and keep going but somehow they manage it. They inspire you.
  • They’re optimistic. A deep-rooted sense of self belief in themselves and the world cloaks them. Share it. Scoop it up.
  • They actually do stuff! And to get anything done you actually have to start.

Now, sometimes we all need a little down time. When you really can’t be bothered, hang with your loyal Piglets and depressingly funny Eeyore’s. But to get things done embrace positive people because, after all, “Bouncing is what Tiggers do best.”

P.S This is for my PP-you know who you are.

Is Self-Publishing a Digital Abyss or the Promised Land?

Now this is a tricky one and as someone sitting on the proverbial fence I’m considering my options. This is probably a familiar place for heaps of writers. Your work’s been written, it may even have had good feedback from publishers or agents, but there are still no takers. The possibility of a traditional publishing opportunity is looking increasingly bleak and the enthusiasm of your personal cheer squad is waning, “What’s happening with your book?”

It’s a bit of a grim place to be.

So, what are the pros and cons of self-publishing? Go on take out that notebook and have a scribble. These are the positives I came up with…

  • You can finally get the work out there. Yeah!
  • You’re actually doing something with that beast which has taken up so much of your time, energy and love.
  • The thought of putting the beast in a bottom drawer and forgetting about it is so depressing you’d rather take up wrestling…well actually…
  • You have control. Remember you’ve controlled your characters or content from the beginning so why give that up now.
  • It’s 2016 for goodness sake. The star of self and digital publishing has well and truly risen.

Now that all sounds fabulous so why am I still writing this and not out sourcing my book cover to a graphic artist? Because the legitimacy of getting a contract from a publisher is the big fat fish I want to catch and it bugs me it hasn’t happened. So, to the cons…

  • There are zillions of self-published books fighting for readership in the ISBN ocean. How will yours stand out?
  • Do you really have the skills, time and money to self-publish? Because you probably have a bill paying day job and are not a marketing entrepreneur?
  • What do you really want to get out of self-publishing? Will being able to say you’ve sold maybe three hundred books be enough of a return on all your hard writing investment? And once your book is published it will be very hard to reel it back in.
  • Finally, is this book part of your journey as a writer or your final destination…

There’s no denying these are the hard questions. But, like me, if you’ve finished that final draft you’ll probably have to face them.