You never know where the hell you’ll find inspiration. For me it was this past week when I went to get a new haircut.
My hairdresser had this Nelson Mandela quote at her station. She’d written it down on a notecard, and stuck it in the frame of her mirror. I have no idea what it means to her, but I know what it meant to me when I first read it.
When I saw this, it made me think back on all of the choices I’ve made in my life that felt like a leap of faith — convincing my parents that studying writing in college could lead to an actual paying job, quitting my coveted job as an assistant on a TV show (The Secret Circle, RIP) to start my career writing online, moving from New York to Los Angeles without a job lined up (or an apartment, for that matter).
I can also distinctly remember dating in my early twenties, and how many shitty relationships I stayed in for way too long because I was afraid of being alone.
I guess the major difference is when I remember the choices I made out of fear, I always regret them. I can’t think of any decisions I made based on hope that I now regret.
What choices changed your life for the better? I want to know! Inspire me!
It’s National Novel Writing Month, aka time to kick NaNoWriMo into high gear! And I’m constantly looking for writing inspiration. I rarely get writers block, but I definitely get a lack of motivation. Especially when there’s a new episode of Sleepy Hollow on my DVR, and it comes down to whether or not I could be watching that with some snacks, or writing another page…
Even though I LOVE me some TV and snacks, if I can get another page out, I always feel so much better. That being said, sometimes taking a little internet break to get inspired can be helpful for that. Here are the blogs I frequent when I need a good writing kick in the ass:
Janet Fitch’s “The Word” series on her blog Paint It Black. Some of you may know Janet as an amazing novelist from her books White Oleander and Paint It Black, but she’s also an inspiring blogger. In her series “The Word,” she encourages readers to take a one word prompt, and write a few paragraphs from it. It doesn’t need to be long, or even edited, it just needs to be writing that flows from that one word. The other great thing is that she writes based off of that one word too. (Practice what you preach!)
Pretty much anything on Prince Gomolvilas’ Bamboo Nation blog. Full disclosure: I’m obsessed with Prince. I took two classes with him when I got my masters at USC, and he absolutely changed the way I write. Prince is a playwright, but also the kind of person who just encourages you to get your story out. His blog has career advice, videos from his performances, and even a TED talk in there.
The Mark On The Wall. Go here when you need to see upcoming writing contests. I’ve found that seeing an actual submission deadline is often enough to get me back to work.
Poets & Writer’s Writing Prompts. This site, in general, is a great resource for writers, and filled with info on contests, publishers, and advice. But the writing prompts in particular can and have sparked me to run to my laptop and start jotting things down.
Jeff Goins Writer. This blog is basically therapy for writers. If you’re feeling lost, or like you should just quit, this blog will give you a big hug and tell you everything will be OK. (And sometimes, we all need a little of that!
I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to poetry. In that I hate writing it, but I love listening to it. In particular, I think some of the best poetry is slam poetry, where you can really feel the person’s intention with each word.
When I watched “Shrinking Women,” performed by Lily Myers, I was just floored. Every word she used is perfect, and she gets it all across in three minutes. I’m not a poet, but this is a great reminder that you don’t need 100 pages to prove your point.