Making it Rain Inspiration
Did you expect the New Year to roll in, bright and shiny and full of new inspiration and promise? Have you been meeting up instead with sluggishness and resistance?
For me, this happens most often when I’ve decided the way the writing will go. That it must go my way or no way. And so I am left spinning my wheels in mud. Continue reading
I did something I’m still regretting, but fortunately it’ll be all over tomorrow: I signed up to take the GRE. What on earth was I thinking? It was a combination of a couple things–I didn’t take the SAT, and am curious about what that sort of test is like; and I’m starting to feel more interested in an item from my someday maybe list (“Get an MFA“)… So, on a whim, I signed up to take the test, paid my money, and promptly put off studying for the darn thing.
Until this weekend. So, here I’ve been, studying like a fiend, and very much needing a break from antonyms and math.
Interestingly enough, among the study breaks, I also managed to sketch out a flash video presentation/cartoon, write a sales letter for a client, entertain a neighbor with my rant about exactly why the GRE is so enormously unfair (it’s been nearly 10 years since I graduated college–do they really think I still remember any of this stuff?!), and jot down article ideas for no fewer than 13 solid Thrive Your Tribe articles. In other words, I’m bursting with business/writing inspiration. All because of a silly test I signed up for on a whim. Continue reading
Here we are, in the middle of winter in North Carolina, and the weather has been gloomy, gloomy, gloomy! Sure, there’s been some rain, but it’s mostly just been cold and cloudy. Every night, I check the weather forecast to see what to expect tomorrow, hoping it won’t be more of the same. Now something you only know about North Carolina if you’ve lived here for awhile is this: the weather is impossible to forecast here.
I’m a Santa Barbara, California girl. I’m used to the forecasters promising sunshine and temps in the 70s all week… And being right. But, even when I lived in Arizona, where the weather was a bit more adventurous, they were pretty accurate much of the time. Here in North Carolina, though, they get it right every 8th day of the week or so .
So, whether the forecast is for sunshine, rain, or clouds, it really doesn’t matter. My checking the forecast does little except give me false hope. Because the reality is this: tomorrow, the weather will be as it is. No more, no less. Continue reading
Welcome back to the imperfect series on finding inspiration when you’re out of inspiration. Today’s tip is short and sweet: Let it be imperfect.
All too often, we get caught up in the refinement stage, in the making things right, fixing them, perfecting them. It’s easy to do–after all, we want to do our best work and we want things to be “just so” for other people. We want our readers to think well of us, but more than even that, we want to communicate clearly and not be misunderstood, we want our readers to have an easy time reading our articles, and we want our writing to make a mark on the world–all of which, we believe, only happens when we do “good work.” Continue reading
Think your article topic is a challenge? Try promising people inspiration and see just how quickly the writer’s block sets in. And that brings us to our first two tips:
1) Get really, really honest. Have you noticed lately how much people are swinging between “Things are great!!” and “Times are hard.” Sure, “the test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function,” (F. Scott Fitzgerald) BUT when it comes to creating content and staying inspired, you’ll find integrity of thought goes a long way to ensuring output. Continue reading
If you’re in an inspiration drought, there’s one obvious way out: Make it rain. But how do you make it rain? Especially when you want not H2O to fall from the sky but big drifts of lovely, ready-to-go articles and content?
If all you need is a bundle of enjoyable exercises for getting creative in your writing, you’re not in a drought, and you’ll find these tips to be way too much work. Instead, get a copy of my tiny guide and ignore these tips. But if you’re in a full-on, desperate drought, you’re going to have to buckle down and sweat a little. The tips that follow won’t be easy, if you do them right, but they will bring the rain when applied repeatedly. Continue reading
You’re as tired as I am of all this talk about the economy and what it means to small businesses, no doubt. And I bet you’ve rolled your eyes at that 60% of Americans think a depression is likely statistic that’s been bandied about (and more or less made up/misquoted).
But that doesn’t change this fact: you might be mired in your own inspiration drought. I was. And many of my clients are. So, know that if you’ve been feeling a lack of inspiration and enthusiasm in your business, know you’re not alone.
The economy is hugely different today than it was in 1929. And these days, inspiration matters far more than it did back then. Face it, when people worked in factories, they didn’t exactly have to be inspired to do their jobs each day. But, as more and more of us work in creative jobs, inspiration becomes a key commodity. Continue reading