Finding Inspiration

Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

        A single leaf dangling from a high branch, an interesting conversation, a good book, a decent film, a fun trip—indeed inspiration comes in many forms.  In many ways, it is all around us.  With inspiration so bountiful in the world, the challenge becomes finding focus.  How do you tune everything out, and focus on just one idea?  My answer: you don’t.

        In the Digital Age, information overkill is a fact of life.  Instead of tuning everything out to focus on one idea, I grab a life jacket and soak it all in.  After that, I wait.  If something is worth spending the time to focus on, it will usually find its way back into my consciousness.

        I suppose my technique isn’t exactly foolproof.  Occasionally, inspirational thoughts pop up at very inopportune times.  Other times, the inspirational well just dries up all together and I find it difficult to write anything at all.  Then one day, inspiration explodes out of me like a volcano and I don’t have enough time to write all of the words down.

        Hemingway may have been on to something with his 400 to 600 words per day approach.  Then again, Hemingway never had to navigate the Digital Age.  In the end, I’m content to wear my life jacket and bob up and down amongst the waves.  The more that I get used to the motion of the ocean, the more that I am able to anticipate and prepare for the next big wave.

        Well, that’s how I find inspiration.  How about you?

 

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34 Comments

  1. I tend to use the same technique, it makes for more varied blog posts and once people are attuned to the idea that inspiration can come from anywhere it does make for some interesting branching of thoughts and connections.

    The internet can be overwhelming, so much so that I sometimes find myself struggling to think of anything to look up.

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  September 3, 2014

      I agree that inspiration can come from just about anywhere, and that the internet can be overwhelming. When I’m away from the internet there are so many things that I want to look up, but when I’m on the internet so few things come to mind. I suppose that is just the way life works….

      Reply
      • That’s the weird thing about the internet, billions of web pages on all subjects, yet I just find myself on the usual pages looking at the usual stuff. It is one of life’s greatest conundrums.

  2. Estoy totalmente de acuerdo.
    Excelente información con ideas claras de como hacer llegar la inspiración. Parece ser un buen método solo impregnarse de todo lo que asimilamos o de la abrumadora información en la Web y dejar que lo que regrese a nuestra consciencia sirva para construir algo que valga la pena.
    Y tratar de mantener la calma cuando la sequía mental no de para más.

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  September 3, 2014

      Me alegro de que estés de acuerdo. Al principio no era muy paciente con la parte tranquila estancia. Ahora sé que no hay necesidad de apresurar las cosas. Cuando llegue el momento, voy a estar listo.

      Reply
  3. The inspiration? In my opinion there is not a written rule. This is born within us as a spark lights the fire.

    Reply
  4. Life, music, nature, silence …

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  September 4, 2014

      Thank you of reminding me of sound and its absence. Quite inspiring indeed.

      Reply
      • Sound and its absence…that’s a fascinating expression
        and pair …Inspiring, too…because silence is so much more for me than absence of sound …
        Sorry to have written such a quick comment before!
        I was in a hurry…
        It was just my spontaneous answer to your question what inspires your readers …
        Your original and freshly personal article appeals a lot
        to me and I like the photo very much!

  5. “Occasionally, inspirational thoughts pop up at very inopportune times.”

    Lucky you that it’s just occasionally. Seems to always happen to me in the shower or on a walk, when I have no way of writing it down. And yeah, sometimes I do remember, but I get to worrying that I won’t.

    Reply
  6. Basically the same things… Regards, Lor

    Reply
  7. equinoxio21

     /  September 12, 2014

    Like the metaphor. Or maybe it isn’t?
    Have a nice week-end.

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  September 15, 2014

      You never can be too sure about metaphors. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  8. Hi Cody, a great post on finding inspiration. I suppose for me I like to go by the lake and relish the nature-inspired background, which subsequently gives me a clear mind to ponder and explore 🙂

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  September 15, 2014

      There’s nothing like a day at the lake. I believe I have even written a poem about spending a day at the lake. Hopefully, it will be published some day soon.

      Reply
  9. The trouble with computers, the internet, social media, and blogging is that it is flat on the page. Whichever way you slice it, it is flat.

    That being the case, my inspiration comes from remembering that and going back to nature, and strangely enough – reading a book.

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  September 21, 2014

      Nature and books—two of the best sources of inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
  10. I agree completely. I also believe even in what others think is time wasted I find inspiration to use to say what I need in my way, or to continue on my path. Heh heh.. gonna do a great story about a tv show on just that soon. To me, its all connected. I think every single second and moment of my life has purpose, and while I finally dare to step out and fill the shoes I was suppose to wear my whole life, a writer, it becomes more clear everyday. I’ll enjoy following you.

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  September 21, 2014

      Glad to hear that you agree, and that you’ll enjoy following me. I have to say that I agree with making every moment of one’s life worthwhile/purposeful. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
      • Funny, while looking over my posts tonight I wrote one about “absorption” kind of like what you said. And thanks for the follow back.

  11. Hi Cody, I found your blog through a like on mine, thank you btw.

    I kept thinking about this post last night, what inspires me. Well, as a vegan, animal rights, anarchist inspiration is predominately drawn from negative aspects, injustice, suffering, and oppression of nonhuman and human species alike. But I didn’t feel this a worthy comment to your post of writer followers, to me it’s just a given, suffering equals inspiration, and besides that, I’m not a real writer or poet anyway, I fake it with anger.

    But this morning on the way to the office—warehouse office not penthouse suite, no point in glamorizing, I thought I might have something to offer. I realized that every inspiring moment I have is while sleep still clouds my head, early morning, before I dawn the armor of logic, sensibility, and practicality, while I’m still in that off world where anything goes.

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  September 24, 2014

      I’m glad that you mentioned the early morning. That’s when inspiration finds its way to me too. There’s just something about being lost between the world of dreams and reality that is fascinating and inspiring. My poem, “The Cool Morning Air” has a lot to do with this concept. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad that you did. 🙂

      Reply
  12. It’s usually when you push it, it runs away. I just go with the flow, some days are for writing and other days are for walking in the park 🙂

    Reply
  13. you’re so right about papa-Hemingway, one of my beloved US-authors… I did write about him here, after I visited his villa in Key West:
    http://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/hemingway-home-907-whitehead-street-key-west/

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  October 4, 2014

      I still kick myself for not getting down to Key West when I lived in Florida. On the positive side, I have a good reason to go back. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  14. Mine usually occur while pondering and smoking in my garden. Thanks for liking my Spooking Writing Challenge. I hope you contribute, It doesn’t have to be spooky per say, it can be, magical, paranormal, mythical………………….whatever.

    Reply
    • Cody McCullough

       /  October 7, 2014

      I do like things that are spooky…. Unfortunately, I have too many writings projects that I’m currently working on. At some point, I have to finish at least one. That being the case, here it is (the short and sweet version): For Sale: cadaver (from personal collection).

      Reply
  1. Agradeciendo Premios otorgados. | Demiannicolas's Blog

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