November 08, 2006

Finding Writing Inspiration

Some things I've learned since last time:
1) People in Utah like to put their Christmas lights up early. This weekend there were a handful of houses already showing off their holiday lights.
2) The state flower of Utah is the Sego Lily.
3) The plateau striped whiptail lizard is a species of lizard that is only comprised of females. There are no male striped whiptails; the females lay unfertilized, yet viable eggs. The offspring are essentially clones of the mother!

Lately I've been in a writing slump. I guess sooner or later everyone goes through a writing slump but knowing this doesn't make the slump any easier. Last week I found myself at an outreach event. I admit, the event was pretty boring and long. All of the sudden I found myself upset at myself for not bringing a book or my journal to help pass the monotony of sitting at a table, handing out brochures and watching the hands of a clock that didn't seem to pass time. I kept thinking, "I really wish I was writing right now; I can't wait to get home to open my journal and put pen and thoughts to paper."

Once I finally got home from a long day, I was excited to have the chance to write. After waiting hours for the chance to write, I sat on my bed and tried to think about what I would write thoughts seemed to jump to mind. For some reason, I seem to believe that everything I write must be poetic, "deep" or enlightening instead of just enjoying the act and process of writing.

My excitement soon turned into frustration because I couldn't find any "topics to muse about." I decided, "This won't be a deep entry, I'll just casually write about my day." And before I knew it, I had two pages of notes, ideas and ramblings and, truthfully, I felt pretty proud of myself. After two pages of what seemed to be nothing, I remembered an email I received earlier from a friend. It was one of those emails we've all seen several times; one of those filled with pointless survey questions. About half-way through the ever-so-enlightening-survey, filled with questions like, “what is your favorite food?” I came across a question that asked, "What inspires you?" I thought, 'Now this is really a question worth answering amidst all of this hooey.'

What inspires me? I said that people helping others inspires me. Good music inspires me. Passion inspires me. The perfectness of Nature inspires me, like the picture posted above. Good writing also inspires me which is perhaps the reason I had such and "urge" to write the other night. Earlier in the day I received another email from a different friend. It didn't ask me if I preferred vanilla or chocolate ice cream; instead, it was a report on my friend's travels through Europe, headed to Spain. My friend's writing of what she has seen, done, felt, etc. were all beautifully written in an email that I felt I was walking through. It truly was an amazing update of my friend's travels and thoughts, and perhaps it was the inspiration for turning "nothing" into four pages in my journal.

So, if you could be a crayon, what color would you be? :-)