The Push-Pull of Being Inspired

Hi all! Today I’m welcoming DL Hammons to my blog. I feel so honored to have him here, since his blog has been a favorite of mine since when I started blogging. Thanks so much for your post, Don!

The Push-Pull of Being Inspired

When Misha asked me to contribute something today centered on the topic of INSPIRED, I had to really stop and think. I mean a lot! Inspiration is such a broad topic, which is a good thing in one respect because it gives me a lot of leeway, but on the other hand it’s a topic so expansive, so impactful, that it can be daunting. So what I decided to do is not discuss what it is that inspires me, at least not directly, but rather how it is I become inspired. And staying within the context we all can relate to, I’ll be concentrating on writing-related inspiration. What I discovered after careful consideration is this…for me, it generally happens from two totally different directions.

First and foremost, there’s the pull. When I become aware of a author I want to be like, or I come across a novel, short story, article, or even a well done blog post that I yearn to emulate in my own unique way, I am drawn…pulled…towards that goal. I become imbued with the spirit to do something beyond my current reach, to re-define myself in order to align with that purpose. Feeling pulled by inspiration via the accomplishments of others motivates me to expand my boundaries. I may not ever demonstrate the skill or touch I aspire to, but I will be end up in a different spot than I started. And maybe that spot will even be better than the one I originally aimed for.  

But I also respond to a different sort of inspirational influence. This is more of a push…or a better description would be a nudge. I draw inspiration from the people around me who urge me along my writing path, who’ve invested in me, who sometimes believe in me more than I believe in myself. My family, who’s unconditional support should never be taken for granted, the CP’s who can’t wait to see the next set of pages, the beta readers who don’t understand why my book isn’t published yet, this awesome community of bloggers/writers who actually care whether I succeed or fail. An example of this happened to me just a couple weeks ago. I left a comment for one of the regular bloggers I follow and she responded with a thank you and an inquiry about where I was with a new YA project I had previously mentioned. It had really piqued her interest and was looking forward to reading it. Not a day or two later my CP asked me the same question. These are both people I admire and respect, so naturally I was inspired by this. It invigorated me enough to write the first three chapters this past weekend.

For me, being inspired is all about movement and progress. If your open to it, that can come from all sorts of different directions.

I want to thank Misha for giving me a chance to talk to ya’ll today. But before I head on back to my own roost, I’m curious, how do you draw inspiration?

DL

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37 thoughts on “The Push-Pull of Being Inspired

  1. Great post, DL! (And Misha)

    *waves*

    Agree that CP's and readers are always great sources of motivation…for me inspiration or new ideas often come while driving or in the shower…I suspect this is because as a mom of a toddler, those are the few times I'm alone enough for my mind to wander…

    TGIF you two! And happy writing…

  2. I can seriously relate to that pull-push idea!

    The first PULL for me is the story idea itself with all its potential and the characters who are strangers at first, but become more and more dear to me as the project develops.

    But that kind of inspiration doesn't last and, for me at least, is punched full of holes by DOUBT. Major DOUBT.

    Luckily — as you said — we have the PUSH from our CPs and blogging friends. I often need to be pushed uphill for quite a ways, especially in the first draft. I'm not sure I would've kept going on my current project if it wasn't for a CP telling me repeatedly it was the most exciting thing I'd written since (fill in name of another project she really liked).

    Thanks for a great guest post!

  3. Hey Kristi!! My favorite ALONE time comes in the hot tub at the health club. All of my best idea's happen while I'm sitting in bubbles! 🙂

    TGIF for you as well!

  4. That push/pull is definitely there for me too. Every time I read, I want to create words to help others get lost in. Every time a movie/tv show pulls me in I want to do that too. 🙂

  5. The DOUBT is diluted by the push from others. I believe that the longer we are in this business, the more important that type of inspiration becomes. At some point the support of our fans joins the pushing ranks!

  6. What a neat perspective!

    I'm inspired by people sharing their writing in all kinds of ways–I love hearing the voice of the author as it filters through the characters and plot lines.

    Thanks, DL and Misha!!

  7. Great post! I find inspiration in the oddest moments~ it's those times that I suddenly come up with a piece of dialogue when folding clothes or pushing my daughter on the swing at the playground. It's also when I find a new favorite author and read about how they were once in the query trenches, too. Those are the things that keep me going~ and being encouraged by the blogging community through reading about challenges and successes definitely plays a part as well!

  8. It's always intriguing to learn about the things that inspires others. Especially when you find similarities.

    I have my over-arching inspiration in my Chipmunk. But I can certainly see how encouragement from others or reading a great novel can push or pull one toward “doing”.

  9. Inspiration to write in general definitely comes from the support and encouragement from my husband and kids. Inspiration for particular story ideas is something else though – usually from the strangest places. 🙂

  10. Nice post DL! (Hi Misha.) I take inspiration wherever and whenever it shows up. My CPs help out a lot with that though – they keep me going when the going gets tough. I do feel the same push when I read a good book though. It's intoxicating.

  11. Hi DL, super post. I love to learn about how other writers are inspired. Yes, the writing and blogging community is extremely supportive and generous. Its wonderful being a part of it.

  12. Reading the journey of other writers is an inspiration to me to keep going on. I am also inspired by the progress of others, and even the tips and organizational skills they use to keep themselves going. Sometimes, it works for me too.

    I never know when inspiration will manifest, all I can do is be open to it.

    ……..dhole

  13. Great post, DL! I'm inspired to write because I want to do something cool with an idea I had and I continually want to get better via practice. But there's a big difference between doing that in a vacuum and doing it with the support and encouragement of friends. It's definitely a great push and a big help!

  14. Great post! I can relate to what you're saying. I find other bloggers who have commited to the W1S1 challenge are inspirational because after many many rejections we are all seeing some successes and that is a huge boost. Having people who support your work is a huge inspiration, I agree.

  15. Great post, Don! I think having like minded friends is helpful in keeping you on track. It's great having online cp's, but there is something to be said for in person writing friends too. I think that's why going to conferences is so important.

  16. I usually get inspired while I'm at the gym working out…something about getting in the 'zone' physically opens up my mind and imagination.

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