Nine Inspiring Things I'm Sharing With You This Week
Things I’ve been thinking about or come across recently
Sometimes when my writing is going waaay too slowly or I’m stuck in a rut, I’ll take a break and shift my mind toward something else, something uplifting or inspiring. I’m always amazed at how well this little trick works. Sometimes your hardworking brain cells just need a moment off.
When I return to my work I feel refreshed and ready to get going. I hope some of the suggestions below–-many of which I have used at one time or another–-work for you as well.
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity is a classic and one of my favorite books for inspiring writers. But it could be helpful to all types of creatives. The author, Julia Cameron, has written many other books but this is the one I return to again and again. Lots of insightful musings, opinions, and exercises to get your creativity flowing when you’re blocked and even when you’re not but just need a boost. First published in 2016 and still going strong.
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within was also published in 2016 and is also still going strong. One of the things I like most about this book, other than author Natalie Goldberg’s timeless advice and wisdom, is her witty voice. This one focuses more on craft and technique, such as “keep writing, don’t stop, just get it down on paper” to paraphrase one of the many gemlike nuggets you’ll find here. Very motivational.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. This book came out in 2007 and it’s still relevant today. Author Anne Lamott reels you in with her warm, charismatic and humorous writing style as she shares wise advice and meaningful personal stories about writing and the writer’s life.
Don’t you just love the snazzy titles of these books?
Every time I come across this photo that I took of a street in my neighborhood I get to thinking and plotting scenes for a chapter in a novel. Probably suspense. Probably with a lone walker. Probably someone lurking… You get it.
The U.S. Postal Service recently honored Toni Morrison with a lovely Forever Stamp. She was one of the few authors to achieve both critical literary success AND bestseller status and is more than deserving.
And while we’re on pretty images, I happen to think the book jacket for my novel (published March 14) is haunting—in the best sort of way.
Here’s a brief talk by Brené Brown’s on the sometimes nasty criticism leveled toward creative people who dare to put themselves and their work out in the arena. This is one of the most uplifting talks ever and exactly what I needed to hear when I first came across it just before the release of a novel in a genre I’d never written in before.
My favorite quote from the talk: “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked I’m not interested in your feedback.” How about that? She’s talking about the harsh, insensitive, often personal criticism that creatives often get sacked with–not constructive, insightful critiques of our work–which we all need. Video is fifteen minutes long and so worth your time.
Jami Attenberg wrote a post on “Hitting Reset” or starting over on your writing. What that feels like and what goes on inside your head when you decide to take this step with your writing. It doesn’t come easy, but sometimes a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do. Of course you want everyone–editors, agents, reviewers–to think every word you write is golden from the jump. But that isn’t the way it works, as Jami Attenbery lays out so invitingly in her post.
I’ll leave you with this inspiring saying that I came across recently. I tried to figure out who first said it, but a few people have been given credit so I’ll leave it at that. If anyone is able to trace the true source I’d love to know. Leave a comment.
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift.
That’s why we call it “the present.”
Life goes on.
If you enjoyed this post subscribe to “Writing Creatively to get updates when they first come out.