Category Archives: Inspiration

Turn on the Faucet

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” -Louis L’amour

One of my most popular posts on this page is titled 6 Ways to Find Creative Motivation. One of the reasons why think it’s so popular is that as creatives we sometimes struggle to find the determination and willpower to work on our craft. Sometimes we lose passion. Sometimes we grow tired. When that happens we expect there to be some easy way to ignite the fire within us. However, we just have to change our thinking because the fire and passion we need, comes from within.

I recently read a book on leadership for work entitled The Servant by James C. Hunter. The lesson that stood out to me the most and was the idea that you must take action first and then inspiration will follow. It may seem a little backwards. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s true. Whether it’s within my writing or conquering a task like cleaning the house, getting started is always the hardest part. But like the quote mentioned above, once you turn the faucet on the water starts to flow.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Instead of wasting time looking elsewhere for inspiration and motivation all you really have to do is start. It sounds too good to be true. I promise you that once you jump that hurdle and get started the task becomes much easier.

“We are more likely to act ourselves into a feeling than feel ourselves into action.” -Jerome Bruner

As I’m writing this blog post right now- I’m exhausted. I’ve been burning both ends of the candle. Sometimes I feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew but I’m striving for a better me and isn’t that worth going the extra mile for? So I made myself sit down at my desk despite my exhaustion to churn out this blog post. Not only have I proved to myself everything that I’ve stated within this post by doing so, but I hope that I’ve also inspired some of you.

Take that first step. Turn on the faucet.

Happy creating.
-RB

Music that Inspires

As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, music can fuel writing. But it’s not just the lyrics that can be inspiring. Music videos are like mini-films. They can tell a story or give you a glimpse of a bigger picture in just a few minutes. They can give you insights into a character or ideas for a character.

As a writer, I think there is a lot of inspiration to be gathered from other art. Art begets art, right? I’m a believer. So here is a little inspiration for your Monday. I hope you can gain inspiration for a character or plot point, and if you’re reading this and you’re not a writer, I hope you gain inspiration for one of your endeavors anyway.

Enjoy.

Dealing With a Day Job You Hate: Creating Castles from Carriers

Today I was sitting at my desk, staring out the window as rain pelted against it intermittently. Suddenly, a writing prompt came to mind! For almost seven years now I have held a day job in a place where I feel like a total outsider. Not only am I a female in a mostly male construction world but I’m also an artist in a world populated my engineers and others inclined towards mathematics. I held down a few others jobs before that, always knowing that this wasn’t the end result – that this wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Looking back at my childhood, I remember knowing even then that I was not meant for a typical 9-5 job. However, as time went on and I graduated from high school, I entered the work force to pay for clothes and college books, etc. One part of me wishes I had taken my writing more seriously back then but another part of me is glad that I waited for more life experience before sitting down to take part in the craft.

Using Creativity to Cope with the Day Job

Speaking with a friend at work about the rain that we’ve had on and off for the past two weeks (an unusually wet July), I mentioned, “I wonder if this is how people in England feel?” I’ve always wanted to visit England. I feel a strong pull towards both the location and the culture. It’s almost as though something inside of me is saying, “you belong over here!”

I went on to say, “I wouldn’t mind this weather so much if I had castles to stare at instead of carriers.” Outside of my office window I am greeted every day by a view of the USS Enterprise and the USS Gerald R. Ford. Constructed of rust and steel, my original thought was just how far from castles they really were. However, I began to think of how much they were similar to castles. And in some weird way this resulted in a means to cope.

Building Castles from Carriers

Though my job has become exponentially better since I first started working there, I often still feel imprisoned. Silly as it may sound, I started comparing my workplace to the “days-of-old.” This simple exercise in creativity might become a fun way to get through the tougher days.

After all, it isn’t a lie to say that I work inside of a gated fortress. The moat surrounding the fortress is represented by the druggies and criminals that peruse the area. We are constantly under attack by unseen forces (cyber-terrorism). And when you really look at them, how different are castles and carriers, really?

Letting the Imagination Roam

My new tactic for dealing with my day job is to pretend I’m really working for a fierce and righteous ruler. After all, both carriers and castles would have been built with blood, sweat and tears from the workers. I know I’ve given my fair share. They both take a long time to build and are constructed with the finest materials available. They both see battle, be under siege and be protected by legions of soldiers. I could go on, but I think you get the gist.

Sure. It sounds silly. But thinking I’m walking into a medieval adventure everyday is so much better than the soul-sucking alternative. Do you have a soul-sucking job? Or are you stuck in a day job where you feel you don’t belong? Feel stuck to a job because the pay is good? If you’ve got any fun and imaginative ideas on turning your day job into something fun, please share them below!

-RB

10 Songs for Creative Inspiration (Pt. 1)

I love music even though I can’t read it and can’t sing worth a damn. It’s an art I truly appreciate. Sometimes, I use it for writing inspiration. Other times I write in silence. Every artist has their own preference. While I often feel that music with words can be distracting while writing, I guess it depends on my mood because I will listen to both. Below, I’ve inserted some of the songs on my current writing playlist.

My partner always comments on how he thinks a lot of the music I listen to “is so sad.” I find creative inspiration and wonder in them. Some of the songs below start out slow and then pick up. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! If you have any song suggestions, please leave a comment below.

Many of these songs don’t have official videos.

Happy listening!

-RB

Laurel – Blue Blood

Rag’n’Bone Man – Human

Pogo – Lost

Aqualung – To the Wonder

Oh Wonder – Technicolor Beat

Architecture in Helsinki – Do the Whirlwind

Soap&Skin – Me and the Devil

Jaymes Young – Moondust

LP – Muddy Water

Troye Sivan – Fools

9 Writing Prompts to Jump-Start Creativity

With the end of Camp NaNoWriMo in sight, some have already reached their monthly goals while others are still reaching for the finish line. Don’t fret! It’s not too late to get some more words in, even if it’s not on your original project. After all, one of the main points of the NaNoWriMo challenges is to get you to write everyday. With that being said, here are 9 writing prompts to carry you through this last weekend and hopefully the finish line.

9 Writing Prompts

  1. Local townsfolk see a witch fly over the moon on a broomstick…literally.
  2. A loved one is reincarnated as their widow’s (or widower’s) house plant. Tell a story from their POV.
  3. Start a new scene by finishing this dialogue: “If we get this money…”
  4. A woman who has been missing for three weeks suddenly reappears with no memory of where she has been for that time.
  5. “Trespassers will be prosecuted.” Local teens wander onto a “vacant” lot.
  6. A woman receives a fortune telling her to be more daring, “Fortune favors the brave.” She takes the advice to heart and shows kindness to a man who breaks into her home. What happens next?
  7. Tell a story from a house’s POV or even just the stories from one room.
  8. “When her head hit the floor, it bounced slightly then came to a halt as her eyes stared blankly ahead. She wasn’t supposed to die. Not like that.”
  9. A person stumbles across a tombstone with their name on it…and perhaps their birth year.

I hope that some of these (at least one) will benefit you and help get the creative cogs turning in your brain. Sometimes when I read  writing prompts, I have new ideas. Did any of these stand out to you? If so, which ones? Did they spark any creative fires? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy writing!

-RB