My Dirty Little Secret About Inspiration
A few weeks ago, my writing team at work was talking about inspiration—the whole idea of how we get inspired and what inspires us to write.
During that discussion, I came to realize (along with others on our team), that I don’t have a lot of the traditional, come to Jesus, “inspirational” moments. Don’t get me wrong, I get refreshed and maybe lightly inspired when I go running or sit by an ocean shore at sunset. I’m sure those moments fuel my writing in some way.
But I can’t say that I’m inspired by a lot of books, or movies, or images of sunsets with inspirational quotes. Maybe I am in small ways. I guess you could say a passage from a book might inspire one of my blog posts. But I don’t really have some sort of go-to source of inspiration.
One of my biggest turnoffs is when I’m told I’m about to be inspired—there’s no better way for me to shut down.
For example, the inspirational speakers or the nonfiction self-help books with an endorsement from Tony Robbins saying “this book is guaranteed to inspire you!” Well, I’m guaranteed not to read it.
Another example: Ted Talks. Or 30 minute speeches about overcoming X, Y, or Z. I don’t have anything against talks like that, or the people who enjoy them, but they just don’t do anything for me.
Am I dead inside?
So how do I find inspiration? How do I keep writing at my job everyday and for this blog?
I think it’s just in the little things. Like I mentioned, it’s a brief, well-written sentence I’ve read or a quick three second visual in my head while I’m out running. It’s the activity of reading or getting my blood flowing that ends up inspiring me. Something happens wheI start moving like that.
I believe whatever fleeting moments of inspiration I have come internally, from me doing things on my own. The acts themselves—the reading, the running, the conversation with my wife—end up inspiring me in small ways.
For me, it doesn’t come from external sources—books, speakers, videos, and self-proclaimed “inspirational messages.” For the most part, once you’ve read/heard/watched one of these, then you’ve read/heard/watched them all—much like my fake motivational post on April Fool’s Day.
So again, for me, inspiration is overrated.
So does that make me weird? Unusual?
How do you guys find inspiration to write or do something else that’s an integral part of your life?