Friday, 28 June 2013

Mystery of Inspiration

Inspiration, friend or foe. It seems to be an enemy if you ain't got it. What the heck is it anyway? Usually when I come to write a blog post there is something that triggers me. 

When it comes to blogging I don't actually know where inspiration comes from. Is it really from all those conversations I had down the pub? Or maybe the many family functions where we debated issues all night? Maybe it's the regurgitation of my daily diet of news? Crikey knows. 

All I can say is that, like a bolt of lightning, something happens and the words just flow and I feel complete in the sense that I have something to say.


But when searching for inspiration, it proves very elusive. I try and go back to the source. I replay the moment of inspiration in my mind trying to work out what happened but it's like looking for the end of the rainbow.

It's almost as though, instead of me finding inspiration, it's inspiration that finds me. In a quick minute it's all there and if you don't try to capture it, it's gone. I recognise it when it happens but I don't have a clue where it comes from. So my questions to you readers and fellow bloggers is:

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Come to think of it, what is inspiration?

I would love to hear your comments, views and opinions on this.

81 comments:

  1. My inspiration comes fton God, my daily life, family and friends. From nature and people in blogworld.

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    1. Inspiration seems to be all around you Joy. Just send some my way when you can. Lovely to hear from you again:)

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  2. For myself inspiration feels as if it's looking for me. When I write a novel I have no idea what will come next. It almost seems as if I'm only reading and typing the story as it comes to me.

    I go back over my work many times to polish it. I make a detailed outline that stops at the place in the story that I'm up to. I can guess what will come next but it's only a guess.

    Sometimes ideas come to me at night. I write them down and go back to sleep.

    I copy photos from the internet of people who look like the characters in my book.

    If I try to control what's happening it often just slows down and stops. Sometimes this can be a bit frightening.

    The entire process is very long, taking several years. I could never make a living from it.

    When I take photographs or work on a project it's less intense but I often seem to be following the progress and not directing it.

    Anyway, that's the way it feels for me.

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    1. It's hard trying to control something that we may not have any influence over. And this is what makes it so frustrating at times.

      I just want to say congratulations again John, because I've read in your recent blog post that you have now published your book earlier than anticipated. That's inspiration for ya!

      I encourage everyone to check out John's new book. You can also read some of the first few chapters free before you purchase, see link below:
      Demons Of His Mind by John A Mallozzi

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  3. Plain and simple
    A chicken farts
    I write about it

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    1. Surely, it can't be that simple John? Ha, ha ha ha

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  4. My inspiration comes from this weed that I've been smoking. =) I'm joking...lol My inspiration comes from life. No matter what it is, human contact influences us and makes us think. For example, my next post is going to be about cars in the parking lot. I'm not going to mention much about it, but human behavior is interesting. It makes me wonder why we do what we do and if there's a reason, a primal reason or simplistic reason why we do certain things.

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    1. Weed, huh? I'm sure it's gives the smoker a special type of 'inspiration' - out of this world!

      I agree, especially if you live in a large, diverse city, you can find inspiration OR be found by it, just like John said.

      Looking forward to checking out your post. I'm intrigued to think what you can create out of cars in a car-park. Thanks mate.

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  5. You've lifted the lid on a fascinating subject. It touches on areas such as the origins of intuition and intelligence. To choose an appropriate quote, one might choose Thomas Edison - "Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration" though, on second thoughts, I don't suppose that really addresses the issue of what 'inspiration' is. So sorry.

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    1. If only I could get that 1% inspiration that he had - everyday I'd be a very happy bunny. Thanks Windbag.

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  6. 9 months ago a friend was looking for inspiration. I told her I'd pick a topic for her to write about. Then I decided to see if others wanted to join in.

    From that, the Secret Subject Swap was born. Every month, anyone who signs up with me and sends in a prompt gets someone else's prompt secretly assigned to them. Two weeks later we all post and link up.

    I don't have any problem with inspiration on those weeks. My friends took care of that.

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    1. Yes, and this is a great example. I enjoy reading the Secret Subject Swaps whenever I can, and you've all had some really fun topics to write about too. It's doing very well for 9 months. Thanks Karen.

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  7. Inspiration is anything that spurs us to action, or at least thought, or even thought of action.

    I keep a notebook with me to jot down inspiration for blog posts. I find them primarily in two spots:

    1) Comments left on other blogs (an extension of the thought that went into the comment
    2) My kids' questions

    I will never remember them all, so i have a notebook brimming with them. Better on paper than in my paper-thin memory.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Eli. In a way, that's what I like about comments. It really can help to get you thinking about something on a different level. It can open your mind to things you might not have ever thought about.

      It's always interesting when children begin asking questions and expect you, as the adult, to always have the perfect answer. It's on those occasions that I hope 'inspiration' hits you hard and fast :)

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  8. I don't have one thing where inspiration comes from, sometimes it is a quote I read, sometimes it is a blog that someone writes, sometimes it is something that has happened to me... all I know is that when I sit down to blog, it usually pours or of me... :)

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    1. Your comment has just got me thinking about something Launna. I'm now wondering... if every time you sit down to blog it pours out of you, is that still inspiration, or is it the case that you have such a natural ability that you don't need it? Thanks for rustling my old brain Launna.

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  9. Your last paragraph about inspiration finding you, and trying to capture it before it's gone, that's just what it's like for me. Sometimes I try too hard to make myself inspired by something, and it's just not there. And sometimes inspiration finds me and I'm too busy and I tell it to wait a while. And then it's gone. I find it to be elusive yet under my nose at the same time. Strange.

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    1. I definitely know what you mean Black Sheep Mom and thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I don't really get inspired to write. I write about life, stuff that annoys or amuses me. If you read my blog.... That is me talking. When I don't have an audience in person I blog it.

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    1. So your writing is the chemistry between what happens to you in life and the way your personality causes you to react to it. Similarly to what I wrote to Launna, it's interesting that you don't regard this as coming under the title of 'inspiration'. You're just a natural Jamie. Thanks for the comment mate.

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  11. I get my inspiration to write by just being observant and experiencing life. Living in NYC I can get inspired just by walking down the street, sitting in a park, or going out to dinner. Inspiration can strike me at any time, especially if I find something humorous or outrageous. People watching or just seeing some unknown performer in the subway conjures up so many thoughts and inspires.It's just a gut feeling and something that happens in a split second.

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    1. Oh Phil, your blog is inspiring all right - Enough to give me a hernia!

      You have a way of mixing 'pornographic food' (and it is graphic) with humour, quality information on places and spaces all mixed with everyday life. It's brilliant. Need I say more.

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    2. Dude - I am blushing! I'm flattered. Thanks for the kind words.

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  12. Inspiration is a bit like the mystery of a flame - I could read extensively about it and analyze its exact components, but then isn't the magic gone afterwards? It perhaps could be measured and analyzed - but would it retain its magic and power to surprise? Where do thoughts come from - are they our own, or do they come from outside our minds? When our senses take in information, what does our brain do with the images and sounds and feelings? Human ingenuity and creativity astonishes me all the time - how did anyone know to dig up horseradish root and slap it on beef? Who knew we needed satellite radio? What prompted the inspiration behind the amazing inventions in our world? You've gone and done it now - I'll be thinking about it all night... :)

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    1. Thanks a lot, Melody! I come to you with a mystery and you wrap it up in a puzzle and then box it up in an enigma... when it comes to deep thinking, I feel like I'm in the paddling pool compared to you :)

      I'd love to know the exact details of how some people came up with those great inventions for real. I mean, the hovercraft, the microwave... and what in the world prompted someone to invent an electric nose-hair remover!?!?!?!?
      Always good to hear from you Melody.

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  13. Sometimes it's easy - I can just sit down and think of something to write. Other times I have to keep at it and keep at it.
    Sometimes I realise that I can't get the words out and just have to admit defeat.
    Just one of those things.

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    1. Likewise Big D. I don't like to be defeated but sometimes you have to give in and move on to something else, until Mr Inspiration decides to come knocking again. Thanks mate.

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  14. Sometimes, I feel I'm inspired after reading some posts in friends' blogs. They gave me the ideas on what to write - i.e. writing in my own style. Apart from that nature and everything around me give me much inspiration - the sounds, colours and the moment.

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    1. Blogs can be a good way of seeing things from another ones point of view, and it can push you in all directions. I'm in awe of some of the things I read. I'm just left thinking... how did they dream that one up?
      Thanks for the comment Balqis.

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  15. Inspiration strikes in the most unexpected situations and at weird times - like having just woken up after a weird dream. That's why I have a trusty notebook with me. That helps enormously.

    :-)

    Cheers

    PM

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    1. Actually I haven't written an article on my blog in a few weeks. Due to being so busy with tennis and working on another site I hardly had any time. Besides all that I have not made any money with my blog, and the traffic is very small. I was actually thinking of giving up. But then three people inspired me to keep going. That was my aunt and two of my uncles. They all said they really liked the work I was doing and that they were very impressed. So I have decided to come back and to keep my blog updated.

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    2. That's the thing Plastic Mancunian. It always hits you when you're least expecting it. Always off guard where if you don't take it there and then, it's off to trouble someone else. The notepad is always a great idea, I've now started using my mobile as a dictaphone when inspiration strikes. Thanks for leaving a comment PM.

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    3. I'm glad they did Susana. Blogging is not always easy, as I'm sure you've heard a lot of people say this. I guess it comes naturally to some people and they are the fortunate ones (jealousy has just come upon me) but at times we do need a break just to refresh our minds and focus our thoughts on where we want to go. Just do what you can when you can and hopefully all will be well. Thanks for commenting Susana.

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  16. For me, inspiration comes out of nowhere. Like you said, it finds me, instead of me finding it. It's actually kind of counter-productive to seek it; usually just ends in frustration.

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    1. Like a bolt of lightening, unexpected. Nothing you can do to bring it on... except maybe go kite flying in a thunderstorm or wear a tin-foil hat.
      Always glad to hear from you Helena.

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  17. To me, its like a cloud that forms and takes shape in front of my eyes. Sometimes when you see a cloud it has a certain look, a certain shape, but someone else sees the same cloud and they see something different. Inspiration is quite a bit like that to me. Sometimes, its just a cloud, but sometimes I can see the exact same cloud twice and see different things.

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    1. I see what you mean Dan. I wonder if this is what happens to artists, when they sit and stare at a painting for ages. They seem to find all different angles from the same painting. Thanks for the comment mate.

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  18. Hie RPD... How's you??
    Inspiration for me need not to come from an long statements made, or lengthy pages read. It is enough for me to even read a word or a phrase also. It doesn't come from anywhere. Sometimes, we inspire ourselves, sometimes even the world fall less to inspire us. I think It is all in our mind. When we take things positively, it is an inspiration and when we don't they are just "words".
    As usual.. Nice post. :)

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    1. I do see your point Esabella.
      So you see inspiration as positivity that we can draw from the world or just from ourselves? I see what you mean about 'just words' as well. The amount of times I've written and rewritten something, then just looked at it and sent it straight to the recycle bin.

      But are you saying that negative inspirations don't cause us to take action? Just a thought from your comment but thanks for stopping by.

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  19. Inspiration does not come easy for me when I sit around thinking up things to blog. Lately my inspiration for posting has been coming from an experience, conversation I might have had or something I've read. But I do have to say, I love that flowing feeling when is naturally comes to me and I begin to write, hell for a few minutes it can make me feel like Hemingway, lol. Thanks for an awesome post!

    Madison:)

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    1. I like the way you put that - the 'flowing' feeling is awesome. There's no struggling, no thinking about what to do next, it's just so automatic. Nice one My Meddling Mind.

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  20. Well I guess mine just comes to me in many forms, a picture, a smile, a sunset, a song... I can go on forever here heheh.

    All I know is that when it comes to me I can go on and on writing forever good or bad as it may be ;)

    Thanks RPD

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    1. Hotei, you're very fortunate to have your inspiration come from so many sources. Or like I said earlier, could it be that you are a natural writer? I always appreciate you stopping by.

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  21. Knowing that I could, in my own little way, become a source of inspiration to others, then I would be so much inspired as well.

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    1. What a lovely thought Napoleon. As someone said above, often we can draw inspiration from reading the posts and comments of others. That's why I value the interaction on this blog so much. It gives us the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and stoke one anothers fire. Thanks for stopping by Napoleon.

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  22. I think inspiration is an illusive mystery. Sometimes the harder you search for it the less likely you are too find it. It can strike at any time and when it does I try to embrace it - or at least reach for a notebook!

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    1. If only I could find it like a game of 'hide and seek'. I would keep it around forever and never let it leave my side. Thanks for commenting Suzanne.

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  23. That's the funny thing about inspiration, it just hits you. BAM! With me, I never know what it will be. There are two kinds for me: the totally random ones that spur a new thought and the ones that suddenly connect all the dots. I love both!

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    1. Ah, you hit a new angle here, ie: 'two kinds'. And I've experienced both of the ones you mentioned. When my dots get connected I see it as confirmation of what I was doing or I was on the right track. But then there's the one that seems to come out of the blue. You've given me a broader perspective to reflect on. Thanks Janene

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  24. Inspiration hits me at random moments and times. I especially like when it comes from a person or place I wasn't expecting. The surprise of it reminds me to stay curious and open. I don't like it so much when inspiration occurs while crossing a busy city street with groceries in one hand, my daughter in the other, and no hope of writing the brilliant thought down.

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    1. Gina, that's why you should eat foods that will nourish the brain and keep your memory fresh, ha ha ha.

      A lot of people so far speak of having to seize the moment when inspiration hits and write it down. And it's true. It's funny how something so intense and vivid can be lost if it isn't captured close enough to the moment when it arrives. Nice one Gina left the mall.

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  25. As I see it: there is no such thing as Inspiration. :(

    Whatever a human being got that looks as a insufflated gift from above, or from down there, it is the outcome of a not known yet chemical-electrical combination in the axons, all this controlled by the mind.

    This wonderful if unknown occurrence seems to be the adding of factual, oneiric, and general experience earned by the subject.

    Unfortunately, not all people is prone to take advantage of this special gift, but all of us have at least a residual part of it.

    In my case I can be in a barren soil for a time and then, after a casual fact, thought, or circumstance that triggers something in the brain, there appears as if by magic, in clear light, the lines of an idea or notion which can be used as 'inspiration'!

    Sorry to be so pedestrian and unimaginative! :)

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    1. It's always good to have your own opinion Od, plus it challenges me to thing of the opposing views. And I've been thinking about what you have said. Although you say 'there is no such thing as inspiration', could 'inspiration' be the 'triggers' you spoke of? Could that 'casual fact' or 'clear light' be what actually hits you and inspiration takes place? Just a thought.

      I don't think you're unimaginative at all, I've been reading your blog for such a long time now, and you certainly don't fit into that category. Your comments are always appreciated Od Liam.

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  26. I seem to get bursts of inspiration to write at random, but when I do I try to start writing as soon as possible. I never know how long the inspiration will last.

    I find that when I'm inspired to write an article, the words flow seamlessly and the article is lively and energetic. When I don't write with inspiration, it's much harder--not to mention nowhere near as fun.

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    1. That's what can be hard about this blogging game Jkwealth. We need to be punctual and come up with something on a regular basis. Inspiration, on the other hand, seems to have a mind of its own. Nice to hear from you.

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  27. "instead of me finding inspiration, it's inspiration that finds me."
    ---I feel the exactly same way! I think, we do need to be truthful to ourselves, living in a relaxing state, then inspiration could find us more often. From this experience, I would say, inspiration is a state that our individual life beings find connection with a larger existence.

    Great topic and thought provoking as usual. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. That's true, what you say about living in a relaxing state, Yun Yi because some of the times I find it hardest to blog is when I feel pressure to do so. It feels like the more strongly I feel the need to come up with an idea, the more inspiration grows wings and flies away from me. Sadly relaxation isn't one of RDP's strong points! Good to hear from you Yun Yi.

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  28. Inspiration is a interesting phenomena. For me, it comes from many sources. Being a Christian writer, blogger, and a preacher, a lot of my inspiration comes from studying the Bible and God blessing me with fresh insights on the Scriptures. I also get lots of inspiration from everyday life and interacting with people. I seldom go on an expedition in search of inspiration, but I live each day with my radar on because I never know when inspiration will come and whom it will come from and I don't want to miss it when it comes.

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    1. I love what you said about 'live each day with my radar on' because I didn't always listen when I had an inspirational thought. I would not take any notice and just move on with my day only to later regret that I didn't act on what I thought about.

      You have to have an open mind, to be able to recognise it when it comes knocking at the door.

      Your approach makes me think of an ambush predator who lies and waits for the prey to come to it, then grabs it, rather than chase it down. Thanks Frank.

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  29. Inspiration is everywhere. It depends upon what your antennae picks up. I get ideas all the time, especially late night and early morning. That's when I get bombarded, and my brain yells, "Incoming!"

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    1. I wondering if the times you get inspired are the moments when you are not so busy. Either because you haven't plunged into the demands of the day yet, or because it's all over.

      Perhaps I need to think a bit about whether there's times when I'm more open to it.Thanks Lauren.

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    2. Interesting thought. I definitely think the ideas flow more freely when I'm not concentrating on other things. That explains why I get a lot of ideas while watching TV.

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  30. My friend,

    Inspiration, of course, can come from many sources. It can come from the observation of things that sometimes we don't take the time to observe. Inspiration also comes from inspiring each other. I have found, though I didn't ask for it, inspiration can come from adversity. When challenged by situations I didn't ask for, I'm inspired by the positive choices on offer in what appears to be only a negative scenario.

    I wish to thank you for your kind, supportive comment on my latest posting. Be well, find inspiration and remember you inspire just by asking the question.

    Gary

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    1. Thank you Gary for your kind words. I'd like to think I could find inspiration in the difficulties I sometimes face, but I think it takes a strong person to go beyond the discouragement to do this. That's where the mutual support that we can give one another as Blogging-Friends comes in - 'Blends' that's my new word.

      I always do my best to try and support anyone (if I can) who is having a tough time. Sometimes things that are said in a comment can make your day a little easier, or change a negative thought into a positive one. It's happened to me many times Gary :)
      Thanks mate.

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  31. I think I'm in the same category as you Rum, I can't set out to find inspiration - it is just like you said, as if you are trying to catch a rainbow.

    My blog is very different though, as I write poetry, flash fiction and prose so a lot of my writing has already been written and then the rest are things I find interesting, plus what is happening with my own personal writing journey. When I sit down to write it, it just flows, I don't think much, I just write the stream of thoughts that come to mind. Also I have read a lot of 'How to write' type books/articles and 99% of them say not to wait for inspiration, that you should write everyday! That for me would be a complete, waste of time! An idea/inspiration comes to me and it has to grow and change in my head before I even write it down.

    I think maybe the answer should be that wherever you find inspiration is personal to you, no one else can tell you what it looks like or where it is because it's as unique as our fingerprints :)

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    1. Learning to recognise the voice of inspiration is really a process of getting to know yourself. And since we're all different the kind of inspiration we get is also unique for each one of us. Always nice to hear from you Jade.

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  32. I may be a bit odd, but I find that if I keep myself open, a word (subject) pops into my head. The word itself may be inspired by an object, thing, or conversation. During a bath, I looked up at the window curtain and the large knot in the curtain came into my head. It wouldn't leave. I did a blog about knots. My last blog was about time. A potential buyer was trying to reduce my paintings to the element of time and cost. Life itself influences us every day!

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    1. Wow, Carol. So you can build a post from just a word! It's amazing to me the amount of different experiences and sources of inspiration I'm learning about here. I had no idea when I set out on this topic how much I would learn about you all!
      I do hope to pop over soon Carol, I've just overwhelmed with things recently.

      Can you leave us all a link to your lastest posts on 'knots' and 'time' please. Thanks mate.

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  33. This is a very interesting topic. Inspiration is a mysterious force. When we create, inspiration comes to us, sooner or later. My inspiration is very active whenever I travel or visit new places. Reading and being in touch with nature are also good triggers.
    Have an inspiring day. Dreams can be sources of inspiration.
    The essence of this force is a mysterious as the serendipity of life and the nature of creativity.
    Good post.

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    1. The more I think about it the more I think this force is something that everyone can be open to and tap into, so long as they know how... and have found their outlet. For some it's writing, for other painting (Or both, like Carol), or it could be dance or any number of things.
      Thanks for the comment Julia :)

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  34. I think anything that influences or move you to a certain action or emotion is inspiration. I'm mostly inspired by life's events, conversations or thoughts when it comes to blogging. There are times when I write on topics just as a source on information and not necessarily because I'm inspired. Great and thought provokng post as usual

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    1. Just a wild thought here Hope - perhaps even when you give information that's also something you do because you're inspired to.
      Good to hear from you Hope.

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  35. RPD...

    Been busy and I apologize for being late to your party, another great one. As well, another tough one to answer.

    I will use as an example, the 4 Day Training Class I was sent to over the weekend (Fri thru Mon). It was a "Train the Trainer" Course that my Director at work wanted me to attend. It was intense and a lot of information was fed to us. Saturday & Sunday were spent outdoors for about 8 or 9 hours each day. We were being evaluated on our ability to train others, given the subject being taught. Finally, on Monday afternoon, we were given a written test. And obviously, one would have to pass both the outdoor evaluations as well as the written test to be certified as instructors and pass the Course. That said...

    This was something that I have wanted and I have made my Director aware of it. I have spoken to my wife over the past few months of wanting to do something in this area. And at work, some of the workers under me have encouraged me. So, going into this Training, I was inspired greatly to do well. I had many people that I so wanted to show that I "could do this." I wanted to be able to smile and say: I did it!!! But, in addition to everyone mentioned above, I wanted to show and/or prove to myself that I could it and that inspired me. And finally, I prayed that I would do well. I had inspiration from "all around."

    I will say this: Come Monday afternoon, my two evaluators sat me down and one told me that "I stood out above the others." The other told me that I did a "great job." Then, we took our written test. Out of all the students taking the Course, only two made 100. Fortunately, I was one of them. I don't say this with a Big Head, and I hope this is not taken as "bragging." I'm just trying to answer your question with this recent example. I was so proud of the results. I was so happy to share these results with my wife, etc., and I know my success was due to the inspiration to do well given me by all the above aforementioned people.

    Take care, my Man, Slu

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    1. Another brilliant example of how inspiration from 'all around' helped you to succeed in what you wanted to do. A big 'thumbs up' to you mate, you nailed the course and came out top of the class in the process. That's not bragging at all. We should stand proud and loud more often when we do good and achieve our goals because enough is mentioned when things go wrong, so congratulations for reaching so far.

      You must have been knackered with the amount of driving you had to do to get there and back though, but it was all worth it in the end Slu. Your wife must have been so happy and overjoyed.

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  36. Inspiration always hits me at the oddest times---usually in the shower or while I am at the gym. Of course there is no way to write down my thoughts at that time, so I have to try to remember everything. Right now I am on vacation---usually by this time of the week I have already written my draft of my Friday blog post...this week, I have NOTHING....I am ridiculously relaxed and there are no words of inspiration coming out of me....just sight seeing and spending tine with my family...so I'll probably end up doing a re-post!

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    1. Mama, remember I've been reading your blog for a while now, and you have more than enough inspiration, if you know what I mean :) Anymore, and the nice men in white coats WILL turn up for you AND your family, ha h aha.

      I'm hoping that you are really enjoying your holiday with your family and I'm sure you'll let us know all the crazy things that happened whilst you were away. In fact, I'm bracing myself for it. Enjoy Menopausal mama.

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  37. Love this! I'm the same, when I feel it I write. I hope to always be inspired whether it's because of something good or bad. Things that evoke a thought/emotion are things i'm passionate about and choose to write about.

    I had a blog a while back that you check out and have since closed that blog and started fresh. Check me out: www.herlightshines.com

    And keep writing :)

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    1. Thanks and welcome Tiara. I'll definitely take a look at your blog for sure. Hope to hear from you again and thanks for the comment.

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  38. Inspiration is anything that makes you think and want to create. It can come from any where or anything. I believe everyone has there own opinion on what "it" is but we get doses of inspiration from all around.

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    1. Thanks Kissa. I would just like a few more doses though :)
      It's good to hear from you.

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