Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where does your burning fire of inspiration come from?

Do you think it has its season?
Some of my best moments writing are done with such discipline. Taking a nice walk is as important as part of the writers routine, and looking back they click as being some of my very best memories. I remember I use to carry salami sticks and bread in my pocket, and hike up a mountain or to a good stretch of beach, or loose myself in the trees or bike somewhere far to take in breath-taking scenery. Looking back, it’s what being a writer is really all about-mostly, when submerged into solitude as its process. I would return home hungry and look forward to eating before starting another session. And yes, cooking can also help in the process. Just the homely smells of food, especially on a cold day makes you want to create that safe cocoon about yourself. For some of you, I know its music.
But do writers really need to be alone? It’s amazing how we can be so sociable in this new tech age of blogs, twitter and face-book. Some I hear need the noise and hectic combustion of people about them. I’ve heard some sit in busy train stations or airports to pick up that energy to write something down. Sometimes one can thrive on chaos. Mostly for me I’m inspired immersed in the solitude of nature. I have been known to take sporadic moments off to my car to write in my note-books, during a break at work. Some I’m sure have switched their computer screens from office work to their word story they were working on. Sometimes it might be star-bucks or a library for a change for some, or just to get away from the noise that is at home with family by transforming one noise for another. Other times it’s just a simple balance requirement, a new perspective that one needs to reach first.
Writers are also sensitive. I have been convinced at times I shouldn’t write, when I need to concentrate on certain realities that need my immediate attention about me. Things that should be top priority, before my writing, like survival. But when nothing is moving in me- nothing gets done. And then out of the blue one’s writing appears again, saying, ‘I’m top priority, not the other stuff in reality I’m worried about.’
My fears take over and nervousness runs through me, and I’m filled with anxiety and I’m probably watching another re-run by now of the Kardasians, or it’s another cooking show, or the home buyer’s channel. Living on the edge, trying to fight- not to write, is hell. I tell myself, that there is no time for the writer right now. I must do these other things first, but the other things continue to hide. I make no lee-way with them, but now the writer is allowed TIME?
Either way, I seem to be in a dilemma, so, If I’m allowed to write suddenly- then I write, and voila, I feel happy again. That strange feeling in my gut has gone, and I can say at this point, what ever comes, I will deal with it when it shows up. All which seems to need another kind of inspiration to address those other matters now placed on the back burner again. Quite a writers process, eh?
Other times I could just be sitting quietly on the house porch with my coffee, where no note-pad is necessary and walk back inside the house to jot down notes. This has been my way mostly these days since social internet took over. But it’s the very alone moments I seem to remember mostly where I thrive in writing, when I capture the sky in a certain way, or light passing through a forest- that brings that feeling of being so alive, or reflections in the water. Feeling the chill or a warm sun and the walk home satisfied, knowing I had written so many words that morning. I would then take a substantial lunch before the next session of writing began. If I was really immersed in the writing process, I would take another short evening walk and get a third session in before the day was out, and then start all over again the next day.
But really, where does inspiration come from? And does it also have its seasons? Do you think evolution has a play in it? I have known those long periods with writing absolutely nothing too. Waiting for inspiration sometimes it’s dark and deep, or it can make you feel hopeless and drive you nuts. It can feel you have stewed forever, while learning to grow another inch or two before any inspiration returned. Maybe we need to know that other side of the coin to get inspiration. Sometimes it feels like a complete letting go is required. How many weeks or months or years elapsed for you without writing? Did you ever give up thinking you would ever write again, or even want to? What was it that hindered you?
Was it just your basic survival in these economic times? Does inspiration take faith?
To quote some passages from the bible.
A cool inspirational link that is relevant: http://bible.org/seriespage/diem-count-social-security
Matthew 6:26   Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:27   Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Then out of the blue, a little angel sprinkles inspiration dust all over you?
Suddenly you are actually writing words down again in a rush of excitement, that you can’t get them down fast enough. Did it make you suddenly feel so alive? How did that happen for you?
From whence it comes and whence it goes- I do not know, but did you ever thank that wondrous presence called inspiration after? Who and what is inspiration to you?

Jacqueline Howett

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Here's a book recommendation guys! Rock The Casbah By Robin Wright.

Given to reflections on the Arab world, this was a book I had seen around for a while, but it wasn't until it really came to my attention while watching T.V. and Charlie Rose was interviewing the author Robin Wright on her  book "Rock The Casbah," that I felt compelled to recommend it. And I think we have Charlie Rose to thank for bringing out the best in this author with all that is hope and light. She relates so well to what's going on in the Arab world, and I can say, I feel it has a wonderful refreshing view point- so spot on. She certainly has her finger on the pulse of the Arab world. She also speaks in simple terms that makes it all so easily understood, where others have failed to give such clarity in their feed back. I believe her book is a great stepping stone towards a clearer understanding, and it just might bring a more open re pore with the Arab world. There are so many nuggets to digest, like, "how it will take the Arabs a while as yet to arrive, and when they do, they will do it their way."

To quote here a sentence from her book, 

Two of the men were smoking hubbly-bubbly water pipes, "The jihadis have lost their appeal," reflected Khaled Al Maeena, the editor of the Arab news. 
     "Every mother in Saudi Arabia or any other Gulf country wants her son or daughter to carry a laptop rather than a rifle or a dagger," he said. "The appeal of death and destruction doesn't carry much significance anymore because the jihadis have failed to provide anything constructive."
The transformation did not happen suddenly.

To read more from the above excerpt, click here to read it on Amazon or download a free sample.

Why do we need to understand?
We need to feel comforted by the positive side to an extent- don't we? With this kind of understanding many might consider taking off their own army boots now. And who better to explain this, than Robin Wright- once you get to know her. Yes, many like myself are just beginning to play catch-up.


To know more about Robin or follow her links, please click on the wikipedia link below, or simply click on the guest/view link she had with Charlie Rose on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service).



Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

Jacqueline Howett