Some time ago, I was challenged to list several sources of inspiration and — before I get into that — it has made me ponder the nature of inspiration and what people do with it.
So what is inspiration?
The dictionary says (OK, I’m also an engineer and I like definitions):
inspiration – 1. drawing in of breath, 2. divine influence, esp that which is thought to prompt poets etc, 3. thought that prompts a sudden brilliant or timely idea, 4. inspiring principle.
Interesting. That third definition sounds to me rather like an epiphany — and we all know how much I like those!
But I more commonly associate inspiration with the fourth definition: for me, it’s an enlightened and positive feeling brought on by exposure to something inherently grand.
Inspiration tends to hit me like a wave of adrenalin and makes me want to write. It’s the muse floating above my head, feeding me chocolate and coffee and wine all at the same time. (Unfortunately this all too frequently happens at a time when I can’t write — say,when I’m driving . . . or at work . . . or really late at night.)
In the past, it has also made me want to sing (which for me is often an expression of happiness). Sometimes I even combine the two.
I guess in the broader sense, inspiration is something to do with a sense of purpose, of positivity, of confidence — and, yes, of divine intervention!
The best thing about discussing inspiration — and contemplating those things one finds inspiring — is that it’s bound to activate the creative mojo. So I’m really going to enjoy this series of posts, which I’m launching today. My plan is to share something I find inspiring each Wednesday — and invite discussion, of course.
For this week, I’m going to start with a quote, which I think could almost be a definition of inspiration:
“The best work is done with the heart breaking, or overflowing.”
Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)
How does inspiration strike you — and where do you channel it?