Thanks so much to Yvonne Perry for sharing her thoughts on self-publishing with us on the last post, and to all of you for participating in the conversation! We’ve had a great discussion on various self-publishing options and related upcoming events for writers and editors, so if you haven’t read the 32 comments attached to the past post, please do so if you’re interested.
We do indeed have many writers, authors and editors who read this blog. But we also have many lovers of life, so every now and then I like to ponder life and see what’s making us all tick.
This past week I posted something on Twitter that seemed to get a huge response! It was a “retweet” of a inspirational quote I got from the folks at the Inspirational Quote of the Day service. Each day they deliver an amazing quote to inspire my day and I consider it to be one of my best subscription services.
The quote that got all the attention was this one: “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” This is a quote by Win Borden, an American writer.
When it comes to writing, I am most inspired by the friendships in my life and the accomplishments of my fellow members at PWAC, TWUC , TMAC and Toastmasters who have been achieving great things. I think that’s part of the “reason to belong.” We inspire one another, support one another and mentor one another when our inspiration needs a little inspiring!
As we get older, we seem to need inspiring in many aspects of our lives. I find that my body is often less than inspired — when it comes to many things! But I have my friends at Curves to thank for inspiring me on the fitness front. They have taught me to eat healthier, to exercise whenever I can and not feel guilty if I can’t make it to the gym as often as I’d like. Life gets in the way. Curves is great for keeping things fresh and recently brought in Zumba to continue to challenge and inspire us. Love it! If you’ve never tried Zumba, you’re missing out on the time of your life! Shaking, shimmying, and cavorting to Latin music sure inspires me!
But really, I have to look no further than across the kitchen table for my daily dose of inspiration. My husband, Reg, has had the most challenging year of his life. Last February, he had bypass surgery. An infection ensued. In September, he had a severe case of cellulitis. This February, he had a serious fall that cracked his forehead open, the trauma from which triggered a bilateral case of gout (with which he’s still dealing.)
Despite the daily challenges, he has remained positive and for the most part, grateful for the good things in his life. He has been an inspiration to me to focus on the positive, be grateful for the good things and not dwell on what we cannot control.
Where do you turn for inspiration? Has there been a turning moment in your life that set you sailing? Please share your words of inspiration with us. I really cherish the discussions we have on this blog.
Chocolatour is a fascinating tour of chocolate around the world. I especially enjoyed learning how chocolate is made and Doreen’s travels to see this process firsthand. If you enjoy chocolate and travel, this scrumptious book and blog is for you. Volume one of Chocolatour admirably fulfilled the promise of its publicity. and it covers the chocolate suppliers of Europe and the UK, and mentions chocolate events and attractions from around the World. I will also buy the next volumes even though I do not expect to visit the areas covered, but I will eat the chocolates from those places.
Thanks so much for your words of support, Madeline. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed volume I of Chocolatour and are anxiously awaiting volume II. That unfortunately has been delayed due to the pandemic, but there is loads of info on my site to give readers a good idea of coverage that will be given to areas of the Americas and the Caribbean and the tremendous chocolate they are producing. I hope you’ve subscribed to my site so that you don’t miss any new posts.
Hii Doreen thanks for this . thats a good thanks
Thanks for doing that, Doreen. I'm going to be hosting an empathy telesummit in late September. Please share this with those you think would enjoy knowing more about how the Earth's shift is affecting energy-sensitive people and what they can do about it. http://whosestuffisthis.blogspot.com/2011/05/teleseminar-on-empathy.html
I think I need to slow down, Yvonne. I have noticed such signs/omens on occasion but have rarely slowed down to contemplate their significance. Thanks for the reminder. (And I have passed your comment directly on to Emma in the event that she hadn't subscribed to the comments feature of this blog.) I am now feeling very driven — and inspired. The time has come for me to move forward with the biggest project of my career.
Thanks to everyone for your inspiration.
Signs from the Universe or our spiritual guidance (like owls in trees) are so encouraging when we have uncertainty in our lives. Thanks for sharing, Em. I had several of these signs when I was considering writing my book about being an empath.
Thanks for joining us here on the blog, Emma.
Your words on inspiration are sound. Sometimes it is a small thing (such as your owl in the tree) that can give us strength and motivation to persevere. Sometimes it is the kind and knowledgeable words of those who surround us.
We do indeed have some amazing people right here in D64 Toastmasters. I am happy to have found you there.
Do drop in here again soon.
I finally made it to your blog! I wanted to throw my pennies into the ring here. Many things inspire me, and many people.
After 9/11 I was headed back to work amid the desperation and fear of further attacks I was living in the US), and I saw an owl sitting in a tree. That simple vision reminded me that although humanity had been thrown into confusion and terror, the natural world was unaffected. I felt at peace, and rested, even though my work place (The US Navy) was in chaos. That tree was a source of peace and inspiration to me for the next 3 years.
Some of the people who have inspired me include Dianne Boulay, who is just serene. Whenever I am driving and running late, I remind myself of her words of wisdom about staying calm and being safe, instead of driving like a crazy thing and saving 30 seconds of time. I am also inspired by Shelley Walker, who is knowledgeable and wise, and yet so humble. Les Staats was a great inspiration to me, such a wonderful, gentle man. I think about him everyday, how generous he was with himself and his knowledge, and how he always had words of comfort and kindness, even to complete strangers.
There are many others, but these are the ones that are at the forefront of my mind.
Thanks so much for your comment, Mike. It's always great to have you among us.
And thanks for sending me to the dictionary! I like being called unstoppable! I'm hoping that determination will soon land me a most favourable publishing contract.
Thanks, also, for the standing invitation to visit Thunder Bay. I should line up a speaking gig re volunteerism. Have been doing an increasing number and they have been going well. Hope to see you soon!
I'm so very sorry to hear about Reg's health challenges Doreen. My deepest condolences to both of you. But I know all too well that your spirit is indomitable, and with your help, I'm sure Reg will make a full recovery.
Take care of yourself through all this. And know that if you ever need to get away from things for a while, there's a spare bedroom with your name on it down the road here on the shores of Lake Superior.
Lisa Bendall tried to post a comment and had difficulty doing so, so she has asked me to post for her.
"Great comments here, Doreen! I get my inspiration from our fantastic family, friends and neighbours… who have been so supportive through a few challenges we've faced recently. I also get inspired by reflecting on the positives in our lives."
Thanks for your comments, Lisa. And for those who don't know her,
Lisa has a terrific, award-winning, inspiring blog at:www.50gooddeeds.com
Right on, Ian! Isn't it wonderful when, in our work as writers, we are able to help a special cause or someone who needs some publicity to take them to the next level? That's in part what I love about the writing life. We share our inspiration with others and hope they catch the spirit. Write on!
I am a regular freelance contributor to a weekly English-language newspaper in Montreal, The Suburban. Like any community-based paper, it has less of a national outlook than say The Gazette. It's focus is often on people who might not otherwise be highlighted for what they do, often on a volunteer basis.
A friend of mine told me about his son,an accomplished Hollywood actor who is moving into the production side of things with a high school friend on a film called Stolen Seas. It is a documentary about Somaili pirates. The two of them are trying to raise money for post-production costs, using social media. They need $15,000 before April 5th.
They were so happy when I called them in LA for an interview. I'm not sure how much impact my piece may have had in their fundraising efforts, but their gratitude inspired me. And encouraged me in a buisness where sometimes the only feedback you get is when you spell someone's name incorrectly.
Thanks for sharing your insights, Stephanie!
I agree. We can find inspiration in nearly anything if we open our hearts and our minds. I choose to be inspired, and to be an optimist. It's not always easy, but it is definitely a preferred route for me. Cheers!
I believe inspiration is a choice. With practice, I can choose to be inspired 'on demand.' By simple pleasures, by 'annoying' experiences sent to give us lessons, by natures gifts and challenges, by the old, the young, the needy, the gifted. Inspiration is everywhere, it is our job to see it. Perhap we shouldn't ask if something is inspirational but how can we let it inspire us?
At least, that's how it looks to me! 🙂
Thanks for dropping into the blog, Asaz. All the way from Indonesia!
Yes, if we open our minds and hearts, we can find inspiration in nearly everything. It is truly a wonderfully inspiring world.
inspiration can come at any time, including during our discussions, read news, the roads or for inspiration when I come to see the beauty of nature
gretings i am newbie
Even after not being in Toastmasters for several years, I'm still aware of my ums and ahs. I listened to a professor at Vanderbilt University speak last week and I was going nuts as if I was the grammarian/ah counter for the meeting! He started and ended every sentence with an ah. I don't think he could take a breath without saying it! *cringe* LOL!
Interesting how we have significant life-changing moments that result in a complete overhaul of ourselves, Yvonne. I think if we cease to change, we cease to grow.
And yes, Toastmasters is GREAT. I've been a member since 2001 (10 years!) and am just about to finish my Advanced Communicator Gold. Hope to have my DTM by next year. Congrats on getting yours. It's quite the accomplishment!
Kim's book looks like one I would really enjoy. I had a life makeover at age 40 when my religious beliefs no longer worked for me. I'm very pleased with the life I've recreated and sounds like Kim and I have much in common.
Lyle, I participated in Toastmasters for six years and earned my DTM. It's a great organization. I daily use the speaking skills I gained from my time investment.
Yvonne, I am honoured that you took the time to respond to my comment. Coming for you is truly a compliment. I LOVED your blog on the crazy and whacky world of self-publishing. You covered so many important points for future would-be authors. As a matter of fact, I received a call from someone who is in the middle of getting their manuscript published. She had many questions and I told her to read your blog.
Doreen, I appreciate your recommendation and kind words about Tasting Rain. Thank you again!
Thanks for your response, Yvonne.
Yes, Kim is one empowered individual. You might like to check out her book, "Tasting Rain." It's been a local bestseller and is gaining attention across NA. Kim's book tells how she made a conscious effort to lead an inspired life regardless of the challenges that entailed. More at: http://tastingrain.com.
Kim Malchuk, I love what you said about negative info overload and not letting the horses running next to you distract you. That's a very empowered response. This type of energetic distraction and how it ruins the lives of so many empathic people is what led me to write my book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You (http:/whosestuffisthis.com). I hope it will help people put on the blinders and be busy about accomplishing their own life's mission.
Thanks so much, Judy!
Yes, those airport chapels really CAN be a place of inspiration, peace and solace.
Thanks so much for dropping in again on the blog. Always love to hear your thoughts.
I listened for your name to be called at this year's TMAC Awards. I badly wanted you to win for your special airport story. From what you told me, it certainly sounded inspirational to me. A pause for serenity in a crowded airport scene. How many of us would think to catch our breath in such a space. Missed you this year but with good reason given Reg's struggle over the last 12 months. At the end of every day, health is really all that matters.
I Love that ZZ quote, too, Kim! I'm sure I've tweeted or RT'd it somewhere along the line.
And I agree with you about tuning out the negative energy. I'm sure we all have people in our lives who are draining on us. Their negative comments, actions and energy can bring us down if we let it.
My choice is to limit my time and interaction with people like that. With so many wonderful, positive and inspiring people in the world, why should we force ourselves to spend time with people who do nothing but criticize, frustrate or alienate us?
Great question for discussion Doreen! Keeping yourself inspired 24/7 is difficult to do but it can be done. I, too, receive a daily motivational/inspirational message from a service that I have subscribed to for over 3 years now. It is a marvelous way to start your day off. To quote Zig Ziglar: “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily.” (I love this quote because it is so true and we do need daily reminders to help keep our eyes on the prize.)
It is so easy to get discouraged in life especially with all the negative information overload that hits us in the face wherever we turn. I picture myself going thru life like a thoroughbreed race horse that has blinders on. To run the race of my life, I need to mentally and physically tune out the negative distractions around me. I really am not concerned with the horse beside me because I am not in control of how they wish to run their race. I'm glad they are there by my side but I know how easily you can get off course by getting caught up in how others want to run their race.
No other person is running my race except for me. If I choose to wear blinders or not, that is my choice…it always has been and will be. So, to answer your question about where I get my inspiration from…just look around you. It's all there. You just need to put on the blinders to rid yourself of all the other noise and commotion that gets in our way of running our own race in life. A life of inspired purpose.
Thanks for joining the conversation, Deborah.
Yes, this is a difficult time of year with tax time, etc. I am SO behind in my paper work! Seems that other things that are much more inspiring always take precedent over mundane tasks like income tax!
You're right. Reconnecting with nature is a great way to refocus and gain inspiration. Happy spring!
I find the more I use my creativity, the easier inspiration comes. Right now, I've been mired in the mind-numbing bog of income tax, paperwork, managing time and the other parts of running a writing business that have little to do with writing. But, usually, when I'm feeling a little lost on the page, there is nothing like a good long walk through the woods or on the dyke with my dog. It gives my mind a chance to wander off the beaten path as well. Something always lifts to the surface.
Thanks for joining the conversation, Damian.
It's interesting how you, like Amanda, have said how important your partners are as your strongest source of inspiration. And with Heather, her young daughter.
Often, we don't have to look beyond our own four walls for the very best blessings the world has to offer.
My wife is my inspiration. I get down days, like everyone does, but she won't let me fester in my pit of despair, however comfotable it is. She has a personal philosophy of "Buck up and get on with it!" which may not sound inspiring to everyone, but it's a good way to get a lazy husband moving when there's kids to be cared for and words to be pinned to the page!
Thanks for this, Margaret.
And let me just say … YOU inspire me. As a writer, editor, artist, volunteer and downright great person the world is a much better – and more inspirational – place with you in it. Have a super weekend.
Believe it or not, I'm inspired by the word "inspire." It means 'filled with spirit!' While we inhale and exhale air to keep our physical bodies operating as they should,there is something so reassuring that we require soemthing more to live a joyous and stimulating life and that the unseen forces in the world are really what imbue us with direction and purpose.
Saw a NOVA PBS special lately regarding the concept of dark matter and dark energy. Scientists don't have a clue what this stuff is since besides propelling our cosmos to expand ad infinitum, it accounts for 95 percent of the substance of the universe, and the kicker is that it's all invisible and undetectable!
I guess my point is that there is so much we don't know as opposed to what we do, and seeking the fulfillment of the spirit is not mere puffery; it's a vital connection to curiosity, exploration and wonderment,IMHO!
Thanks for the comment, Daisy. Always great to have you drop by. And yes, you are such a highly creative person, I doubt you have difficulty finding inspiration at all. Appreciating the beauty in simple things seems to be a key that is coming up in many readers' comments.
Thanks for dropping in again, Jay. I didn't know you post 2 inspirational Q's per day! I see the occasional tweet from you and always read your blog, but I've been missing the quotes! Will have to find your "Etiquette Guy" FB page. Thought I already "liked it" but I don't seem to be getting the updates. I like your approach re taking a word and searching Google for quotes.
As you know I post two inspirational quotes a day on FB and Twitter. I get them by taking the root meaning of my daily tarot card (sent to me from Astrology.com). It focuses me. I google the word + quotes, and voila – a whole selection at my finger tips. I scroll down until something resonates deep inside. Then I post the quote. It's fascinating to watch the feedback. After a while of doing this, inspiration behaves a bit like Jello. Some of it sticks to the wall (of my brain/heart). Thanks for the convo. EG
Hello Doreen! Inspiration is an important ingredient in any life … I look for it everywhere … cherish it from most any source. This time of year … the promise of spring flowers is most inspiring … and the peacefulness of the present moment. Have a lovely week! –Daisy
Thanks for joining the conversation, Lyle!
I agree that we are inspired FOR different things BY different things/people.
As multi-dimensional as we are, so are our sources of inspiration.
For me, to pin down one thing that inspires me is difficult. I may be inspired to write a speech for my Toastmaster meeting by a single question. It would be a question that don't think can be answered in one or two minutes. It deserves a better, longer and more well thought out answer. Especially if it a subject that I feel is important.
I feel inspired when I see a piece that a woodworker has made and think I can do that. More realistically is that I wish I can do that.
I sometimes see a problem and need to solve it. This is usually some technical or mechanical problem. I like to think of myself as a problem solver.
Thanks for bringing in the poet's perspective, Heather.
Yes, I too, find inspiration from the simple things in life. Love watching the cat enjoying the sun, or the birds jumping around with joy when the weather's nice.
How cool about your daughter illustrating your poems for kids! What a way to nurture her creativity and help build her confidence in self-expressionism.
Hi Doreen! Excellent blog post and questions.
As a poet, I think my brain works differently (weirdly 😉 because I am rarely uninspired. It's just tricky finding the time to write down all the thoughts that come to me when I'm making a pot of tea or looking out the window at the birds on a wire. My young daughter is a source of inspiration daily, and I seem to have inspired her, as she has been doing illustrations for my kids' poems (childrenspoetryplace.wordpress.com)
On days when I'm uninspired, I sit down and write about something trivial, like the holes in my socks. I'm not kidding. As I start to write, thoughts flood my head, and I suddenly realize how lucky I am to have warm socks on cold days, and then it's a poem about poverty in Canada.
I think being still is one of the hardest things to do in this super speedy networked society, but
I believe inspiration hides inside stillness.
Lucky you, indeed, Amanda!
And yes, it's so true how someone's words can be enough to inspire us and completely turn our world around. Here is a quote I actually made up myself on that very thought:
Give words of encouragement freely. They may not mean much to you, but they may be the catalyst to change someone's life.
It was a bleak mid-winter day. I did not have full-time (or full-pay) work. Bills had come in the mail. I was worried about money. My partner, on the other hand, seemed oblivious to our impending doom. I was annoyed. I snapped at her, "Aren't you worried about money?" "No," she said. "I have every confidence in you and your ability to get work. It will come. I'm not worried." In that instant, my perspective shifted. My heart opened to myself.
If my partner had confidence in me, why didn't I have confidence in myself? That very moment of recognition and understanding shifted my paradigm of worry to one of expectation and confidence.
I carry that with me every day. Daily inspiration – right in my own home. Lucky me!
Thanks, Christine and Elizabeth, for getting the conversation going.
Great quote from Maya, Christine. Yes, it seems the more we know, the better able we are to cope with various situations.
I admire your faith, Elizabeth. I admit to not being a woman of strong faith, and that is why my friends are more of a source of inspiration to me. Glad to hear Stella is by your side to enjoy the beauty and inspiration that nature gives us all. Inspiration and creativity are so closely intertwined.
As a Christian, I regard all my inspiration as coming ultimately from God. But it comes in many forms…. the Ruffed Grouse that is tentatively striking out across the snow in front of my window. It is plucking at twigs along its route as if they were harp strings to sound counterpoint to those careful footsteps.
Then there's the rumble of Stella's bark as she sights the grouse and let's it know who's boss in this neighbourhood.
Working in the garden or cutting wood with a Swede-saw in the forest always is great for thinking. My mind drifts and picks up flotsam I often employ later.
A beautiful photo or artwork, antique… anything I find beautiful, come to think of it, I also find inspiring.
The grouse, by the way, remains unphazed by Stella. It has changed its course, however, and is making a deliberate and dignified – except when it inadvertently slides down a dip – retreat into the woods.
That's a great quote, Doreen, and so true. The woman who owns the fitness studio where I go often says, "If nothing changes, nothing changes." Another inspiring quote comes from Maya Angelou, who says, "We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better." Those two phrases can apply to a lot of personal and professional situations, and keep me going.