I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Kate Brenton’s book Rebirth.
Today Kate is visiting my blog to share her thoughts on inspiration .
Writers Need a High Inspiration Diet
Writing is a high octane sport in many ways. A writer plucks an idea or an observation and then alchemizes it into form, choosing the right letter and contours of sentencing to create worlds. Just like any other craft, an artist needs nourishment.
You cannot force creative output, but you can structure it and you can most definitely cultivate it. One of my favorite books to reference for writers is Steven Pressfield’s War of Art. He talks about having to switch from writing being a passion that you love so much, to a profession, so that you can hold what you are working in a way that enables you to complete it.
I’ve been a writer since I could write, and I will journal and scribble for ever, but to complete a piece takes discipline and a high diet of inspiration. Creatives need to be inspired. One of my favorite alignments is when I hear a Truth in a new way; writers can access this layered-texture when they expose themselves to new concepts: reading across disciplines, opening yourself to learning, growing and failing. Whatever you live comes through in your words. I have broken down the nourishments of a writer’s inspiration diet:
Read things you love; things that make you think; authors that inspire you; authors that entertain you, and also have a book or two that you can always turn to to realign you with the internal pause. The pause that reminds you why you write and makes space for what is ready to come through. I always have The Tao, David Whyte, and whatever philosophy book I am newly fascinated by for inspiration—a holy trinity of words. Always have a book of poetry around. Poets give life to words and worlds.
Move your body. A good walk can clear out many writer’s block. Stuckness is rectified with movement. A good stretch, a deep breath and flexible form can bring an a-ha, settle anxiousness, and give space to rearrange. I often resist doing this, but when I do I never regret the choice. You can come back to your piece and see that the ending is the beginning, and you can delete that unnecessary third paragraph, and voila your piece is ignited. Move your body and you move your mind.
This ends up being the hardest part of writing—sitting. It’s getting in the chair and getting the words out one letter at time. Having a mind-clearing practice is deep nourishment for creatives. To be able to hear and write what you need to say, you need to be able to wipe the slate clean, just like the dinner table in preparation for the next morning’s breakfast. Walk out in nature and sit in the silence. Take up a meditation practice (easier said sometimes than done), or do something with your hands that is not writing to take up a repetitive motion to clear out your mind. When we are spinning on a piece or overwhelmed with tedium it is hard to open up to our true, brilliant voices. So practice sitting, and creating an intention for your writing and see what comes through.
What an inspiring post. Thanks so much Kate.
Be sure to visit all the stops on her blog tour!
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Kate Brenton, author, teacher and mother, helps women connect the dots between their purpose and their passion. Her first book Rebirth: Real-life stories about what happens when you let go and let life lead hit #1 on Amazon for New Thought, and can also be found at your favorite bookseller. Once a high school English teacher, Kate spent seven years in Hawaii learning holistic healing and now braids the power of story — whether in the bones or on the page — to inspire and uplift. She teaches online classes and retreats for spiritual development and inspiration. She also hosts a cohort, Sit & Write for mission-led authors.