What Inspires You?

I was recently asked on my Goodreads author page: What inspires you?

I’m easily inspired, so I’m afraid I might come off a bit garish to those that struggle with “getting inspired.”
Truthfully, I was inspired by the question because it gave me a moment to think about something I hadn’t given much thought to in a while.

This is my answer to the readers question.

I make myself an observer of life going on around me, from the seemingly mundane to the marvelous, from the dreadfully boring to the amazing. There’s a story hidden behind every person and every act. If I forget that, it’s only because I permitted myself to become weighed down and distracted by the cares and worries of my own life, and even those bear stories worth telling.

Now that brings a more detailed question to my scary little mind:
If I am working on a particular project, story, book, or what-have-you, and I need some inspiration to continue on or fill a certain bill, how do I get it?

My answer for myself and any who would ask is, stop trying so hard. I know, I know, it all sounds very antithetical to what we are trying to accomplish here, but inspiration is not some kind of galley slave you can keep chained to the oars and demand it row when the wind fails your sails. Neither can inspiration be tricked into giving up its treasures at a particular time.
What I do in times like that is work on something else, read a book entirely unrelated to what I am working on or do some research on some aspect of what I am working on. Often inspiration comes walking by whistling a liesurely tune and acting as if he would pass by my house entirely without noticing me sprawled on the porch gasping for breath.
Very seldom does the particular dose of inspiration I need at the time come from the internet, Twitter, Facebook or other social media. Go for a walk instead, no matter where you live. Call a friend and have no agenda. Go play at the park with your child.
Then you just might find that your inspiration had been hanging out with them and waiting for you to join the party.

Origin and history of the word, Inspiration, from dictionary.com:
c.1300, “immediate influence of God or a god,” especially that under which the holy books were written, from O.Fr. inspiration, from L.L. inspirationem (nom. inspiratio), from L. inspiratus, pp. of inspirare “inspire, inflame, blow into,” from in-“in” + spirare “to breathe” (see spirit)

There you have it. Beathe in something fresh. Chill and try not to try to hard.

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