Everyone agrees that to write, to create, and even to make poetry come alive, you need inspiration. So, where do we get inspiration from? Well, it isn’t like reaching out and taking a book off a shelf, but it is available. Inspiration is nothing tangible you won’t be able to touch it, and it won’t come up to you and tap you on the shoulder.
The best way to get inspired is through many different things. Believe it or not, even silence can inspire. Find a place where you can be alone inside or outside, then sit down and get comfortable. When I lived out in the suburbs of Riga, Latvia, there was a large oak tree at the back of my garden. Sitting beneath that tree and leaning against it provided quite a few moments of pure inspiration. Just make sure you have a pen and notepad with you to jot your ideas down. Let your mind free, don’t crowd it with any thoughts. Just listen to the silence all around. Wait, it takes a bit, but pretty soon, if you do it just right, things should start flying into your head, and each new thought you get, make sure you write down in a notepad. After a while, take a look at what you have jotted down. There should be enough to write up at least a couple of posts.
Nature is beautiful for inspiration. Even taking a walk to the nearest park and sitting on a bench can help unblock anything that has stopped you from writing. The beauty all around you, the birds chirping, and the flowers growing will put together such a symphony that you can write a poetic masterpiece. What happens in winter? If you live in a place with all four seasons, each of them can be inspirational on their own. In the winter, I have seen ducks trying to waddle on the ice of a frozen stream and settle down to their own dreams upon snow glistening in the sunlight. All of this and so much more can be an inspiration and help you write up something that can inspire others.
Are you a cloud watcher? Clouds can come in all shapes and sizes. Spend some time watching clouds drift by, and they can send you to another world. I have seen clouds that have transported me into a world of fantasy. This particular cloud photo shows that even though we have been told that pigs cannot fly, they can. At least when they are shaped by a cloud, and perhaps their souls have taken flight. I was absolutely delighted when I saw that pig snout in the sky.
Inspiration also comes from music. Put on your favorite music, and with each song, find something in the lyrics to inspire you to begin writing. For me, music inspires me to write poetry. Just be careful if you know the song well because those lyrics will play around in your head However, in the end, I assure you’ll wind up with an original piece of poetry that you might be surprised you wrote. Even perhaps while listening to unlikely songs that might inspire. I love certain songs by Joe Cocker and one day his song “You Can Leave Your Hat On” inspired me to write a poem.
Take a look at old photos. Remember who is in the photo and what you have been told about it. Before you know it, you have the urge to start telling quite a few stories.
The picture is of my mom at the age of four. This was way back in 1915 in Riga, Latvia. In the photo, she is holding some pussy willows. This means it had to be Palm Sunday because in Latvia Palm Sunday is known as Pupolu Svetdiena or as I’ve always said with a smile — Pussy willow Sunday. Pupoli is the Latvian name for pussy willows, and since no palms grow in Latvia, this is what Palm Sunday has always been known as in this country. So you see from this one picture I already had a story to tell you.
Take a look around your house or apartment. Look at the objects you have on display. Choose one or two and take a picture of them. Then think back at where you got them. Why you have them, and again you will be inspired to tell the story about them. Add the picture, and you’ve got a fascinating post indeed. Go through drawers, closets, anything that needs to be cleaned up or straightened out. Put aside the most interesting items and let these inspire you.
I found this cute wooden cat with sparkling green eyes. This cat is almost as old as I am. My dad bought it for me at the World’s Fair in 1964 in New York City. I have been inspired to write about this before but not the whole story about the cat. Of course, I could not remember him buying this cat for me, but I do remember that it came with a thin leather strap attached to its mouth and a mouse with blue eyes dangling from it. Since this cat had traveled with me to Latvia when I moved there and then back to the U.S., you could say it is a well-traveled cat, but we have lost the mouse somewhere along the way. Perhaps I might be inspired to write about a cat that travels from a World’s Fair and all its adventures and then finally finds its way home.
Inspiration can come from many different sources. I also go on nature walks. If you are a city dweller, grab onto your camera and head out into the streets, the parks, and any other interesting places and spaces. Inspiration will follow along. Just make sure you also have a notepad and pen with you for jotting down your thoughts at certain moments. The photos you store up on your computer are a real treasure trove if you have not thought about this before.
I already mentioned briefly about photos. I look at all the images I have accumulated from my time in Latvia, and when I look back, like at this photo, you see here I do not just see what is on the picture. It is from the street in the suburbs on which I used to live. What I see is a film that comes alive of me and my late husband walking on this street, of me going to the store and coming home to find him waiting for me at our garden gate and so much more. Come for a walk along this street as we go from tree shade to tree shade. Now quite a ways down on the right side there where you see the last spot of sunshine is a green garden gate and when you walk through that gate you find my house and you can see my garden. That was how it always was for me. From all of this come the memories and the stories that I can write down and share with others.
So, always remember that to write, you need inspiration, and inspiration is divine.