As my readers know, I am a mentor for those taking a free online blogging course Should I Blog? designed for people who had/have cancer. Course facilitator Rebecca Hogue posed an interesting question for me and my fellow mentors, one that’s the topic of this post.
Where do you find inspiration?
Because this course is about blogging, and therefore the act of writing, I’m focusing on blogging inspiration. When it comes to my own writing, I don’t tend to find inspiration; instead, inspiration finds me. Ideas for blog posts come to me regularly, and I jot them down for future posts. I am never short of ideas. And I often do feel the need to write, especially when a cause is near and dear to my heart or I read/watch something that provokes my emotions.
I need to write about my cancer story. I need to share my experiences with others and be a part of the community of bloggers who have experienced the tragedy known as cancer.
Thus I am drawn to the works of other cancer bloggers. I’m inspired by their authentic stories. Those who continue to blog as they face harsh physical and emotional circumstances amaze me. I get swept up in the wide array of writing styles and topics — and how each blogger evokes so many emotions in me. I wish I had time to read every single blog post, but I don’t. Instead, I am compelled to read as many posts as I can.
And I am compelled to write posts on my cancer experiences. Without blogging, I’d feel lost.
So what I’m about to say may shock you. If I waited until I was inspired to write, nothing would get done. The idea of facing the computer is often painful for me, unpleasant to say the least. I hate to begin writing. Most weeks I force myself to sit down and write. I wish I could be more like the writers romanticized in film and in the media: you know, those frenzied individuals who must satisfy their muse by writing with drunken, reckless intensity.
But most weeks, I force myself to sit at my computer and do what I hate most. Begin. Some posts are more difficult to start than others. For example, I had a really difficult time beginning my post on cancer and having PTSD because I was afraid of what readers would think of me. But, in the end, my need to come clean about my post-cancer mental state outweighed the safety of remaining silent.
Truth is, once I’m writing, my love for the craft comes through, and I experience relief. For me, blogging releases a plethora of pent-up emotions related to the cancer experience, such as anguish, anxiety, sorrow, grief, and anger.
And it is then that I re-discover that writing is my salvation.
I don’t believe you must be inspired in order to write. I believe it’s often the other way around: you write, and inspiration follows.
For new bloggers who want to write but are not feeling particularly inspired at that moment, my advice to you is to write anyway. The act of writing itself will fuel your inspiration.
And this newly found inspiration will hopefully fuel more blog posts to come.
What is your source of inspiration?
Do you want to start a blog? If so, what’s stopping you?
Have you started a blog recently? If so, how is the writing process going for you?
Tags: blogging, blogging and inspiration, cancer blogging, writing and inspiration