About Inspiration and Awards

Who or what inspires you as a writer? What fuels your passion and your life?  What makes you forget about time, eating, an aching back or even your friends and your children’s supper?  Not that I would recommend the last of these.  And I have only done it very occasionally.  Hardly worth pointing out, really.  Even if afore-mentioned children and friends do remind me of it on a regular basis.

So here are some of my favourite sources of inspiration in random order (ah, but is ‘off the top of my head’ really random?):

1) mountains and seascapes, preferably both together, as in the picture above

2) Shakespeare, especially ‘The Tempest’

3) the music of Brazil, almost any kind of jazz, plus David Bowie and a few other heroes

4) reciting or hearing poetry, the rhythm and roll of the images flooding your ears

5) when reading, finding the perfect phrase, the thought-stretching twist, the heartbreaking confession or the remarkable plot which makes me think:’yes, this is it, this is what life is all about’ and turn slightly green with envy that I could never write anything like that myself

6) the beauty of small creatures and shy buds, everyday things that are the last to be noticed and the first to be forgotten

7) the kindness of strangers, given without forethought or afterthought: things that make me believe once more in the generosity of the human spirit

All this is leading up to the Versatile Blogger Award that Polly Robinson has so kindly insisted I should have.  Thank you, Polly, you are one of the most encouraging people I have had the pleasure of meeting on the Internet.  I can always count on her to read my poems and make some comments.  I don’t know when she does it all, write her own poetry, organise events in her local area in Worcester, United Kingdom, setting up writers’ groups and open mic evenings… she is just amazing!

The rules for this award are typical of many others: share 7 things about yourself (my sources of inspiration, above), thank the person who nominated you and nominate 15 bloggers whom you recommend unreservedly.  I know that to some of them these awards (because they receive so many of them) can be a pain, so there is no obligation.  Unless they wish to leave a small comment below sharing perhaps not seven, but at least one thing that inspires them.  That would be wonderful!

I would so love to hear that from you all, and not just the people I am nominating below.  I am trying to nominate some that I haven’t mentioned before, so they are all fairly recent discoveries to me, although some of them are very well known.

Poetic magic

The Thread Is Red


The Wheel and the Star

KD DeFehr

Jeannie Leflar

Stars Rain Sun Moon

Anything but prosaic

Andy’s Words and Pictures

Eric Alagan

Lisa Ahn

Write What You Know

Thought-provoking skullduggery

Crime Fiction Lover – and I loved them even before I started reviewing books for them!

It’s a Crime

Nicci French

Jeff Goins

A picture says more than a thousand words

From the Right Bank

An Afternoon With…


21 thoughts on “About Inspiration and Awards”

  1. I will go for mountains and seascapes anytime, as well as the kindness of strangers. 🙂

  2. Wow, I am so flattered especially since my blog is so new..

    Here are some of the things that inspire me in no particular order.

    1) science fiction and all the new ideas it represents–I’ve been a science fiction buff for so long you would think I have this down, but I’ve recently subscribed to several authors and editors’ FB feeds, and I have learned so many new things by reading and watching the things they enjoy

    2) new places and new foods I’ve never tried–I can’t do all the traveling I would like to do, but I can look at pictures and imagine myself being there. But, I can try new foods. I had a lamb burger the other day, and it was yummy.

    3) writing down the perfect sentence or the perfect passage for my story–When I can put my thoughts down on paper, and it reflects exactly what I want to say, I get excited. What can I say? 🙂

    I’m going to take some time to think about this and will probably post more on my blog, but that’s just a start. Thanks again.

    1. Well, everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t worry about your blog being too young. It will grow! Thanks for sharing some of your sources of inspiration – I especially like your No. 2 – I think staying curious is such an important quality to have! And not just for an artist or a writer.

  3. I love to read what inspires others–it looks like you’ve got several that are close to my heart too. 🙂 Congratulations on your award! (and thank you for including me xox)

    1. Glad to hear it resonated with you. I’ve just noticed I’ve included 17 rather than 15 blog links, but counting was never my forte. And they all deserve to be included, especially you!

  4. Marina–

    Thank you for the recognition. Inspiration doesn’t come cheap here are a few ways to find inspiration:

    Use your senses. A trip to the gallery, a walk on a windy day, snatches of overheard conversation, lyrics from a song, or the feel of rough bark beneath your fingers can all spark the imagination. We can cull the germ of an idea from a newspaper clipping, a vintage photograph, a smell, a meal, even a TV commercial. Go look out your window to Mother Nature’s infinite pallet of colors and catalogue of shapes, her collection of sounds and stockpile of textures.

    Probe the depths of your inner self. Have you ever known, or can you remember the electric, buzzy giddiness of falling in love? Is there physical pain from grief? What’s the difference between sorrow and sadness, or happiness and contentment? Try to recall that snippet of dream before it dissolves in the morning light.

    Grab a hold of the things you know. Mine your past. Describe the familiar. If you know about genealogy, show dogs, glass blowing, high stakes poker, or antique car restoration, use it. Read and digest a book, paying attention to the way an author you like uses language. Make a mental note of what makes an evocative simile or an effective metaphor.

    To steal a phrase from the advertising world: just do it. If you are an author, write. If you are an artist, draw. If you are a musician, play. If you are a dancer, move. You get the idea. Don’t over think it, don’t analyze it. Don’t edit or judge, just take action. You’re not going for perfection here, but you are still likely to produce something useful.

    Thanks again for the vote of confidence!

    1. Lovely ideas – and so well worded! I can see you’ve thought about this before…
      Thank you so much for your visit and your comments. I especially like the ‘Digest’ – nowadays I have a fear of becoming superficial, as there are so many quick impressions clamouring for my attention. Sometimes you need to let things sink or filter through the layers of your mind and heart, before you can use it creatively.

  5. “… and turn slightly green with envy that I could never write anything like that myself”

    I’m the same way – I’m inspired by music that I consider brilliant (Radiohead and Dylan being the forerunners there). But now and then, jealousy will overtake inspiration; I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve started playing one of my favorite albums, only to turn it off a couple songs in, frustrated with the knowledge that I’ll never be able to create anything that beautiful. I guess the trick is to stay on the right side of that thin line.

    Great post, and congrats on the award.

  6. Congrats Marina! Thank you for sharing these wonderful bloggers. I will definitely be checking them. That was a gorgeous picture by the way. Oh and I enjoyed getting to know your favorite places for inspiration!

  7. Congratulations on having landed this award. It is always lovely to be recognised by fellow bloggers.

    Thank you also for thinking my blog worthy.

    Happy blogging and let us all spread some joy to the world,
    Eric 🙂

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