Tag Archives: Wednesday Inspiration

Wednesday Inspiration: A Me Day!

Yes, I took today off!

Aside from replying to emails and messages, I didn’t do any work at all. Instead, I started my day off with my morning read (Madeleine L’Engle’s Circle of Quiet) and then some journaling. And then I went shopping! I woke up later than I’d intended—so instead of going for my morning walk, I walked to where I wanted to go shopping.

It took about 4300 steps altogether, there and back. Not great, but not too bad.

I’ve had a ton of stuff I needed to buy for myself—small things I needed, the kind of things it’s so hard to make shopping time for, because on their own they’re so, well, small, and the time it would take to find a store specifically to get the thing just never seems worth it. Today, though, it was like a quest, and since it was the morning of a weekday, the shops weren’t crowded and I had such a good time.

And once those little things were seen to, I bought some summer clothes! I can’t remember the last time I went clothes shopping. I think it was snowing at the time.

But it wasn’t really the shopping that made it a Me Day. It was leaving the guilt at home, wandering through the aisles of the store, just browsing. Seeing what caught my eye.

When I got back I had a lovely late lunch of shawarma chicken salad which my husband brought back (he and Dylan went for a visit with my mom today), and then I spent the rest of the day sprawled on my bed, playing a fun quest kind of game on my Android.

As for tonight? A glass of Malbec and then it’s early to bed. A perfect way to end a Me Day, catching up on much needed sleep.

It feels strange to have spent the day like this. But I feel both refreshed and revived. And on my way home today, I thought to myself, I need to take Me Days more often!

Wednesday Inspiration: A Mish-Mash of Stuff

Wednesday inspiration

I still haven’t settled into anything resembling a groove yet. My mom gets discharged tomorrow, though, and will be settling back into her place so hopefully things will get back to normal soon.

I’m spending a bit of time every morning reading stuff online, though—all those newsletters I get, right? And occasionally getting inspired. So I thought I’d share those mini-hits of inspiration with you all today.

I mentioned on Monday how much I love Austin Kleon’s newsletter. A while back, he shared what filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt said about his writing process, and the description just took my breath away:

“it’s like you’re floating in an ocean, and you want to build a raft. so you just float there and you wait and wait. and eventually this little piece of something comes drifting by, maybe a memory, and you hang on to it, and then another little piece comes around, it is unrelated, maybe it’s a funny sentence you overheard somewhere. and you keep collecting all these little things that just sort of drift by… a dream, a beautiful sentence in your head that just appeared while doing the dishes, an anecdote you stole from your old diary… and eventually you find connections between all the things and with all these parts you’ve gathered up you now have enough stuff to build a raft. and then once you have the raft you can remove all the bits that don’t quite fit anymore, the spare parts that you didn’t need after all, you toss them back or maybe save them for another raft later. when i write, there isn’t a lot of active effort or swimming around, or calculation… for me that can be very poisonous to creativity. the big ideas won’t happen right when you mentally stress on them… it is more a matter of being patient and being open to all the things that just drift in”

I’d really like to write like this all the time. I’ve only done it once, for the most recent short story I wrote. Things came to me line by line. I wrote the story in about four or five days, and in the beginning I didn’t know who my characters were, or what they were doing. I’d pull open my Word document and jot down a few lines throughout the day. At night in bed I’d think of another line. And miraculously, when I finished, everything fit. The story somehow ended itself.

I really liked the way it felt.

So maybe if I took more meditation breaks I could get into this drifty kind of headspace? What do you think? Another piece that spoke to me recently was this one, about ten minute meditation breaks, or time-INs.

I could definitely use more of that.

And this morning, I was very inspired by the idea of Structured Procrastination, which I found through David Seah’s blog. Structured Procrastination. Don’t you just love the sound of that term?

All procrastinators put off things they have to do. Structured procrastination is the art of making this bad trait work for you. The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it. Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important. If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.

Could it really be so easy? There’s only one thing in the world I procrastinate, and that’s my writing. If I can find some tasks that “have clear deadlines (but really don’t)” and “seem awfully important (but really aren’t)”, maybe I could give it a go.

So that’s my inspiration for this week! What’s inspired you this week?

Wednesday Inspiration: Bringing more joy into your life

This will be a shorter Wednesday inspiration post; unfortunately, when things get busy, I forget about things like being inspired. Which is not ideal, because I think it’s when I’m busy that I need that inspiration the most!

Today’s post is about bringing more joy into your life. Mainly because I have this feeling I should be focusing more on doing this. Joyfulness is another thing that can sometimes be lost in the chaos of busyness.

So I was quite happy the other day to read about these 10 unusual routines that will bring joy to your life. As with most lists of this type, not everything on it resonates on me, but there are definitely some things I think I’ll try out.

Like #3:

Give yourself permission to buy any book you want at any time – it’s an investment in you. Now read them.

Mind you, I already do this. But it’s nice to see it make it to a list about bringing joy into your life!

#7 also sounds interesting:

Write down your thoughts for 10 minutes a day – it helps you formulate cohesive thoughts.

But this probably interests me mainly because it sounds like journaling. Which I still have not been able to do consistently, no matter how often I try.

I also liked the ones about writing a note on a napkin with a large tip, and creating uninterruptible routines for the first hour of the day. Will I ever do these? Well, I might leave a large tip, but I’m not so sure about writing a note to go with it! As for my morning routine, I’m still working on mine.

What about you? Do you do anything on this list? Any suggestions for being more joyful?

Wednesday Inspiration: The First Post

I’ve promised myself, this is the year I get out of the rut of constantly doing non-creative things. I’ve been in this rut for way too long. I want to start living a more creative life. It turns out, though, it’s easy to make such big intentional statements (“I’m NOT going to do things like this anymore! Things are GOING TO CHANGE around here!”) but much harder to actually implement the changes I want.

One thing that I’ve been discovering over and over (because naturally I don’t learn the first time, and I tend to forget the second, third and fourth times) is the importance of finding inspiration. A creative life requires one to be inspired, but being inspired turns out to be a thing of habit.

Sure, occasionally I’ll wake up feeling inspired. But more often than not, if I don’t open myself up to inspiration, inspiration doesn’t find me.

This is the part I tend to forget. And when I forget this, I get morose. I take out that big intentional statement and think to myself, I’m going to fail. It’s simply not going to happen.

I was reminded of this again this morning when I opened an email and decided to click on a link, and then on another link which then lead me to this video:

The thing is, it was a rather lacklustre morning. Ever had one of those? Inspiration was nowhere in sight. Frankly, I didn’t really want to get out of bed. But for some reason I decided to watch this video—and I very rarely watch videos, because they take time, so I end up saving them to a watch later list and then never watching them.

And guess what? I got inspired. Sharon Ann Lee talks about designing your own success, and everything she said made so much sense. (Plus the part about growing up Asian, with Tiger Mom parents, was hilarious.) In the video there’s a wonderful graph of four quadrants that she’s made, and I saw so clearly the quadrant where I’ve resided for most of my life. The quadrant she calls “A More Devious Hell. Run Away”.

Um, yeah.

Anyway, watching this video really set the tone for a day that hadn’t looked like it was going to be such a great day. I was inspired and that changed everything.

And the long and short of it (well, okay, the long of it) is that I’ve decided I need to regularly remind myself to find my own inspiration. Finding inspiration can take so many forms, plus it’s fun to boot. And you know how labelling something as “fun” is almost like a death knell, right? So I need to motivate myself to keep remembering.

Which I’ll be doing in these Wednesday Inspiration posts from now on. (Finally! I get to the point of this post!) A way for me to remember to find inspiration, and a way for me to share the inspiration I find.

What inspires you? Books, movies, videos, articles, art, cooking, walking, exercising? Do you regularly open yourself up to inspiration?