For the first time in well over five years I have not put out a blog post for almost two months. I have sat every day writing a sentence here and there but never quite finishing. It took me a while to work out I was burnt out. Don’t you love how that last sentence managed to rhyme – work out/burnt out. I can afford to make fun of myself because I am at the recovery end of the process.
I thought I had lost inspiration. Well, I had but only because I allowed myself to become overwhelmed and lost track of how important it is to live a real life, one where you look after yourself. Real is finding inspiration.
Don’t panic if this seems long. I have made it about many things including books I have read so it changes topics constantly and hopefully keeps you reading.
I came across a post by Shayla Raquel and it brought me back to the real world, the one where lack of inspiration is common, inertia is common and so are choices. Always, and I mean always, there are choices to be made. Inspiration, or lack of, is not the problem. In fact, she begins her post with this wonderful quote.
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London
In order for inspiration to thrive, you have to be realistic. Andrew, a blogger I follow and who believes the Ancients have much to teach us, in particular Lessons from Taoism, also had a quote that made an impression.
“The surest way to become tense, awkward, and confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard – one that thinks too much.” – Benjamin Hoff in The Tao of Pooh
I need to do less so I can do more. How will this occur? I am not entirely sure, but I will figure it out. May and June have come and gone but July is hanging in there, and I am confident I can regain some order because in this period of inertia I have managed to read and see a few things which have inspired me to be inspired and I finished the post before this one. Btw, don’t you love the cover of this book?
So, whilst there is no spotlight on anyone in particular, I am spotlighting a few things that kept my spirits up when they argued down.
Edits on my second book are still at a snail’s pace. I am terrified people will not love Lexi (or Alessandra as the Italians would say), as much as I do. She is funny, warm, maybe a touch ‘touchy’ because life hasn’t been easy but if nothing else, she is real. Is there room for someone real, someone with faults and attitude? I have to toughen up and accept the choices people will make about Lexi.
Meanwhile I continue binging on Call the Midwife. Hint to anyone out there reading this – feel free to purchase and send me the entire series for my birthday which is anytime you want it to be. I like their story lines and the way the starkness of the times is portrayed. The fine balance to tell the story and keep it real, by showing us situations and choices to be made within those situations never fails in this series.
Old age is making me sentimental or perhaps it’s the choice of films on normal television when you can’t afford the fancy programs are doing it, I don’t know. What I do know is that I watched Paying It Forward yet again. I love watching films or television that demonstrate change can happen, that good will prevail. Catherine Hyde Ryan, you have a lot of my tears to answer for.
I loved your book, but I love the film just as much. Its focus is on behaviours and the reality of good and bad choices. The thought of sensitivity pushed aside by bullies is beyond sad and has a profound effect. For me, it screams waste. It says let’s stop this madness with one word – caring and apply it to one another.
Emotional demands continued with the film that followed. I watched Step Mum with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon once again, actually so many agains that I lost count. So much emotional angst but so beautiful. We don’t always want to see the good in others for our own selfish reasons – competitiveness and needy egos, who knows? Yet, the film demonstrates how the genuine sweetness of the Julia Roberts character harnesses the desperation of a mother, afraid she would be forgotten and turns it to love.
Sentimentality leading the way again but to something new, I read the Emporium of Imagination by Tabitha Bird. I loved, loved, loved this book. It deals with things left unsaid to those departed and is a mixture of reality and fantasy and of beautiful writing. In my post Can someone from another planet? Part 1, I talked about hesitating to recommend a book because it is so subjective. I don’t think I care. I love this book so try it and then write a review. It deserves it.
The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan was also a lovely read. I called it a gentle meander of different lives during WW2. The film was as much about making the best of any situation as it was about wedding dresses. Sound a little cryptic? I hope so.
To throw in a bone for contention, I watched a rerun of the Twilight Series and enjoyed it. Between the fantasy and young love, the film displays a multitude of behaviours with real messages to be had. Vampires kill but they can choose not to. Families are not always born of blood. In this case blood is not the best word but the meaning is clear. We can survive by respecting each other. We can build a community by caring. I like the message the film delivers.
The cinema enticed me into the new Top Gun, and it was worth every minute away from my computer. Lots of action but also lots of emotion and so much to be learned about loyalty, bravery. and comradeship. I am not a huge fan of Tom Cruise, but he kills it in this film. He is an excellent actor.
When my emotional binging settled, I discovered that at times the simple things we are shown are enough. I was tired and not feeling much of anything. All the above forced me into feeling. If there is real emotion and lessons albeit subtle and yes sometimes not so subtle and we learn from this, then does it matter if they never win a Nobel prize or an Academy Award? Earlier this month I finished Part 2 of a post which began in early May. As a follow on from Part 1, I spoke about the value of reviews. Well, the above are all reviews, so take a chance and watch or read any of them. I hate repeats but when the emotion is there every single time I get sucked in and I don’t care.
Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. A like and a comment will keep me working harder and if by any chance you have read my books or a book I have featured then please leave a review on Goodreads or wherever you originally purchased the book. It helps writers learn to be better writers.
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That’s a tour de force! You’ve reminded me of some great films and now I’ve got stuff to watch!. I didn’t know Pay It Forward was a book, I’ll definitely be getting it. Hope you continue to improve and keep entertaining us with your thoughts. We missed you!
Thank you for such a lovely comment. I love Paying it Forward. I keep thinking what we could accomplish if we all did this.
Much of your post reminds me of myself, Barbara. Thank you for sharing your recent struggles with your writing. For several months, I’ve gone out of my way to busy myself with anything but the novel I’m supposed to be writing. I’ve decluttered, I’ve started new projects, etc. All the while, I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m creatively procrastinating. I think/hope I’m finding my way back to my historical novel by trying my hand at writing historical short stories. Time will tell if that turns out to be a publishable collection of stories or just an excuse not to work on my novel. The Tao of Pooh book sounds good to me. I just read a book titled Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less, by Leidy Klotz. I’m trying to put into practice that less can be more. I tend to expect too much from myself. I want to learn to accept less and in so doing have a happier life. It’s a daily struggle, though, isn’t it? Oh — and I’m also a fan of Call the Midwife. The writing and acting in that show are superb! Hang in there, Barbara. Sometimes we have to just step back and take stock of where we are and where we want to go. That spark of motivation always comes back. I’m counting on it!
What a beautiful comment and I hope that spark is back for you. It is funny how much strangers can have in common but writing is that way. It brings those strangers together because we need it. Writing is a very difficult boss to work for and who better to understand this than another writer. Thank you so much for stopping by. It has made my day.
Everyone struggles it just means you’re human. Don’t beat yourself up Barbara! So many good books, thank you for sharing.