Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Need Inspiration? Find Inspiring Friends!

A slump. The doldrums. Listlessness. 

You know--the middle of winter with no spring flowers in sight?

It's not easy to stay inspired.


Inspiration
Photo by photosteve101

Ever since January 1, 2013, I've been inspired and I've stayed there. No, I don't have supernatural powers. I have no exciting developments in the works. I can't even attribute the success to my usual culprits--Coke and chocolate.

When I thought about why this year was different, why this year I've managed to stay on top of my goals and not get down about where I want to be as opposed to where I am, I can attribute it to two things.

1. I'm surrounded by people who inspire me.
2. I surround myself with things that inspire me.

I've contacted several good writer friends regularly over the last six weeks, and each of them is taking on a new challenge. I love hearing the excitement in their voices. I anticipate getting e-mails on their progress. And I applaud their willingness to try something new, something a little scary, something without any guarantees.

Hearing their go-get-em attitude boosts my own. Worry disappears. That bud of an idea in my head, the one I've pooh-poohed for a few years? Maybe it's time. No, it IS time.

The negative side of me throws up objections. That's when I go beyond my friends to the things that inspire me. I listen to positive music. I read Bible passages and say affirmations. I set lofty goals each day, and I do my best to meet them.

I'm convinced worry and doubt keep us from our goals. They are killers. We allow these insecurities to dig a grave for our most precious dreams.

It doesn't have to be that way! We can fight the negativity. Ignore the doubts. Set fire to the inactivity holding us back.

Think of a friend or acquaintance who inspires you. Contact her (or him). Ask her what she's working on. Let her enthusiasm light your own. Gather a slew of tools to keep you inspired. Music, books, quotes, a pretty picture, magazines, videos, flowers--I don't care! Just make it happen!

How do you  stay inspired? Do you have a go-to person who encourages you?

Have a terrific Wednesday!

23 comments:

  1. I have several people who encourage me.

    Believe it or not, Criminal Minds inspires me when it comes to my stories. Not that I write stories like on Criminal Minds. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too funny, Stina! I get inspiration from odd shows too. Like Rehab Addict. Why? Not sure, but it works!

      Delete
  2. "I'm convinced worry and doubt keep us from our goals. They are killers. We allow these insecurities to dig a grave for our most precious dreams."

    This is so good and true. I agree that you need to surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage. Someone very important to me once said, "Surround yourself with those who will celebrate you and your dream." There's too much negativity on my own, I don't need to add anymore people to help me out in that area! lol

    Inspiring post today! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that quote, Jessica. It's not always easy to find people who celebrate us and our dreams--that's why I'm SO grateful when I do! *hugs*

      Delete
  3. Jill, what a great post! This really spoke to me especially today. I woke up, looked at the window and said "Boy, everyday it's the same thing. Dreary skies, cold, snow still on the ground" That's the doldrums speaking I'm sure. But on the upside, I am sticking to my goals for this year so far and for the first time in a long long time am meeting them. I'm moving swiftly through the 3rd course in my college semester after wanting to go to college for 20 years. I've got a set number of pages written down for each day in my planner for edits and I'm happy to say that the novella I started editing at the 1st of the year has only 15 pages to go and it's through round one of edits! My goal is to submit it by March and I'm on target.
    I agree with everything you say! Definitely talk to the inspiring, positive friends and family. Weed out the naysayers and share as little with them as possible so they don't bring you down. I love your list of tools - I ran through it saying 'check!' several times. I have a 'novel track' I listen to during my editing of my novella, I have quotes on the white board over my desk, lots of books, magazines, chocolates and my cats.And even though my doubts surface here and there I try very hard to let them go in one ear and out the other. Here's to a terrific 2013 for us both!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are awesome, Christina!! I want to give you a big old hug! Look at all you're getting done--and I know it doesn't always feel as if you're making progress!! I'm really impressed. Yes, here's to a terrific 2013!!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for being such an encouragement in my life!

    Chad Allen had a cool & similar post on this yesterday (or Mon.) I believe.
    ~ Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're always there for me, Wendy. You're one of those friends who inspires me. :) Thanks for sharing the Chad Allen post--I'll check it out!

      Delete
  5. This was fun to read, Jill! Just to hear the encouragement and peace in your voice! And yes, I definitely have some go-to people who constantly inspire me...my parents, especially. And also, my fabulous CP. I love that even when I freak out over something as silly as a scene not going well, I can text or email Lindsay and know that she's not only praying for me, but will likely reply with something so encouraging...usually within minutes, even. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melissa! My CPs inspire me all the time! They are just brilliant. And I know what you mean about Lindsay--she's an encourager, that's for sure!

      Delete
  6. I have some special friends who text me and check in on me ;) Definitely inspiring! I don't know what I would do without all my ACFW gals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay!! It was so great meeting you at ACFW! I miss you!!

      Delete
  7. I found a great writers group in town that's filled with positive, fun people. We are honest with each other's work, but we're not harsh or bitter. Negativity takes a toll.

    Great post, Jill!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, Brandi. Negativity DOES take a toll. I try to minimize my contact with people who are downers!

      Delete
  8. Aw, we both posted about friendship today! :) Must mean something. I don't know where I'd be without my friends to encourage and inspire me. I love hearing about how many of my friends got agents or book deals...so often, God is at the center of their success stories. I love that, because it reminds me that's where I want him in mine too. That inspires me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! God is at the center of their success! That's the bottom line--when we trust Him to do great things for us, all the day-to-day trials pale. :)

      Delete
  9. I really needed some encouragement and inspiration today. Thank you, Jill. You and Jessica Patch have delivered on your blog posts today. Great ideas to keep inspired...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Loree! We all need inspiration in the middle of February!! And I agree--Jessica's post put me in the right frame of mind this morning. What a blessing!

      Delete
  10. Jill, you are SO right! We need friends who have their eyes on God and inspire us with their determination, joy, and following His lead. They DO inspire us! You have been a wonderful inspiration to me this year, Jill. Meeting you at ACFW and seeing your love for writing and doing what God has put in your very skin to do has stuck with me over the months. Keep at it! Inspired people inspire people. LOVE it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, I feel the same about you. Your books have picked me up out of the slumps more times than you can know. You impact people--especially me. I'm very thankful to have you in my life!

      Delete
  11. Hi there just wanted to give уou a quick heaԁs up.
    The tеxt in your aгticlе
    seem to be running off the sсгeen in Safari.
    I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I'd post to let you knoω.
    Thе design lοoκ grеat though!
    Hoρe you get the problem ѕolved soοn.
    Kudοѕ

    Feel free to surf to my ωeb blog; spiele spielen

    ReplyDelete
  12. The divide between doubt and self-appraisal can often feel a bit blurry. The key is, I would agree, inspiration.

    As writers of faith, we are admonished repeatedly through Scripture to seek the grace of all things we do, to do all through grace; to accomplish this, we must know our weakness, flaws, and the nature of our selves.

    But through this, we are inspired; one could say that is one facet of the grace that is found, that inspiration is a form of grace.

    If we find ourselves in a place where what we do, and who we become, don't lead to grace, our our actions become seperated from grace, hopefully we can admit to knowing that we are on the wrong path.

    As writers, isn't one of the best things about who we are and what we do that we can so readily recognize and acknowledge the source of our inspiration, our grace?



    ReplyDelete
  13. Great pоst. I used to be checking continuοusly thiѕ blog and I am
    insрiгed! Very useful information specially the last section :
    ) I handle such info a lot. I was seeking this paгticular іnfo for a long
    time. Thanks and good luck.

    Αlso ѵisit my homеpagе
    - Highly recommended Site

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you!