Sometimes, teaching others actually educates ourselves.
I’ve been answering a lot of questions on Quora lately. (Quora is a place to ask questions, find answers, and write answers.) Mostly on blogging, for some reason.
Most of them are pretty annoying. “How do I make money from my blog?” “How can drive people to my blog posts?” Some are so vague, I don’t even know what they’re asking. So I skip most of these. I don’t try to make money from my blogging anymore, it gets to weird. (Of course, I would never refuse money!) (Seriously, go buy something from me on Etsy if you want to support my work.)
But sometimes, I see that someone really does need a tiny bit of encouragement to do the work they yearn to do. Those I’m a sucker for!
Only a couple of answers have gotten serious upvotes, but I’m still grateful for even one upvote. Just like I used to swoon over a single “like” in my blog’s comments section. (Actually, I still do!)
But here’s the upside:
It gives me a chance to encourage people to do the work of their heart.
It gives me a chance to actually write something.
And now I realize I can simply repost some of these answers as blog posts.
So, for today, here’s a Quora post answer I answered today, with a link to a poem I wrote years ago that actually made me tear up. I’d forgotten about it!
Question: How do you gain inspiration to write in your blog each week?
I pay attention to anything that catches my interest. Especially anything I realize I’m STILL thinking about.
There are a jillion things going on around us, every day, if only we paid attention to them. In fact, there’s so much going on, our brains have evolved to limit our attention. (One reason why LSD creates powerful “trips”. We are suddenly aware of everything which is amazing, overwhelming, and potentially scary.)
The trick is is make a note of these “interest catchers”, and think about why they caught our attention. (In fact, “why” is often the start of all my inspirations!)
This is why I have such odd series on my own blog. “Questions You Don’t Have to Answer” when I realized people ask odd questions when they are interested in my work at art fairs, and how to respond without getting angry and taking offense (which shuts down that connection.) “Lessons from the Gym”, where I overhear the physical therapy staff engaging with their clients. “Lessons from Hospice”, where I share the insights I gained in my five years as a hospice volunteer. “Life With Pet”, where I realized that accepting the foibles of silly pets teach me how to be a better human. The list goes on, but you get the idea.
The other big suggestion I have is, when you find these little, daily sources of inspiration, write them down. I keep a couple very small notebooks with me at all times, but sometimes I just use my phone to email myself. Maybe it would be even more efficient to keep them all in one notebook. (See that? I just inspired myself to do it better!)