Monday, March 22, 2010

The Right Fuel

We've experienced a difficult winter in 2010. A friend related her trials and tribulations with getting a fire started in their woodstove. She told me how a batch of soft wood saved the day because it acted as the perfect kindling.

Sometimes throwing a craft book or writers conference log in our writing fireplace isn't enough to spark our imagination. A smaller article, a link to an interesting post, or a chance conversation with a writer friend might be the kindling that sets us ablaze.

What are some of the seemingly insignificant things that get your creative juices flowing?

46 comments:

Carol J. Alexander said...

Hi Susan,
I have posted on my wall a big note that reads, "What did I do today? Write it!"
Sometimes, what seems mundane to me, someone else wants to learn. We all do things that someone else would want to read about...planting tomatoes, teaching math skills to my boys, buying a new appliance, fixing a flat tire...the possibilities are endlenss.
But often I don't think I do/know anything worth writing about...therefore, the note on the wall reminds me.
Have a great week,
Carol

Rita Gerlach said...

Music isn't insignificant but it is one of the things that get my creative juices flowing, along with taking a quiet moment to just be still and imagine the story in my mind.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Good Morning, Carol -

What an excellent observation! Things we might take for granted are new to other people.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

I like to have several writing projects, such as an article or blog post, going all the time. It helps me brainstorm for other things and makes me feel productive.
Have a blessed week,
Karen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Your comment reminds me of David and his beautiful Psalms. Music influenced his life and relationship with the Lord.

Getting still is a biggie for me. If my mind is too cluttered with other stuff, the story gets lost.

Thanks for commenting. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Great strategy! When a project is giving me grief, a change of pace will often bring clarity.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Looking at pictures and remembering helps me. :0)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kristen -

Great to see you! Hope your unplugged week was productive.

Funny you should mention pictures. I noticed when I'm looking for blog graphics it triggers ideas for posts. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Jeanette Levellie said...

What a great photo, illustration, and question, Susan! You never seem to run out of ideas, do you?

God has provided me a dear blogging friend who calls occasionally on a
Sunday night. Whenever I chat with her, I come away refreshed and renewed. She is a gift from the Father's heart indeed.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

LOL! I love brainstorming or just plain ol' talking with friends.

A lot of prayer goes into these Monday posts. The Lord always provides the ideas I need.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Denise Miller Holmes said...

Watching TV with my husband and then asking "what if" gets me thinking creatively. We were watching Caprica the other day and started wondering together if a Xstian should ever get themselves downloaded into a virtual world. There were other parameters I won't mention here that would make it possibly sinful, possibly not. We weren't sure. It was fun and I wrote down the idea for later expansion.

patti said...

Words snatched from random conversations, the pages of a book, a commercial--all those syllables have potential!!! Can I find them?????!!!

Great post as usual!
Patti

kristen said...

Hearing people's stories always gets my juices flowing. Especially when they lived during the time period I'm writing in (30-50's). I also get a lot of great facts the I might never find in history books!
Thanks

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Sometimes movies really strike a cord with me. Or a brainstorming session with a creative soulmate!!

T. Anne said...

I seem to get highly inspired when I'm doing the dishes! Shhh don't tell my husband, lol! I think it's because I rather be doing anything but.

Shmologna said...

Cemetery stones in old graveyards.

Certain flowers.

Perhaps an item of old clothing.

It's hard to say sometimes.

Maria I. Morgan said...

It depends on what I'm writing. If it's a children's story, my pets usually inspire me. If I'm writing a devotion, I reflect on what God's been teaching/showing me. I tend to stay inspired when other bloggers/writers leave comments!! Have a wonderful week, Susan! God bless!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

Movies give ample opportunity for those "what if" questions.

My late husband and I often kicked around ideas. In fact, he started me on the novel-writing path. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi T. Anne -

So funny! I wonder if loading the dishwasher would inspire me. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Maria -

We seem to draw inspiration from a variety of sources. I don't have pets right now, but I did years ago. I'm sure I could come up with some short stories. Thanks for the idea.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Denise -

Ah, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan? Although it's not normally my genre, I enjoyed Kerry Neitz's book, "A Star Curiously Singing." The ACFW bookclub is discussing it right now. You might find it interesting.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti -

I can't begin to tell you how many times and word or phrase triggered an entire blog post. Ha! An idea just hit me for a future blog post.

Thanks!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kristen -

I love American History and trivia, which is one reason I enjoy your blog so much. We could expand on your interest to include occupations (think detectives, doctors, etc.) and hobbies.

Woohoo! I hope folks are coming back to read these great suggestions.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Schmologna -

Oh yes! You jogged my memory about some old photos and a gorgeous christening gown I saw in a thrift store the other day. Anything that catches my eye and holds my attention is stored for future use.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Robyn Campbell said...

Hey Susan! So sorry it has taken me so dang long to get over here.

I love your comparison. So cool. It makes one think, "why didn't I come up with that?" =)

For me it's all the wonderful blogs I visit that spark my creativity.

And putting the lime and fertilizer out on the upper pasture with the hubby like we did Saturday.

Super post girl. I am unplugging for a couple of weeks to ready everything for the querying part of my road that I'm traveling on. I will see you soon. (^_^)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Robyn -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I hope you get all you desire to accomplish done while you're unplugged. Tip: I find scheduling blog posts a huge help. :)

Blessings,
Susan

quietspirit said...

Susan:
My reading gives me ideas. I try to read a different devotional book each year. Some of the excerpts from this year's book might make it into my blog entries.
Some times I think about an issue we have or an asset we possess and find myself typing pertinent thoughts

Jody Hedlund said...

Sometimes finding an especially inspiring song and then writing down the lyrics helps my creative juices.

Sharon Ball said...

Reading the work of other great writers makes me want to write better. It's kind of like playing golf or tennis with a better player. Their talent brings my game up a bit.

Nancy said...

Reading a great children's book might get me excited. Probably not enough to write a book though. Thinking up or seeing a great character might light the fire.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Thanks for chiming in on the discussion. Devotional books are a good source of inspiration.

You might want to watch copyright issues with putting excerpts on the blog. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jody -

I never thought of writing down the lyrics from a song. Novel idea (pun fully intended)!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sharon -

I fully agree that reading great writing stretches us. Right now, I'm reading, "The Begotten," by Lisa Bergren. Awesome!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

I've never tried reading a children's book for inspiration. Good thought.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Emily Ann Benedict said...

True, a lot of times sparks come from smaller details.
Personally, reading a good book or watching a good movie often gets me back on the path. It inspires me to get up and put my heart into make my work really good too. :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Emily Ann -

As a child, reading piqued my interest in writing. I found such delight in books that I wanted to produce my own.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sassy Granny ... said...

Love the word picture!

My creative juices flow when I least expect it. Typically it's when I'm rested & relaxed (except when it comes in the form of a dream), and often while I'm out for my early morning walks. Nature always has that affect on me.

Blessings,
Kathleen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

I'm looking forward to spring weather. The balmy temperatures, flowering trees, tulips, daffodils, and other flowers always have a soothing effect on me.

Blessings,
Susan :)

arlee bird said...

overheard conversations and talking to strangers.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Arlee Bird -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I've picked up some interesting facts and trivia from conversations with strangers. One thing ended up in my book.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sandra Heska King said...

A shower. Ideas come in the shower. And if I'm stuck, I take another shower. I'm a very clean person.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

LOL! Do you have one of those waterproof tablets and markers? I saw that someplace, but can't remember where.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sandra Heska King said...

LOL! Yep, that was me. They are on order. Here's the post.

http://thewritepursuit.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-capture-shower-ideas.html

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

That's sooo funny! I couldn't remember where I'd seen those items.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Becky Lange said...

It's hard to pinpoint the exact thing that fuels a sudden writing splurge for me. Often it is a quote or a verse from the Bible. Other times it is something that strikes me late at night or when I'm feeling particularly high-strung. Then I sit down and type away...hoping for something good to come of it.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Becky -

I've had those moments, so I know what you mean. Inspiration often strikes when you least expect it.

Blessings,
Susan :)