Finding Blogging Inspiration by Coming to Your Senses

Guest post by Marci Payne of Changing Perspectives
my 5 senses
Is inspiration a sixth sense? I see topics and they are all around me. I experience inspiration as a sudden knowing. It’s not magical or predictive. And, there are no dead people speaking to me.

So, where do I find my inspiration to write? I look for inspiration through my senses. Insight isn’t something I push or force to happen.

It’s the opposite. Inspiration seems to find me. It hits me like a wave. And, it ebbs away just after it flows in.

I’ve learned to appreciate the nature of inspiration. I keep a list of blog topics on my computer. And, I carry a journal for those times when sentences flow easy. I don’t worry that my ideas will dry up, as I always have more ideas than I have time to write.

Do you worry about running out of ideas? If you are struggling with writer’s block, what fears pop up? Ideas come when my mind is still, not racing. If my mind is unfocused and distracted, then I’m usually fighting fears instead of inviting ideas. For me, getting out of my head and into my senses helps.

Tune into your senses and inspiration will find you. Here’s how my senses help me keep a running list of ideas to write about:

Hearing:

Reading is one of my favorite ways to find inspiration. I’m inspired by the way language is used to convey important messages. For me, hearing words is an endless source of inspiration, as it can be found among my favorite things, music, books, blogs, and movies.

Inspiration hits me when I hear quotes that mean something to me. It’s as if the words reach out and grab me. I highlight the words. And, I honor them by sharing them with others and adding them to my quote file.

Touching:

Another favorite source for inspiration is touch, but not in the traditional meaning of this sense. People “touch” my heart. I am inspired by the way others use their lives, finding meaning and purpose. And, I am “touched” by the ways others overcome hard times. Peoples’ lives leave an imprint, and their stories stick with me.

And, nothing “touches” my heart, quite like my kids. I think my kids, now 3 and 6 years old, bring out the best and worst in me. They inspire me when they are being funny, loving, frustrated, or curious. Spending time observing and interacting with my kids can inspire me to write or to work more on how I parent!

Smelling:

Are you wondering how smells could possibly inspire me to write? Well, don’t most strong smells remind you of something familiar?For me, certain smells evoke memories. Salt water reminds me of my honeymoon. The smell of grass mixed with sweet sweat reminds me of my dad. And, the smell of rain coming brings me back to the fun I had riding my childhood big wheel through puddles!

In this way, smells can inspire story telling of shared moments and cherished memories. Smells invite memories, and story telling invites inspiration. When you are inspired to tell stories, I think others are invited to tell their own stories.

Seeing:

Seeing nature inspires me too. I love the intricate details of sunsets, oceans, and animals. Nature awes and courts me. It is awe-inspiring and stillness inviting. And, when I am still, inspiration finds me.

While nature may not inspire me to write a certain topic, it is rich with metaphors and universal truths. Nature is ripe place to be picked. I turn to nature when looking for ways to describe my ideas and topics.

Tasting:

Isn’t taste the forgotten sense? It gets lumped in with smells. I have a new take on using taste for inspiration and it’s not related to food or odors.

I am inspired by “tasting” life. The work I do on myself inspires me to write and share with others what I have learned. Each moment brings an opportunity to “taste” life, find new choices, and gain perspective. Just like flavors can linger after the food is gone, so do memories, stories, and great ideas!

I want to hear your perspective. Share what inspires you to write. How can you use your senses to unleash the great ideas lurking inside of you?

Looking for inspiration in life, follow Marci’s blog at Changing Perspectives. And, if fears are holding you back from creating the life you desire, consider booking an online counseling appointment with Marci.

About Linda Hewett

Linda is a writer, blogger and confidence coach.
Her blog is Positive Spin – Helping You Face Life Full On without Fear – And Feel Great About It!

In her blog, Linda looks for the ‘positive spin’ in our daily lives and encourages you to look for the ‘small stuff’ that’s easy to miss, or even dismiss.She believes that confidence comes in many disguises. All you have to do is…look.
You can follow her on Twitter @LindaMHewett

Comments

  1. Great post Marci! I too find that inspiration finds me, not the other way around. I keep a notepad and pen in my pocket at all times because the smallest encounters will blossom into a thought and I must write down the bones right away or I’ll loose it. Quite often, these inspirations hit me about 3:00 in the morning… sigh!

    • Allan,
      Isn’t that the curse and the blessing of writing? Having great ideas in the middle of the night, when you’d rather be drifting in slumber land! Here’s to more small and inspiring encounters :)

  2. What a beautiful way to view things Marci. I definitely use smell with my blog posts as I blog on all things lavender :-) Also use sight as when I see new products, different lavender species they inspire me to write about them and inform my readers of new insights I have. I really have enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Patricia, Thank you for sharing how you use your senses. I imagine each of us use our one or two senses more than the others. BTW, I love lavender – I have a bottle of it right by my bed :)

  3. This was an interesting post and unique of its kind. I read up a lot of posts and always wonder with the ones that stands out of the crowd. Nice analogy and loved your post.

  4. Marci, I really like this approach of using the five senses to generate ideas.

    Writers are also always told to appeal to as many senses as possible when writing. That advice has really helped me in my career.

    • John, I hadn’t thought about being inspired through more than one sense at a time. I may be a one sensory experience at a time writer. I will have to observe this more clearly next time…

  5. I like your practice of keeping a journal. Inspiration can strike at any time and you have to be prepared to write when it happens. Good point about opening your heart up to inspiration. This is how you can write in a way that appeals to your readers emotions.

    • Richard, Yes, I think writing from the heart is more appealing. The process of writing this post keeps me more aware of my intentions when writing. When I write from my head, it’s not as appealing, not as pretty, and not as inspiring.

  6. All human beings have five senses but inspiration is some sort God gifted quality. It is often seen in the people that have too much intention towards spiritualism.

  7. Ha! Agreeing with Allan, the great ideas always seem to come at an inappropriate time! So yes, I always keep a notepad handy! And on the night stand : ) Just going for a walk to clear your head when you have a little block can really clear things up as well! Seeing nature, feeling the breeze and hearing the children laugh and play!

  8. Hi Marci–I read your post as I’m eating my lunch, so it was especially tasty and relevant ;)

    I agree that inspiration is everywhere, just as our senses are constantly engaged. The other day it was cold and rainy and as I listened to my body shivering, I was reminded about how depression is a factor in cold climates. That sensation/observation gave me an idea for a post.

    I love your idea to keep a list of blog topics on the computer.

    Thanks for the useful tips :D
    ~Linda

    • Linda, Thank you for giving an example of how your sensation triggered a writing idea for you. That’s just how it happens with me. I have to write them all down, because I seem to be flooded with inspiration. I write down the topic, as well as any points, examples I want to include. Here’s to more sensing and observing…

  9. Hi Marci,

    You have presented an interesting point of view with the article. Definitely liked the style and the flow.

    Finding inspiration can really turn into a huge problem, some time after starting to blog. In the beginning everything is OK, but as time goes some start losing motivation, inspiration, etc. – all crucial elements for a successful blog.

    For me the greatest inspiration from the ones mentioned is probably reading. Certainly a great way to come up with interesting ideas. Whether it be a book, newspaper or just an internet forum, the inspiration is always there if you seek thoroughly enough.

    • Reading is one of my favorites too. It’s there when you look for it, isn’t it. I keep a notecard in my book to write down quotes that jump out at me. Now, I just need to find a way to organize all my quotes for later use!

  10. ChristopherR2D2 // ScribblePlay says:

    Great minds think alike?

    http://scribbleplay.com/how-the-writers-5-senses-can-inspire-creativity/

    I wrote about how the writer’s 5 senses can inspire creativity over at Scribbleplay.com – a place to write and overcome writer’s block. I like your interpretation of the idea, however, I think our ability to feel emotions must be a sixth sense or some sort – as you mention, being touched emotionally is a great, if not the most, source of inspiration.

    In the traditional sense, I feel (both puns intended, hehe) physical touch is a great source as well – I can remember crawling along a rocky jetty when I was suddenly struck with inspiration to write what it might be like to be stranded on an island.

    • Wow Christopher, and I thought I was an original :) Your blog looks great. I’ve bookmarked it for a more thorough read.

      So, should we add empathy (sensing what it’s like to be someone else/feel similar feelings) to the list of senses? Emotions can be very motivating to keep working at our goals, as long as they don’t rule the show!

  11. Thank you for your kind comments. We write what we know. I recently read about writing from your own unique perspective, and I think that is so true.

  12. I think hearing and seeing are the senses that inspires me to write the most. Everytime I hear or see something motivational my brain automatically gets a surge of ideas and my imagination begins to work overtime. Sometimes I will be riding in the car and see something that gives me so many ideas that I can’t wait to reach home to put it down on paper.

  13. This is one of those post that I feel good and inspired after reading it. You really did a good job on sending the message to your readers. I’m inspired! Thanks to you.

  14. Fantastic post Keisha! Good music and a good scotch inspires me, so that’s two of my senses covered!

  15. Hi Marci—As you said and other great teachers, the ‘bad emotions’ distract or block us and the ‘good ones’ (e.g. love, faith, freedom of though,…) in back of the senses—or how we perceive and interpret things (even in negative environments)—inspire and connect us with more of the same.

    Then there’re gradations or levels of inspirations like e.g. different writer are. And you’re high. Keep going.

  16. Ok, I’ll share a little more.

    I alternate any sense, in a favorable environment to be inspired.

    Now, being close to Christmas, in which we’re bombarded (now with the Internet less people watch TV so they have to increase the stimuli for the ‘share’) by so many stimuli, and we can choose between tasty food, rich visuals (reading and nature are also two one of my favorites), more caresses, sweet music, scent, or else, I’ having and interest for the fragrance of the season and explore more.

    But I want to share some singular (that may seem unusual) instances (of the same kind) where I felt highly inspired, like in another dimension.

    While running. After some miles off effort that supreme inspirations, source power—you name it—comes and flow throw all me, surroundings, and space. The I’m in the zone, effortless, floating or like flying, with added energy, I can run forever in that state, I’m submerged an be in an infinite intelligence, in that state I connect to all possible, that guide me—sure not for so long. I have carry a note pad with me ?

    This state is reached after a lot of hard work, doing the ‘extra-mile’. Sure doesn’t have to be only by jogging or doing other sports.

    • Mark, It sounds like you have multiple senses to inspire you too. I think I am also inspired by negative experiences, especially when I learn something from them.

  17. Very inspiring post, thanks for the share. Good music really inspires me at times. Great share!!

  18. Thank you Kiesha for giving me my first guest blogging spot! And, thank you to everyone who commented, read, and shared my post. I so enjoyed hearing each of your points of view. Here’s to shared inspiration from many pathways!

    In case you’re confused, my blog is having a makeover this month. Formerly Changing Perspectives has been re-named: Liberating Choices. It can be found at the same spot!

  19. Love the blog post! :) I often use my sense of sight because I love reading and getting inspiration from them. I love looking at photographs and at nature because it calms me, giving me that spark to start writing.

  20. Also, write about things other people want to read. Too many people blog about what they ate, or the song in their head but what really gets readers is choosing an audience and writing for them.

  21. Marci First of all, thanks for evaluating the idea to get inspired. actually the idea and creativity never dry, we have to just digg more for better idea. :)

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  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Finding Blogging Inspiration by Coming to Your Senses…

    Is inspiration a sixth sense? I see topics and they are all around me. I experience inspiration as a sudden knowing. It’s not magical or predictive. And, there are no dead people speaking to me. So, where do I find my inspiration to write? I look for i…

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    Finding Blogging Inspiration by Coming to Your Senses…

    Is inspiration a sixth sense? I see topics and they are all around me. I experience inspiration as a sudden knowing. It’s not magical or predictive. And, there are no dead people speaking to me. So,……

  3. [...] nature is powerfully awe-inspiring. Life ebbs and flows, wilts and blooms, drowns and floats. Inspiration is all [...]

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