Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Fives: Aspire to climb every mountain

1. Reading books I love. Sometimes I read things that are similar to what I write, but I get just as much inspiration from books nothing like my style and way out of my genre.

2. BETA reading. I feel lucky to have fallen into a fantastic group of writers: The ladies of the Weekend of Awesome. Not only does reading their work introduce me to new things, but I love seeing how their work evolves over time. It is truly inspiring.

3. My family, and not just because we're expected to be inspired by our life partners and our kids (this is especially true for women in our society... but don't get me started). It is more that I feel they have made an investment in me. When I take time to write, I am dividing up the time that goes to sleep, housework, cooking, myself, and them. That they are counting on me to make something of that time inspires me.

4. Non-fiction and documentaries. Because most of my books have an environmental theme, I get a lot of inspiration from the reading and films that are a part of my job. I've been watching FLOW: For Love of Water with my students this week and it never fails to inspire me about worldwide water issues.

5. Seeing others succeed. It seems to me that the road to publication is a series of peaks on a ginormous mountain range.
You write that book (one peak), you edit that book (another peak), you query it (a big peak), then maybe you do that a few times (peak, peak, peak). Maybe you get an agent (huge peak). Maybe you sell a book (enormous peak). Maybe it becomes popular (gigantic peak). Maybe you get the chance to do it all over again (peak, peak, peak, peak, peak).

It feels like an endless series of obstacles.

But because of the openness and transparency of the web, you can see people working their way through those obstacles every week.

When you realize it truly can happen --that it does happen all the time-- it's inspiring.


  1. As soon as I clicked on your post, I got "Climb Every Mountain" from The Sound of Music in my head :) Great inspirations! I feel the same way about 1), 3), and 5).

  2. I also have reading and other writers' success on my list! And I meant to tell you earlier but BIG congrats on getting an agent! :)

  3. Beautiful mountain view, and I love the metaphor. We all have our peaks and valleys.

  4. Seeing others succeed--YES! This may not necessarily inspire what I write, but it helps motivate me to carry on writing. And I know what it would feel like for me to get an agent, so I can rejoice with those that do. Congrats! :D

  5. Seeing others succeed has been a big motivator for me lately too. BUT I WANT THAT TOO echoes in my head as I procrastinate, and often forces me to shut off the TV and pull out my lap top.

  6. I was going to focus my comment on how much my betas inspire me too, and then I saw your sneaky Pinterest button already over there.

    Welcome to the dark side. :P

  7. That last part was so beautiful and so true and so inspiring. And your list was awesome. Reading is very inspirational!

    Have a great weekend!

  8. yay Jaime!

    great minds think alike Racquel, and thanks so much.

    Exactly Angela. :0)

    Totally Jennifer.

    It's true Colin, it's nice to see that people get agents and sell books all the time.

    Very much the same with me, Katy.

    I have you to thank Holly (or blame?) :0)

    Thank you Alison. I appreciate that.


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