If you’ve read Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon, you know that nothing is really our own idea. Every idea we’ve ever come up with was born somewhere else by someone else, somehow. We can put a new twist on things, but honestly, a totally new idea is rare. Old wine in new bottles.
Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magic, tells the story of how she believes there are these ideas floating around out there and they decide who to land on. When you feel inspired with an idea, that’s the idea angels, fairies or whatever you want to call them. If you don’t do something with that idea right away, it up and takes off from you and goes to someone else. Gilbert documents a true story that proves this to be true – in her life.
Well, my truest inspiration, if I’m honest, comes from other writers. I love when that little nudge from someone else’s writing whispers, “Try this, Shari!” Sometimes it’s an idea about content because a memory is triggered. But, what I find more beneficial is when I discover a structure because I can use it not just once, but again and again. A writing structure is like a tool that can be pulled out anytime. The more you use it, they easier it is to remember and to whip something up from it. In the last few days, I’ve found quite a few structures that I intend to steal and try out – with a must of giving credit to my inspirational writers.
Elisabeth Ellington at the durigible plum, wrote in her sol today about small gratitudes. Loved it. I’m stealing it.
Here goes ~
I am grateful:
For the morning snuggles that keep me in bed too long
For the lab with a sprained leg that lies on the couch with a wagging tail as I walk to the kitchen to make coffee
For the scale that shed one pound the last time I stepped on it
For the deep dark Caffe Verona Starbucks beans that wait to be ground for my coffee
For the clean pair of jeans that beg to be worn
For the fresh inch of snow that blankets the ground (not)
For arriving at school before most others, savoring the quiet and preparing for the day
For the conversation with my soul-teacher-friend, drinking our coffee, before kids arrive
For Grace, who enters my classroom first, with a giant smile and a full wrap around the body hug because she is happy to be here
For Wonderopolis, because we wondered about four leaf clovers and St. Patrick and all things green and Ireland
For will power to refrain from the bars and desserts in the staffroom
For gratefuls. Because once you start looking for them, they bombard you and you cannot document them fast enough
For Elisabeth Ellington who always seems to do something in her writing to inspire me
For the gumption to write a post today
For writing. Period.