November 11, 2011 § 4 Comments

Inspiration to write–no matter if you’re working on a story, poem or letter–is everywhere.  Putting it to good use is a matter of being tuned in, staying open to possibilities that are out of the ordinary, and following up on the initial spark of an idea.  It’s the last bit that is most important.  If you don’t go ahead and scribble it down, the words will never appear or be shared.  Keep your eyes open and your pen handy so you’re ready to transform inspiration into something tangible when it presents itself.

A couple weeks ago, I had a moment of inspiration that was just too perfect to pass up.  My friend Lindsay  posted the cover picture from a literary review that recently published (yay!) two of her poems, Vespers and Studies in Still-Life.  She wrote about the picture:

Looks like a postcard I’d hope to find in my mailbox.

I could have just read her post and moved on, but instead I saw it as an invitation.  I printed out the photo,

Coachella Review cover photo, my essential supplies for making stuff & some Scribbling Glue swag

glued it to a piece of cardstock, and mailed off my homemade postcard with a note of shameless self-promotion inviting her to visit Scribbling Glue.  (In addition to being a poet, she understands the joy of the mail.*)

Look what you can do with scrap cardstock and markers!

Of course, most sparks of inspiration will not present themselves in such an explicitly stated way.  But once you start looking, you’ll find that inspiration to write to people is all over the place.  Some that I have recently encountered:

  • a memory of someone I hadn’t been in touch with for a long time
  • a friend’s FB post about a rough week
  • a magazine article
  • red maple leaves**
  • an amusing encounter with a young child

I didn’t act on all of them, but they all stood out as possible starting points for creating connection by leaving a note or sending a letter.

As you go about your day, make an effort to really notice those moments that make you think of someone.  Then choose one and act on it.  See what happens.  And if you like the results, try it again!


*I would be willing to wager that there is a positive correlation between those who are poets and those who write letters.  What do you think?

** This time of year I have a tendency to enthuse about fall colors.  It may not make for the most compelling conversation or letter-writing, but I just love, love, love the brilliant red, flame orange, and deep gold that the trees are wearing these days.  ♥


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