Yesterday one of my coworkers came into my cubicle with some inspiration for me: a hard copy of her friend’s second novel. And when I say “hard copy” I don’t mean an impossibly thick print-out of a Microsoft Word document. I mean a legitimate book complete with binding, cover art, and an author bio on the back.
Say what? Someone I know knows someone who has published not one, but two novels? And they live here? What?!
All my favorite writers live elsewhere, publishing meaty, worthy works of art from distant, mythological places (like Pasco, Washington or Edinburgh, Scotland.) I don’t know of any famous authors from Tallahassee. Come to think of it, there don’t seem to be too many famous people from Tallahassee (save T-Pain and Buster Bluth, and you can bet all the money in your banana stand I drop those names as frequently as possible.)
At the time of this writing, I’m roughly 13,500 words into my NaNoWriMo novel. Granted, those words are (in my humble opinion) a big heap of rubbish. And while some days I rap away at my laptop like a writing fiend, there are other days — like yesterday — when I stare at the screen in disgust, sick of spending time with my haphazardly built-up characters with their lousy and seemingly pointless dialogue.
But someone from Tallahassee has done it. Someone from Tallahassee has suffered through composing their wonky first draft and editing it beyond recognition, to finally become published by an actual publisher. And they’ve done this not once, but twice.
Yesterday as my fingers sat motionless on my keyboard, the image of that book came into focus in my mind. Listen, self, if someone else did this, I thought, you can, too.
And so, I began to type. And type some more. (And check Facebook three times and Twitter twice and answer an email.) And type some more.
Before I knew it, it was 7PM (my “writing curfew,” which encourages me to stop writing so I make it home to see my husband at a decent hour each night) and I’d written 2,082 (marginally compelling) words. I’d been inspired by someone else to do something great.
TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: BE INSPIRED.
My coworker’s author friend is, no doubt, an inspiration. But the truth of the matter is that you don’t have to look far (published authors, famous musicians, political leaders) to find inspiration. I bet that, if you stopped and looked around, you’d find inspiration as close as your friends are. Take my inner circle, for example:
- My friend Evan has lost nearly 100 pounds and has run several races (including a half-marathon and a triathlon) and is currently training for his first full marathon in February. And all of this didn’t start until the beginning of 2010.
- After my mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the beginning of this year, she changed her life and has dropped enough weight to manage the disease without medication.
- A family from our church uprooted their entire lives to live permanently in Guatemala and minister to those whom the church has “given up” on. Also, my friend Elizabeth has been down to Guatemala twice to help with this mission and is saving up to go a third time in the spring.
- Along the same vein, my friend Leah, her husband, and their baby left their whole lives here in Florida to help start a church in Boston earlier this year.
- My friend Andrea is raising seven-year-old twin girls on her own.
- My friend Ashley said she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom with her own photography business and she’s doing it.
- My friend Eric has played guitar with all kinds of famous people (like, he’s friends with The Fray, you guys) and yet he still finds time to pore into the lives of young artists in our community and be a stand-up husband and dad.
I could go on. My friends rule.
The point is, each one of these people is an inspiration to me in some way. Inspiration fuels my passions and my desires. Inspiration makes me feel alive. Inspiration makes me happy I’m me. Inspiration makes me love myself. Inspiration makes me feel as though I could do anything I put my mind to. Like, maybe, write a novel in 30 days.
I’ve been told that I’m an inspiration before. The God’s honest truth about that is that I couldn’t inspire anyone else without the inspiration I get from others. It’s a cyclical and beautiful phenomenon. And I feel like the same thing could be true for you, too.
Who inspires you? Who makes you feel like you could do amazing things? And, in turn, do you know who YOU inspire?