Fire-Breathing Dragons: Inspiration Is The Theme For March

by Joanna on March 1, 2008

Inspiration:

  1. an inspiring or animating action or influence
  2. something inspired, as an idea
  3. a result of inspired activity
  4. a thing or person that inspires
  5. theology
    1. a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul
    2. the divine quality of the writings or words of a person so influenced

  6. the drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation
  7. the act of inspiring; quality or state of being inspired

Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback on the theme for March. The options I suggested were integrity, intention and inspiration. There were some strong arguments made for an exploration of both integrity and intention and I’m going to find ways both to work them in during March and to explore them more fully in the future.

There was a general consensus though that inspiration would be a good topic to look at as a follow on to the energy of leaps and bounds, and to mark the change in the seasons into both spring and autumn.

And that’s what I’m going with, though it comes with an additional twist and challenge. A couple of readers mentioned that inspiration is an over-done topic, which can make it boring. And of course anything over-done and boring is utterly uninspiring…

So the challenge to myself is to find ways to explore the theme of inspiration without relying on cliches, covering already well-trod ground, trying too hard to be inspiring (an immediate inspiration-killer) or losing your interest (and mine).

Fortunately a quick look at the dictionary definition revealed many different layers of meaning that might help us to look at inspiration in a non-boring way. Thinking for example about:

  • What animates us to write, and what animated writing looks, feels and sounds like
  • The things, people and places that inspire us - and the things that dampen or squash that inspiration
  • Writing with the aim or intention of inspiring others

But where do the fire-breathing dragons fit in?

Well the root of the word lies in the verb “to breathe”. We still see it in the dictionary definition: the drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation. Breath has found its way into my interpretation of inspiration too:

Inspiration Writing that’s inspired, that inspires you, and inspires others. Knowing what inspires you - and what to do when it seems out of reach. Finding inspiration in the every day. Writing with the breath of life; writing that’s come from the source.

And as I mentioned in a comment here recently - on foggy days, and seeing the breath in our writing - it’s how I picture the writing process. How I think about writing when I need to fire up my intention either to write myself, or to help others to realise the power of their own words:

…sometimes I think of writing (I hope this isn’t too fanciful) as breathing out fire. And when I coach people it’s because I want to help them breathe out that fire too.

Last but not least, today is St David’s Day, which seemed like an auspicious point to celebrate the power and spirit of fire-breathing dragons.


My plans for what to write about in March are still kind of… fluid… so please do chip in ideas and suggestions for things you’d like me to cover.

I won’t be running another group writing project this month though: I’m still sorting through the wonderful contributions from last month and will publish the results early next week, plus there are plenty other interesting projects out there (more on those at the beginning of the week too). I do have an interesting tag though which I’m hoping to answer soon and will try and turn into something we can all play along with. More on that to follow too…

Heck, if you’re not already following Confident Writing via a RSS feed you might just want to subscribe so you don’t miss anything! There’s an e-mail option if you’d prefer to get the posts direct to your in-box.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count


{ 2 trackbacks }

Welcome To Monday: It’s A Beautiful Day! | Confident Writing
08.05.08 at 2:21 pm
Inspiration From Fire Breathing Writing Dragons | Confident Writing
03.12.09 at 7:03 pm

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

amypalko 03.01.08 at 8:26 pm

What a fabulous theme, Joanna. I’ll definitely come along for the ride :-)

Joanna Young 03.01.08 at 8:53 pm

Well it’s in large part down to your dragon story Amy! I didn’t have time or space to include the story here but it’s definitely going to make an appearance some time in March.

Joanna

Jim Murdoch 03.01.08 at 11:02 pm

What annoys me about the notion of inspiration is its distillation into a mystical ‘muse’ some external force, thing or person that we must have before we can’t work. Although I agree that there are places where we can feel better turning them into a ‘muse’ makes us needy and weak: “I can’t write without my lucky pen,” for example. Rot and poppycock. Writers don’t need comfort blankets. All we require should be in our own heads, in our imaginations.

Deb @ Three Weddings 03.02.08 at 4:09 am

I’m looking forward to what’s to come. I guess I’m too much of a novice, but I think inspiration sounds like a good topic. I know I have a hard time writing about something if I am not inspired.

Jeanne Dininni 03.02.08 at 7:26 am

Joanna,

I don’t think the topic of inspiration could ever be overworked-because inspiration is the magic that breathes new life into our work, fires our imaginations, and makes our writing sparkle! Sure, we can write without it when we must. (We ARE writers, after all.) Yet when we have it, how much more wondrous both process and product become!

Excellent topic to explore this month!
Jeanne

Joanna Young 03.02.08 at 10:03 am

@ Jim I suppose when we’re talking about inspiration we’re talking about changing our ’state’ into one that is inspired, when the words flow easily, seem more animate, where our writing is more enjoyable, or however we conceive it.

Changing state is something that we can learn how to do, but is affected by external circumstances too, for most of us anyway.

I guess the trick is to learn how to change your own state, so you can tap into (as you say) the resources we already have at our disposal in our minds, imagination, remembered experience and so on.

It would be interesting to know how you do this - I’m sure there are some good suggestions you could pass on that would benefit others.

@ Deb, me too, which is one of the reasons I wanted to explore it this month, and learn about what works for others

@ Jeanne, thanks. Two comments in two days! Cool :-)

Joanna

Kris Cahill 03.02.08 at 11:13 pm

I am all for inspiration. I am inspired just coming here, reading your wonderful blog. Though a visual artist first, I have a love of writing. Blogging has been a great breakthrough for me in that I can combine both. Repeat daily! Finding blogs like yours to visit has been delightful. Thank you.

Karen 03.03.08 at 7:29 am

Joanna I am so glad you selected Inspiration as your theme for March. It seems like a pretty good personal theme for me too… seeking it, harnessing it, awakening it, revelling in it.

I’ve got my seatbelt on and I’m along for the ride on your inspiration dragon. Bring on March!

(I LOVE dragons… and curiously await the dragon story)

Joanna Young 03.03.08 at 9:32 am

@ Kris, well likewise, I am inspired by visiting your blog and am so glad to have discovered it. I’m glad you’re enjoying the chance to write as well as paint.

I’m wondering now if some of your fiery reds have crept into my inspiration for the March theme?

@ Karen I am looking forward to sharing the ride with you :-)

Robyn 03.11.08 at 3:30 pm

Your fire breathing dragons makes me feel like going on the wild side!

Thanks for your continued inspirations!

Joanna Young 03.11.08 at 6:03 pm

Wow Robyn, I’ll watch this space with interest!

And - likewise. I get so much encouragement and inspiration from your blog, and your comments here. All the time I’ve been blogging you’ve been cheering me along - much, much appreciated

Joanna

Robyn 03.13.08 at 3:08 pm

Joanna, you inspired me to think about inspiration, and just posted on my blog. ;-)

Joanna Young 03.13.08 at 4:40 pm

Robyn, what can I say. Your piece is fantastic. Simple, powerful, fire-breathing.

Everyone else - here’s the link:

http://brainbasedbiz.blogspot.com/2008/03/brain-on-inspiration.html

Joanna

Absorbing Writing in Sardinia 03.18.08 at 5:15 pm

What Inspires You To Write?

Writing inspiration is my theme this month at Confident Writing, and it’s got me thinking about what it is that inspires us to write. Maybe it’s things: words, people, teachers, places, music, a poem, a mood, a painting Or maybe

Managing with Aloha Coaching 03.21.08 at 11:10 am

“Inspiration” is ‘in-spirit.’ Thus Inspiration is Aloha.

HCer* Joanna Young has been asking us this month, “What inspires you?” Her theme for her coaching at Confident Writing has been Fire-Breathing Dragons: Inspiration Is The Theme For March, a follow-up to another conversation I was delighted to participa…

Tim Singleton 03.31.08 at 12:57 pm

I found your blog through Liz’s link over at Successful Bloggers. Fire breathing dragons tickled me because of the tenor of some of my personal blogs, though after knocking about a bit I realized I was really looking at your site through the wrong lense.

Good stuff, though. I plan to spend time here.

Joanna Young 03.31.08 at 1:52 pm

Hi Tim, I’m glad you found me and are going to spend some time here :-)

Dragons is one step removed from the normal focus but it’s been a fun exploration for the month - got us all writing a bit on the wild side…

Joanna

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