Coming up with new ideas for my blogs isn’t easy. After nearly five years and nearly 500 posts, inspiration is tough to come by. That’s where my daily walks come in. Turning “off” the brain during the walk allows all manner of creative thought to bubble up. I will usually come up with the headline and “write” the post in my head during the walk. If there is a weekday when a new blog post doesn’t appear, chances are I didn’t make it out for a walk that day.
Today’s blog idea popped up midway through the walk (right after my calves started burning). I meant it as a lighthearted riff off an earlier post on the subject, but as I walked further, the tone became decidedly more sober.
Most books have dedications in the front of them. Generally, these are tributes to a spouse or kids or even the cat. None of my books have dedications and as I considered the reasons for that, I began to see how uninspired my writing has been. At least, externally.
Examining the potential sources for a dedication should help you understand that last comment. First, let’s clear the board immediately: no wife, no kids, no cat. Not now, not ever. So much for family inspiration.
I do have family. It’s not that they are unsupportive of my writing; even that would be preferable. My family is primarily uninterested in my writing. There is a vague recognition that I’ve written three books but no one in my immediate family has ever read one. Or bought one. Even as a gift for someone else. I had a girlfriend during the time I was writing the first and second books who had roughly the same engagement with my writing. I think we can safely discount any of them from a possible mention as inspiration (unless it was for something tongue-in-cheek).
I feel I owe my Grandma for developing my love of words that ultimately led to my love of writing them. I could see a sentimental dedication to her in any of the books, though I am comfortable with my private smile at my memories of her and feel nothing can surpass that.
At the end of my walk, I came to the sad realization there was no one that I could count on for inspiration other than my own desire. A dedication to myself sounds silly. During my darker days, nearing the end of What Next?, I began to doubt my ability to finish the series (the break-up with the aforementioned girlfriend may have contributed to that loss of motivation).
If I had to pick one thing that kept me going and reignited my enthusiasm, it would probably be my readers. Buoyed by positive reviews and direct contact, I felt an obligation to complete the series which eventually fanned into the full flame of eagerness once more. In retrospect, I should have included a dedication to you for your support and interest. In lieu of that, consider this post your “shout out” and my thank you!