Writing Inspiration Round-Up: Maya Angelou, Bears, and Idleness

Sometimes the key to writing is in finding the right inspiration to keep you going, to get you through that next blank page, to give you the fodder you need to build that next character.

So, as we do sometimes here on the Winning Edits blog, this post is made for exactly that:

To inspire you!

Ready?

Writing Inspiration Round-Up

1. Be a Writer-In-Residence at the Mall Of America

Yes, we said that correctly. That gargantuan mall in Minnesota, the one you visit to escape the frigid death-snows of MN winter, is seeking a writer-in-residence to capture the magic of the mall for its 25th anniversary. Cinnabon included? There's a chance!

The point is, it could be a fascinating and inspiring writing adventure. And what’s the point of being a writer if you’re not going to be an explorer? Go explore!

2. George Plimpton Interviews Maya Angelou

In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats—maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats—but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be.

Maya Angelou said that to George Plimpton in an interview in 1988. The hour-long conversation is available for your listening pleasure right now here. It’s truly awesome. There is no one so inspiring as Maya Angelou. No one, we say!

3. Big (Like Huge) Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a book called Eat, Pray, Love. You may have heard of it! She just published another book, Big Magic, that is, according to our own Jennifer Snyder, bonkers inspiring for writers and creatives like yourself.

Embrace curiosity, let go of needless suffering, and the the necessary habits to fulfill our creative lives. Sounds pretty amazing to us!

4. Write Like an Adorable Bear

Okay, bears can’t really write. That would be terrifying. Way too many sad “Where have all the fish gone?” journal entries. But you can write with Bear (not the animal; the app!). Matt says it’s a wildly nifty new markdown-driven writing app he uses all the time.

It’s beary good if you ask us.

5. Bruce Lee on Being vs. Having

Not only was Bruce Lee a kick-ass martial arts master, he was also incredibly introspective when it comes to personal development, authenticity, and how our minds affect us—all of which are integral components of being a creative human, developing that creative muscle, and succeeding as creatives.

His letters to himself are worth reading, especially this here:

Where some people have a self, most people have a void, because they are too busy in wasting their vital creative energy to project themselves as this or that, dedicating their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like rather than actualizing their potentiality as a human being.

6. Moving Paper Forward

One thing we like to do as a team when we’re in the same room is to use a whiteboard for idea brainstorming. Also to play hangman. But mostly brainstorming. Often times one of us takes a picture of the whiteboard at the end of our sessions so we can make sure we don’t lose it all.

But that’s a little clunky. So, Janna just discovered this neat tool called Scannable that makes it super easy to capture notes and transform them into high-quality scans you can share seamlessly.

7. Rejuvenate with Idleness

And, finally, sometimes—when we’ve had a day of writing, our hands are tired, our minds frazzled, our metaphor jar empty—we need to find a bit of time for idleness.

We hope this has inspired you to keep writing, keep creating, keep being as cool as you are.

Source: Incidental Comics by Grant Snider

Source: Incidental Comics by Grant Snider

Happy writing!

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